Arms Dealer Bout Praises Putin, Backs Ukraine Assault
Screenshot from Viktor Bout's interview.
Viktor Bout, a notorious arms dealer dubbed the "Merchant of Death," praised Russian President Vladimir Putin and backed Moscow's assault on Ukraine in his first interview since being released from a U.S. prison as part of an exchange for U.S. basketball star Brittney Griner.
Speaking to the Kremlin-backed RT channel in an interview released on Saturday, Bout said he kept a portrait of Putin in his prison cell in the United States.
"I am proud that I am a Russian person, and our president is Putin," the former Soviet air force pilot said in the 40-minute interview.
"I know that we will win," he added, saying he was enjoying snow and "the air of freedom" since his return to Russia on Thursday.