Newly freed Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout said he 'wholeheartedly' supports Russia's war in Ukraine and would 'certainly' volunteer: report
"I'm proud that I'm Russian and that our president is Putin," Bout said in an interview after suggesting he would volunteer to fight against Ukraine.
Newly freed Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout said he "wholeheartedly" supports Vladimir Putin's war in Ukraine, adding that he would "certainly go as a volunteer" if he had the chance, according to reports.
"If I could, I would share the skills I have and I would readily volunteer," Bout said on the Russian state television network RT, formerly known as Russia Today.
Bout's freedom was secured in a prisoner swap for Brittney Griner, a WNBA star who was arrested in February in Moscow on drug charges and later sentenced to nine years in a penal colony. US and Russian officials agreed to the one-for-one swap last week, Insider previously reported.
Bout was arrested by the US Drug Enforcement Agency in 2008 in a drug sting, extradited to the US, convicted of conspiring with a terrorist organization and plotting to kill American civilians and officials, and sentenced to 25 years in prison, according to a previous Insider report.
While he was in prison, he said he had a portrait of Russian President Putin displayed in his cell, according to CNN.
"Yes, always," Bout said in an RT interview, per CNN. "Why not? I'm proud that I'm Russian and that our president is Putin."