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Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Russian parliament displays art by Griner case figure Bout

MOSCOW — A show of prison artwork by Viktor Bout, the Russian arms trader serving 25 years in the United States and the focus of speculation about a prisoner swap that could free WNBA star Brittney Griner, opened Tuesday at the upper chamber of the Russian parliament.

The exhibition at the Federation Council underlines Russia’s strong interest in the release of Bout, whom Russian officials say is an “entrepreneur” who was unjustly arrested and sentenced to 25 years but who is characterized abroad as the ruthless “Merchant of Death.”

Russia has agitated for his release since he was arrested in Thailand in 2008 and later convicted of terrorism for allegedly trying to sell up to $20 million in weapons, including surface-to-air missiles, to shoot down U.S. helicopters.

The Associated Press and other news organizations have reported that Washington has…

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