The GuardianThe Guardian

Viktor Bout: The ‘Lord of War’ at centre of Brittney Griner prisoner swap

By Pjotr Sauer

08 Dec 2022 · 4 min read

Editor's Note

The notorious arms dealer involved in yesterday’s dramatic prisoner exchange inspired a 2005 film called “Lord of War.” The Guardian explains why the Kremlin was so interested in having him back home.

Merchant of Death, Lord of War, the Bill Gates of Arms Dealing: Viktor Bout’s nicknames speak for themselves.

The notorious arms dealer has been returned to “the motherland” – as Russia put it on Thursday – after a dramatic high-level prisoner exchange with WNBA star Brittney Griner.

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