By Anthony Marcus, consultant in geopolitics, for Eurasia Business News, December 11, 2022

A special flight with Viktor Bout on board landed in Moscow on December 8, reported the air traffic control services of the Moscow air hub.

The plane took off from Abu Dhabi on Thursday evening and landed at Vnukovo-2 airport.

At the airport of Abu Dhabi, an exchange of the Russian citizen Viktor Bout, who was imprisoned in the United States since 2011, for the American Brittney Greiner, convicted in the Russian Federation for drug smuggling, took place.

The plane carrying American basketball player Brittney Greiner has landed in Texas on December 9.

The TV channel “Russia-24” showed footage of Viktor Bout’s meeting with his family at the Vnukovo airport. He was greeted by his wife and mother. The Russian businessman got off the plane and handed them bouquets of flowers.

I got there, that’s the most important thing,” Viktor Bout said, answering a journalist’s question about the exchange.

In the middle of the night they picked up, they said, get ready, there was no preliminary information,” he said.

Viktor Bout did not answer the question of what he intends to do in the near future.

On December 10, Viktor Bout gave the first big interview after returning to his homeland from the United States, where he was convicted in November 2011 and sentenced in April 2012 to 25 years in prison. All this time the Russian citizen insisted on his innocence and kept faith in freedom, in spite of harsh conditions.

U.S. intelligence agents detained the Russian businessman in March 2008 in Thailand. In 2010, he was extradited to the United States after two years of legal proceedings. In 2011 he was found guilty of criminal conspiracy to illegal arms trafficking and alleged assistance to terrorist groups.

Victor Bout spent 14 years and 8 months in prison. Of these, 2 years and 7 months in prison in Thailand and another 12 years and 1 month in US prisons.

The businessman himself categorically denies his involvement in the illegal arms trade and claims that he has never been in contact with terrorist organizations.

In the U.S. he spent about 15 months in complete isolation, in solitary confinement without windows under round-the-clock artificial lighting; without fresh air inflow; the bed, table and chair are concrete. One call per week in English for 15 minutes, meeting 1 time in 4 months through the armored glass. Walks were not allowed. 

In the United States, there is a strong opinion that Viktor Bout worked for the Russian special services, and that his supply of weapons to hot spots served the interests of the Kremlin. However, many answer that the U.S. uses the same methods to advance their agenda.

In an exclusive interview with the Russian media “Russia Today”, Viktor Bout told Maria Butina that the most difficult test in prison for him was the inability to communicate with loved ones. In the conversation he spoke about the charges against him, about the conditions of detention in the U.S. prison, the attitude of fellow inmates, the American correctional system, as well as Hollywood’s attempts to use his image and its views on current events in the world.

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