Who is Viktor Bout, the man at centre of US prisoner ‘swap’?
SMACIN GRACEFULL TEAM Who is Viktor Bout, the man at centre of US prisoner ‘swap’? Reports say US has proposed to Russia to release convicted arms dealer for Brittney Griner and Paul Whelan. ADVERTISEMENT The United States government has reportedly offered to free Viktor Bout, an imprisoned Russian arms dealer, in exchange for the release of basketball star Brittney Griner and former US marine Paul Whelan, who are held by Russian authorities. ADVERTISEMENT Here is what to know about Bout, who was once dubbed the “Merchant of Death” and is currently serving a 25-year prison sentence. ADVERTISEMENT Who is Viktor Bout? Bout is believed to have been born in then-Soviet ruled Dushanbe, Tajikstan, in 1967. He was a former Soviet military translator who began his career in air transport in the early 1990s following the collapse of the Soviet Union.