Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout

Viktor Bout, the infamous Russian arms dealer, swapped for WNBA superstar Brittney Griner by President Joe Biden, has apparently reneged on a major promise made after his release.

Bout promised that he would travel to Ukraine to participate in his country’s war. Recently, however, while speaking Wednesday with Komsomolskaya Pravda Radio, Bout became elusive about his previous promise to aid his country’s war efforts.

From The Daily Beast:

Gamov read a question sent in by one of the program’s listeners, identified only as “Vladimir Ivanovich”: “Let Bout prove his patriotism towards the Motherland by joining Wagner in Soledar. Did Prigozhin make him an offer of joining the PMC [a private military company]?” After a moment of stunned silence, Bout said with notable irritation, “No, there were no offers to join the PMC. There again, you have to understand where you can be most useful, and which of your skills and knowledge would be handy.”

Bout had promised he would see the field of battle in a previous interview, saying, “Most of our population rose up and is supporting this operation… Russia woke up! This capability was always within the Russian people, but now it’s being awakened since it’s needed. Our nation woke up after some kind of hibernation after thirty years of being in limbo, a new Russia is starting to take place.”

After the prisoner exchange that freed both Bout and Griner, Bout said he wished Griner “good luck.”

[The Daily Beast]