Yenakiyevo/Gorlovka, Feb 1 — DAN. Russian businessman Viktor Bout who was released from a U.S. prison last year has taken part in launching the first offices of the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia (LDPR) in the Donetsk People’s Republic.

On Wednesday, LPRR grassroots emerged in Yenakiyevo and Gorlovka. “Follow our Party’s tradition to always ask awkward questions, to always be involved in solving problems facing the local authorities and the country in general, ” Bout said.

“Most importantly, be true to yourself. You’ve defended your right during all these years and returned to Russia.  I’ve returned to Russia, too, so I actually understand your emotional state very well, because it’s very close to what I’m feeling, it’s in my heart, ” he said.

 LPRR regional coordinator Andrey Kramar said that the Party had plans to launch offices in Starobeshevo, Snezhnoye, Donetsk, Makeyevka and Mariupol.

Bout was detained in Bangkok in 2008 on the strength of arrest warrant issued by a U.S. court. He was accused of illegal supplies of weapons to the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia guerilla group which Washington blacklisted as terrorist. Two years later, Bout was extradited to the USA. In April 2012, he was sentenced to 25 years in prison and a 15-million-dollar fine.

He returned to Russia on December 8, 2022, after the USA and Russia reached the accord to swap him for U.S. basketballer Brittney Griner.*jk