Russia’s ‘Merchant of Death’ Reveals What He Told Brittney Griner During Prisoner Swap

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Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout, who was traded in a high-stakes prisoner swap for WNBA star Brittney Griner, claimed in his first interview back home in Russia that he had some traditional Russian words for the American when the two were traded on the tarmac.

“I wished her luck, she even sort of reached out her hand to me,” Bout revealed in an interview with RT, a Russian-controlled media outlet, according to Reuters.

The interview was with RT presenter Maria Butina, a Russian lawmaker who served 14 months in prison in the U.S. for acting as an unregistered foreign agent, according to Reuters.

Bout told RT Butina, that he believed Griner “was positively inclined” toward him, adding that in Russia, it’s tradition to wish everyone good luck, Reuters reported.

“Again, it’s our tradition. You should wish everyone good fortune and happiness,” Bout said, according to Reuters.

Part of the prisoner exchange was caught on video and uploaded to social media over the weekend.

“Russian news agency TASS publishes footage of the Brittney Griner/Viktor Bout exchange,” Ian Miles Chong tweeted.

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