Victor Bode, “Death Dealer” Released by US

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PortraitVictor Bode, “Death Dealer” Released by US

The arms dealer, who was freed as part of a prisoner exchange between Moscow and Washington, entered popular culture by promoting the movie “Lord of War.”

Victor Bott was sentenced to 25 years in prison in 2012.

AFP

Victor Bott, Merchant of Death. The name was the epitome of two decades of international arms trafficking born out of the chaos of the Soviet Union’s collapse, inspiring Hollywood before the United States captured and imprisoned him. Thursday after long negotiations Washington agreed to hand over to Moscow The 55-year-old, who was arrested during a US operation in Thailand in 2008, was held for months in Russia on a cannabis charge in exchange for basketball player Brittney Griner.

Sentenced to 25 years in prison in 2012, the exotic mustache has been the subject of years of negotiations between Moscow and Washington. Born in Dushanbe, the capital of the former Soviet republic of Tajikistan, Viktor Bode studied at the Military Institute for Foreign Languages ​​in Moscow before entering the Air Force, according to a United Nations report.

According to those who blame him for the collapse of the Soviet Union since 1991, he used the post-Soviet chaos to find ways to get cheap weapons from military bases for himself and the authorities. Live rich or simply. In another stroke of genius, he created his own cargo planes to deliver his goods around the world.

“God of War”

American journalist Douglas Farah, co-author of the 2008 investigative book “Merchant of Death,” describes Victor Bott as “a Soviet official who knew how to take advantage of the opportunity presented by three factors born of the collapse of the Soviet Union”: the abandoned planes on the runways between Moscow and Kew (… ), the demand for heavy weapons and armor, guarded by unpaid soldiers, exploded.

He entered American popular culture in 2005, with the release of the movie “Lord of War” (Warlord), inspired by his life, in which Nicolas Cage played arms smuggler Yuri Orlov and was chased by Interpol. In Russia, some believe that Washington is exaggerating the achievements of these weapons to create a fearful and demonizing Moscow.

“The myth created about America’s bot is obscenely old: a Russian villain tried to harm the United States by illegally selling weapons, but good Americans put an end to it,” writes Russian journalist Aleksandr Kazyok in his book. 2021 to tell the “true story” of the “merchant of death”.

“Honest Businessman”

Mr. As for Bout’s wife Alla, her husband was an honest businessman and a great patriot of his country, condemned for crimes he did not commit, she wrote in the foreword to the book by Alexandre Cassiog. Viktor Bode, a former Soviet Air Force translator and radio operator, was suspected of being a member of military intelligence when he was captured by US agents in Thailand in 2008.

According to the lawsuit, he agreed to sell an arsenal of guns and missiles to undercover agents posing as guerrillas of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, who said they wanted to use the weapons to shoot down U.S. helicopters assisting the Colombian military. In 2010, he was extradited from Thailand on a special chartered jet from the US to face trial.

Convicted of weapons trafficking in November 2011, he was sentenced in April 2012 in New York to 25 years in prison. “I am not guilty, I have no intention of killing anyone, I have no intention of selling weapons to anyone, God knows the truth,” he would begin before the verdict was announced.

The Russian Foreign Ministry has pledged to do everything possible for his return to Russia, calling the ruling “political”. Moscow has relentlessly condemned his imprisonment, and to some observers, Mr. This is an indication that the bot was able to operate with the tacit approval of Russian authorities.

(AFP)

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