Russian Viktor Bout, who was convicted in the United States for arms trafficking and supporting terrorism and returned to Russia as part of an exchange, became a candidate in elections in two regions: to the Krasnoyarsk City Council of Deputies and to the legislative assembly of the Ulyanovsk Region. The leader of the Krasnoyarsk branch of the LDPR, Alexander Gliskov, announced this on the eve of his Telegram channel, and the deputy chairman of the faction in the State Duma, Yaroslav Nilov, also announced Bout's participation in the elections in the Ulyanovsk region. Bout himself has not yet confirmed the information about his decision to participate in elections in these regions.
The list of candidates for the Krasnoyarsk City Council, in addition to Bout, will include Gliskov himself and the leader of the Liberal Democratic Party, Leonid Slutsky. In elections, a similar practice is called "locomotive tactics." Initially, the lists are headed by media people, but after the elections they give up mandates in favor of their fellow party members. As Gliskov himself stated, the LDPR expects to repeat the success of 2018, when the LDPR bypassed United Russia.
If Bout is elected to the parliament of the Ulyanovsk region, he may be offered to be nominated as a senator from the legislature, says political strategist Ilya Paimushkin. He told Regional Commentaries that this was evidenced by the choice of the region for Bout's nomination. According to the political scientist, now in the Ulyanovsk region there is an "exacerbation of intra-elite conflicts." At the same time, the governor of the region, Aleksey Russkikh, is a member of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation, and the authorities need United Russia to win the elections to the Legislative Assembly. Thus, the Liberal Democratic Party, having invested in the campaign, can significantly increase the number of its deputies, speaking in the region as a party "against all," the expert believes. And Bout can later take a seat in the Federation Council.
According to political consultant Yaroslav Ignatovsky, Bout can take over some of the protest votes in the elections in the regions, but this will not add points to the Liberal Democratic Party. The expert told Regional Commentaries that Bout is being positioned as "an external Russian figure who suffered from the United States."
“Obviously, the card of everything connected with our ill-wishers will be played. It is difficult to say what Bout himself will look like in live communication with voters, after all, he was deprived for quite a long time, although he has been in Russia for some time. Apparently, he wants to actively participate in some kind of political activity. It will be interesting to watch this.
The Ulyanovsk region is traditionally difficult, the positions of the communists are strong there. In this sense, Bout will be able to draw some of the protest votes, including "angry patriots", to himself. I think the situation in Krasnoyarsk is approximately similar.”
After Gliskov’s statements in 2021, some candidates were removed from the elections to the Legislative Assembly of the Krasnoyarsk Territory. Thus, the court canceled the registration of candidates from the party list of the "Democratic Party of Russia" (DPR) during the elections to the Legislative Assembly of the region consisting of 70 candidates and all 13 single-mandate members due to "violations in the submission of documents." Then the leader of the Liberal Democratic Party in the legislative assembly, Alexander Gliskov, told Kommersant that the lawsuit against the DPR was filed because of a number of "twins" in its lists. In his opinion, the Democrats would not be able to seriously harm the Liberal Democratic Party, but "they would unambiguously introduce confusion into the voting process." Against the deputy of the city council of Krasnoyarsk from the LDPR Vitaly Bondarev, the democrats then nominated electrician Alexei Bondarev, and against the deputy of the city council of Kansk, Irina Avdoshkevich, the cook Nadezhda Avdashkevich. There were other namesakes on the list - against the assistant to the regional deputy Ivan Malinov, a repairman Alexei Malinov was nominated. In total, the LDPR counted six "doubles" running against their candidates.
Earlier, Gliskov also applied for participation in the elections of the governor of the Krasnoyarsk Territory, which will be held on September 10.
Viktor Bout was detained in 2008 in Bangkok on 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, participating in a plot to kill American citizens, assisting terrorism and money laundering. Also, Bout, with the help of several airlines owned by him, supplied weapons to both the Angolan government and the UNITA rebel group. In 2010, Bout was extradited to the United States, and in April 2012 he was sentenced to 25 years in prison and a fine of $15 million. In total, he spent more than 12 years in prison. On December 8, 2022, Bout was exchanged for American basketball player Brittney Griner, who was convicted in Russia for importing drugs: vapes with liquid were found in her hand luggage, the examination found that there was hash oil inside. As a result, Bout returned to Russia, and Greiner to the United States, they were pardoned before the exchange and will not serve the rest of their sentence in their homeland.