'Merchant Of Death' Bout Arrives In Russia After Swap
Umer Jamshaid Published December 09, 2022 | 12:30 AM
Aboard the plane, a nurse took his temperature and checked his blood pressure.
He was set to arrive in Moscow shortly.
He is expected to receive a hero's welcome at home.
The 55-year-old Bout, who was accused of arming rebels in some of the world's bloodiest conflicts, was arrested in a US sting operation in Thailand in 2008, extradited to the United States and sentenced in 2012 to 25 years in prison.
Earlier on Thursday, Bout's mother thanked President Vladimir Putin for her son's release.
The release happened "thanks to our president", Raisa said in televised remarks.
"I am so grateful. A low maternal bow to the Russian foreign ministry with Lavrov Sergei Viktorovich at its helm," she said.
She said she was also grateful to "kind people" in the United States, thanking them for having "faith".
"You cannot say that all of them are evil," she added.
His wife Alla said Bout's release was a "true New Year's gift".
Russia's Human Rights Commissioner Tatiana Moskalkova praised the arms dealer as a "wonderful man who has become a victim of American insinuations".
"Incredible!" she said on messaging app Telegram. "They are thanking the country."