This website uses cookies. Some are necessary to help our website work properly and can't be switched off, and some are optional but can optimise your browsing experience. To manage your cookie choices, click on Open settings.
Russia: 'We'll meet you' - family speaks to released Victor Bout by phone00:53

Russia: 'We'll meet you' - family speaks to released Victor Bout by phone

Russian Federation, Moscow
December 8, 2022 at 19:23 GMT +00:00 · Published

Family members of Russian businessman Victor Bout, who was serving a prison sentence in the United States on arms trafficking charges, spoke to him by telephone ahead of his return home in Moscow on Thursday.

Bout said that he was doing well and that he would tell his relatives more about his condition when he met them.

Earlier, during an interview with the TV channel "Russia-24," Victor's wife said that she was eternally grateful to everyone who helped her husband to return home.

The woman added that during her husband's imprisonment, the family had received support and assistance for the release of the Russian citizen. Victor's wife and mother wrote appeals to the Russian president.

"I think the most important thing is that the work was done, that they didn't forget, that there was support on every [issue]. I say even in the most difficult times there was always support," Alla Bout added.

Bout's relatives were able to fly to the US once in the 14 years of his imprisonment, and kept in touch with Victor by phone the rest of the time.

"We flew with our daughter... They wouldn't give us a visa for almost six months, only thanks to the [Russian] Ministry of Foreign Affairs we got a one-time visa to visit Victor," Alla said.

The family learned of the man's impending arrival in Russia from State Duma deputy Maria Butina. Bout's wife and mother said they were very worried about Victor's arrival and worried about his condition.

The exchange of Victor Bout and American athlete Brittney Griner was announced by the Russian Foreign Ministry on Thursday.

Russian Viktor Bout was arrested in Thailand in 2008 on a warrant issued at the request of the United States by a Thai court on charges of intent to sell missiles to the FARC, a group recognised as terrorist in the United States from 1997 to 2021. The Russian national was extradited to the US in 2010 and was sentenced to 25 years in prison in 2012.

Brittney Griner was detained in Russia in February 2022 after hash oil in her luggage was found. On August 4, Khimki city court of Moscow region sentenced the athlete to nine years in prison. She was found guilty under Part 1 of Article 228 ("Illegal acquisition, storage, transportation of drugs without intent to sell") and Part 2 of Article 229.1 ("Smuggling of drugs in large quantities") of the Russian Criminal Code.

On Thursday, former national security aide to 45th US President Donald Trump, John Bolton, said the citizen exchange between the US and Russia symbolised 'American surrender'.

"The Bout-for-Griner prisoner swap is not a trade, it's an American surrender. This is not what American strength looks like," he wrote on Twitter.

Russia: 'We'll meet you' - family speaks to released Victor Bout by phone00:53
Pool for subscribers only
Top downloads in last 24 hours
Show more
Description

Family members of Russian businessman Victor Bout, who was serving a prison sentence in the United States on arms trafficking charges, spoke to him by telephone ahead of his return home in Moscow on Thursday.

Bout said that he was doing well and that he would tell his relatives more about his condition when he met them.

Earlier, during an interview with the TV channel "Russia-24," Victor's wife said that she was eternally grateful to everyone who helped her husband to return home.

The woman added that during her husband's imprisonment, the family had received support and assistance for the release of the Russian citizen. Victor's wife and mother wrote appeals to the Russian president.

"I think the most important thing is that the work was done, that they didn't forget, that there was support on every [issue]. I say even in the most difficult times there was always support," Alla Bout added.

Bout's relatives were able to fly to the US once in the 14 years of his imprisonment, and kept in touch with Victor by phone the rest of the time.

"We flew with our daughter... They wouldn't give us a visa for almost six months, only thanks to the [Russian] Ministry of Foreign Affairs we got a one-time visa to visit Victor," Alla said.

The family learned of the man's impending arrival in Russia from State Duma deputy Maria Butina. Bout's wife and mother said they were very worried about Victor's arrival and worried about his condition.

The exchange of Victor Bout and American athlete Brittney Griner was announced by the Russian Foreign Ministry on Thursday.

Russian Viktor Bout was arrested in Thailand in 2008 on a warrant issued at the request of the United States by a Thai court on charges of intent to sell missiles to the FARC, a group recognised as terrorist in the United States from 1997 to 2021. The Russian national was extradited to the US in 2010 and was sentenced to 25 years in prison in 2012.

Brittney Griner was detained in Russia in February 2022 after hash oil in her luggage was found. On August 4, Khimki city court of Moscow region sentenced the athlete to nine years in prison. She was found guilty under Part 1 of Article 228 ("Illegal acquisition, storage, transportation of drugs without intent to sell") and Part 2 of Article 229.1 ("Smuggling of drugs in large quantities") of the Russian Criminal Code.

On Thursday, former national security aide to 45th US President Donald Trump, John Bolton, said the citizen exchange between the US and Russia symbolised 'American surrender'.

"The Bout-for-Griner prisoner swap is not a trade, it's an American surrender. This is not what American strength looks like," he wrote on Twitter.