Viktor Bout, the Russian arms dealer who was swapped for Brittney Griner in December, has undertaken a novel endeavor.
Bout, known as the “Merchant of Death,” was in American custody before the U.S. government opted to use him in a prisoner exchange for the WNBA star after she spent most of 2022 in a Russian prison for being found with vapor cartridges containing hash oil.
According to Russia’s state-owned news outlet, TASS, the 56-year-old, who served 10 years of a 25-year sentence, has been approved as a candidate for local elections in Russia by the far-right ultra-nationalist Liberal Democratic Party.
Prior to his arrest in 2008, Bout had his hands in several civil wars as he supplied sophisticated weaponry to warring groups, sometimes selling to both sides.
He was brought down in an operation put together by the DEA involving three countries and was extradited to the U.S. in 2010.
“Viktor Bout, in my eyes, is one of the most dangerous men on the face of the Earth,” former DEA chief of operations Michael Braun said on 60 Minutes back that year.
Bout is now a free man, but it appears he isn’t satisfied with simply being free.
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