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Viktor Bout Jailed in US Says Fellow Inmates Beg for Russian Language Lessons

© SputnikViktor Bout
Viktor Bout - Sputnik International
Russian businessmen Viktor Bout, accused of illegal arms trade and currently serving 25 years in a US penitentiary, said Wednesday that other inmates asked him for lessons of Russian language.

BANGKOK (Sputnik) — Bout, who was convicted in 2011, said that Russia is very popular among inmates.

"They [inmates] want me to teach them Russian… Everything Russian and Russia itself are very popular here. Everyone says 'Putin is great! A man like that definitely would have won a presidential election here!'" Bout told RIA Novosti in a phone conversation.

Viktor Bout - Sputnik International
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Bout added that many of his potential students of Russian said that the United States was "no longer the country we were born in" and that they wanted to leave the country.

"This reminds me of the conversations at home at the end of the 1980s, beginning of the 1990s," Bout said.

A US appeals court has recently denied Bout a retrial based on new evidence.

Bout was arrested in Bangkok in 2008 in a joint operation between Thai and US authorities, who accused him of allegedly agreeing to supply Colombian militants with weapons. Russia’s Foreign Ministry asserts that the case has been politicized and has called on Washington to release the Russian citizen.


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