Russia will buy US arms dealer Viktor Butt in exchange for US basketball player Brittney Griner. Who is the Russian who was once the most wanted man in the world?
Arms dealer and former Soviet Air Force officer Viktor But was sentenced to 25 years in a US prison by a New York court in 2012.
The 55-year-old player was the most prominent Russian person detained in the United States until he was released as part of a prisoner exchange with US basketball player Brittney Griner, who was imprisoned in Russia. He is accused of arming rebels in some of the world’s bloodiest conflicts.
Prosecutor: “The most dangerous kind of businessman”
At the time, prosecutors had sought a life sentence for him. He described Ama as “the most dangerous kind of businessman”.
But it also escalated armed conflicts in Rwanda, Congo and Angola with its arms shipments. Their planes carried everything from ore to gladiolus, from drill rods to frozen fish.
But his area of expertise, according to officials, was the black market of weapons. It is said to supply its customers with assault rifles, ammunition, anti-aircraft missiles, attack helicopters and other modern weapon systems from the arsenals of the former Red Army or Eastern European production.
Russia very interested in But’s release
But in the 1990s he was called a “death dealer” by a high-ranking member of the British government. But in almost two decades it has built a fleet of more than 60 transport aircraft. He founded hundreds of companies and amassed a fortune of more than $6 billion reportedly.
But in 2008, he was arrested in Bangkok after a covert action by American agents. He was extradited to the United States in 2010. Russia has been campaigning for But’s release since his arrest. Moscow authorities describe him as an “entrepreneur” who was wrongfully arrested and convicted.
But his life story inspired a Hollywood movie: The main character, played by Nicolas Cage in “Lord of War – Dealer of Death” (2005), is partially linked to the real arms dealer.
I am Timothy Glover, a professional journalist and content creator. I specialize in writing and editing for news websites, specifically covering politics. I have been working as an author at News Unrolled for the past five years and have built up a reputation for producing quality content that is both informative and engaging.