Viktor B About Wagner’s new boss? Putin chooses “one of the worst criminals in the world”

The new head of the Wagner group was handed over by the United States to Vladimir Putin in exchange for American basketball player Brittney Griner, sentenced to 9 years in prison in Moscow for drug possession. It’s just one of the surprising aspects of the succession in the militia under the Kremlin’s control after the death of Yevgeny Prigozhin, whose plane – hit or sabotaged – crashed in Russia. In Moscow, in circles close to intelligence, rumors are circulating more and more insistently that the name chosen by Putin is that of Viktor Bout, who would have the mandate to lead Wagner. The rumors are reported by Igor Sushko, an analyst who since the beginning of the invasion of Ukraine has published – thanks to credible contacts with the FSB security services – a series of “letters” that highlighted the divisions and lack of preparation of Russian leaders. If confirmed, the choice of Viktor Bout, for all the “merchant of death”, would indicate an important turning point in Wagner’s management.

Who’s about? As mentioned, he was the subject of a swap managed directly by the Kremlin following the false arrest of American basketball player Brittney Griner. The move – which ended the arms dealer’s 12-year detention – highlighted Bout’s importance to the Kremlin, reports Adnkronos. In recent weeks, however, the man has been touted as a possible candidate for the ultranationalist Liberal Democrat party in elections for the Legislative Assembly of the Ulyanovsk region, in central Russia. Arrested in 2008, Bout – a background in the KGB and the Russian army – was already known worldwide for his “role in fomenting civil wars around the world with the supply of sophisticated weapons”. Tajik by birth, Bout – whose parable inspired the film “Lord of War” with Nicholas Cage – was arrested by the Drug Enforcement Administration at the end of a three-continent operation. Extradited to the United States in 2010, he was sentenced to 25 years in prison.

In a portrait by the Dire agency, Bout is described as “one of the worst criminals in the world”. “It is assumed that he was born on January 13, 1967, but it is not said. In Dushanbe, the current capital of Tajikistan. There are more certainties about that. But it seems that he can also be called Victor Anatoliyevich Bout, Viktor Bulakin, Viktor Butt, Victor But and Vadim Markovich Aminov. He has many passports,” the agency wrote after the prisoner exchange that freed him. And now, perhaps, leading an army.

Source: IL Tempo