“In a Thai prison they brought food to order”
Viktor Bout, who was convicted in the United States for arms trafficking and supporting terrorism, after returning to Russia as a result of an exchange for basketball player Brittney Griner, gave an interview to the former assistant to a member of the Taganskaya organized criminal group, Maria Butina, who also previously served a sentence in an American prison, on charges of illegal lobbying activities .
Bout told Butina, whom he calls Marina throughout the interview, about the "inhuman conditions" in an American prison. The most difficult, according to him, was confinement in solitary confinement and rare calls (once a month) to relatives. Another major inconvenience was the food, Booth says. According to him, the prisoners eat chicken and hamburgers with overcooked french fries. At the same time, in a Thai prison, the food they wanted was brought to order, Booth says.
“This is just from the experience of the Nazis, everything is thought out to the smallest detail, there are no accidents. The menu is standard, it does not change. Wednesday is a hamburger with french fries fried to death, Thursday is a piece of chicken, "bush legs", which smell so that you just want to ... I will not speak on the air. And when I talked with the heads of these services, they told me - "what do you not like?". I say: “Excuse me - but would you eat it yourself?” It is inedible, not human. I spent two years in a Thai prison - how terrible it was dirty, boring, but at least there they gave any food that you can order, they had no problems - if I wanted something, they asked - “what do you want? “, then it’s just here ... Marina, can you imagine when you haven’t tried garlic, dill, parsley, strawberries for 10 years. It's all cumulative. When I was in solitary, at some stage I lost interest in food. I started losing weight terribly. With such an attitude, it went away by itself, and I began to force myself to eat through force.
"Just a carrier, like a taxi driver"
Butina also asked him about the charges brought by the US authorities. She decided to answer her own question on her own at the beginning of the interview, saying that Bout "was thrown into American dungeons without trial or investigation simply because he is Russian." Booth, in turn, said that the accusations were unfair, since he is just a carrier, like a taxi driver.
“After all, there was nothing. I understand if I was really involved in some of these there ... But even the judge said: sorry, I didn’t see anything at this trial, which Viktor is accused of, he is a normal businessman, and many businessmen do the same. He did nothing illegal, but since our conspiracy laws do not allow me. There was a carrier company that transported goods legally <Bout answers the question in the affirmative to Butina's question>. Well, how, because you take off from an international airport from the same Europe, where there is a police, a customs service, and you arrive at the same African airport, and the government service also receives the cargo that was sent to them. It's like we start now to catch all the taxi drivers and condemn that "you know you've transported turns out to be a drug dealer."
Marina, everything that happened to me is now happening to our country. I was probably the first, as in the laboratory. An experiment on one specific person. I have been sanctioned since 2000 - everything was hung up on me, transfers and companies were banned. I have been under sanctions for the last 22 years. You are the war that they started with me and my family, they slowly began to pull like a rubber band from 2014 on the whole country, on all Russian people.
Who is Viktor Bout and why he was tried in the USA
"Normal businessman" Viktor Bout, also known as the "arms baron" and "dealer in death", was engaged in the transportation of weapons in the early 90s in the United Arab Emirates, including delivering Russian fighter jets to Malaysia. Later began illegal arms trade in countries where international arms imports are subject to an international embargo, the media reported that Bout supplies weapons to the Taliban and al-Qaeda.
He was detained in 2008 in Bangkok on the basis of a warrant issued by a local court at the request of the United States. He was accused of illegally supplying weapons to the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia group. In 2010, he was extradited to the United States. In April 2012, he was sentenced to 25 years in prison and fined $15 million.
In addition to the United States, France, Belgium and even Sierra Leone pursued Bout for the illegal arms trade. He has been under UN sanctions for the illegal arms trade since 2001. However, for some time this did not bother Bout, since the “honest businessman” had five passports for different names. In the arrest of Bout, which was carried out by the United States on charges of selling weapons to Colombian militants (analogous to the "forest brothers" in the North Caucasus), the Romanian, Danish and Dutch police also cooperated with the United States. World media, unlike Russian ones, describe Bout as a "dealer in death", contributing to the incitement of bloody conflicts. French journalist Jean-Michel Vernochet argues that the wars in Sierra Leone, Rwanda, Liberia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Angola and Sudan would not have had such a scale if Victor Bout had not supplied weapons to the warring parties.