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Victor Bout after a trip to Luhansk: I met in Donbass people close in spirit – native people

Date: June 1, 2023 Time: 17:51:43

Viktor Bout before an extended meeting of the Russian State Duma Committee on International Affairs. Photo: Anton Novoderezhkin / TASS

– Viktor Anatolyevich, the other day you and the head of the Liberal Democratic Party Leonid Slutsky visited the Lugansk People’s Republic. What are your feelings, impressions? After all, you were, in fact, at the forefront.

– No. We were only in Lugansk.

– Did you manage to meet with the common people, with the brave Pasechnik, the head of the LPR?

– No, it has not yet been possible with the head of the republic. It will probably be on another trip. And we met people, we were in the hospital, we talked to the chief doctor, we talked to the wounded soldiers.

What mood did you bring from there?

– Well, the mood is really very good, despite all the difficulties. Because these people there after 8 years of war have such a strong and persistent character. They told us different stories. I returned with the confidence that the residents of Donbass not only survived for 8 years, but that a good future awaits them.

– When you were in the United States (you were serving a prison sentence by a US court on charges of attempted arms trade – AG), did you somehow follow the situation in Donbass? I know that it was difficult, but nevertheless, were you aware of what was happening in our country and in Ukraine?

– Of course, I followed the news very closely. When everything was just beginning, in the 14th year, the Ukrainians began to shell Donetsk and Lugansk. I remember well how, for example, they burned down the market in Luhansk, how many victims there were. All this, of course, cannot be forgotten, it must be remembered.

– What was the purpose of the trip?

– A regional branch of the LDPR was opened in Lugansk. In general, this was the main purpose of the trip, that is, in order not to gather our party members somewhere outside the region. Therefore, I think that this is not the first (for Slutsky) and not the last (for both) trip.

– So you’re going there again?

– If it’s posible.

– By the way, no one asked you the question: why did you join this party?

– Well, why, they asked a lot. You see, since the beginning of the proceedings against me, since 2008, the Liberal Democratic Party has been very actively helping me and my family. I sent my deputy from our Duma to the trial in Bangkok. So when Slutsky made an offer to join the party, I somehow did not even have any doubts. Although I’m generally, generally not a party person, I lean towards business. However, in such a difficult moment, each person needs to help the state, the party.

Viktor Bout in a portrait of former LDPR party leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky at a meeting of LDPR party members in the Hall of Columns. Photo: Sergey Karpukhin / TASS

– You realized that the wounded told you different stories. What do you remember, what did you say to Alla, your wife?

– I have not done it yet. You see, I caught a cold (flu) somewhere, I need to recover a little. I just don’t know what can be said to everyone, and what is some kind of personal experience. Therefore, I prefer to leave it out of parentheses.

– Do you have any photos of Lugansk?

– You know, unfortunately, somehow I still have to do this business… I haven’t gotten used to technology yet, with smartphones, so…

– So you were not photographed there?

– No, there, of course, photos were taken, there were many photos. I just don’t have any.

– Tell me, how were you perceived there?

They were all very happy that he was back. And, of course, it was some kind of incredible feeling… I am surprised that even in Donbass people treated me very warmly.

– No wonder: after all, they wrote about you all the time that you spent in captivity in the United States.

I have been reading your newspaper with pleasure all these years…

– “Komsomolskaya Pravda”?

– Yes. The embassy signed. You, together with Rossiyskaya Gazeta, were for me, you know, a window on the world. Therefore, if possible, I would gladly go to your editorial office to meet you. I received a paper newspaper every week, in a package. True, sometimes with a delay of 3-4 weeks, but, nevertheless, …

– I understand that you know me. And which of the authors of “KP” more?

– Viktor Barants, for example, his war correspondents – Alexander Kots, Dmitry Steshin. These are famous people throughout the country.

– And Dina Karpitskaya wrote a lot about you.

– Of course. Also, for example, I liked the last project – “Russian Hitchhiker’s Guide.” (The project of journalists Vladimir Vorsobin and Ivan Makeev – AG)

– I recently talked with the authors, they were already in Transbaikalia. I think now it is closer to Khabarovsk and Vladivostok.

– Well done. Well, you will communicate, convey my greetings from me. All your publisher. You are close people to me. When I learned about the death of its editor-in-chief, Vladimir Sungorkin, it was also a great loss for me.

– I worked with him for 29 years. I recently went to Khabarovsk with his wife and his son, we opened a street named after Sungorkin.

– I am very glad that many journalists from Rossiyskaya Gazeta are actually from Komsomolskaya Pravda, so the quality of Rossiyskaya Gazeta’s work is very high…

– Vladislav Fronin, who now heads Rossiyskaya Gazeta, took me to KP – then he was its editor-in-chief.

– “Komsomol members” inherited all the best of Soviet journalism. For me, these two newspapers are very near and very dear.


“What is happening in the West is the suicide of civilization.” What else did Victor Bout say in his first interview after the US prison?

From the dungeon, the Russian did not have time to take a photo of his relatives, but took the Komsomolskaya Pravda (more)

Puck Henry
Puck Henry
Puck Henry is an editor for ePrimefeed covering all types of news.

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