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Russia. RIA: Arms dealer Viktor But is LDPR’s candidate for the legislative assembly

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Russian arms dealer Viktor But, freed last December in a prisoner exchange for American basketball star Brittney Griner, has been selected as the far-right party’s candidate for a seat in the Russian regional legislature, the state news agency RIA reported on Sunday.

Shoe, dubbed by the Americans the “merchant of death,” served ten of the 25 years he received in the United States for arms trafficking. He was released in a trade for Olympic basketball champion Brittney Griner.

The RIA quoted an official of the local ultranationalist Liberal Democratic Party Russia (LDPR), which said that But was nominated as a candidate for the legislative assembly in the Ulyanovsk region of central Russia.

But joined the LDPR after returning to his homeland. The party, despite its name, has far-right, ultra-nationalist views and strongly supports the invasion Vladimir Putin to Ukraine.

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Who are Boot and Griner?

The arms dealer was captured by US agents in Thailand in 2008. Department of Justice USA described him as one of the most successful arms dealers in the world, having sold arms to terrorists and enemies of the US for decades. But never pleaded guilty.

Russian arms dealer Viktor ButEPA/PAP

Griner, on the other hand, was sentenced to nine years in a penal colony in 2022 after she was detained at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport with e-cigarette cartridges containing hash oil. Washington considered her trial to be fictitious. After returning to the US, Griner resumed her sports career.

Prisoner exchangeEPA

Main photo source: EPA/PAP

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