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Víktor But (in Russian: Виктор Бут, born on January 13, 1967 in Dushanbe, RSS of Tajikistan, part of the then Soviet Union) is an arms dealer, considered by many to be the largest in the world and known as the “merchant of death.”
In 2002 he affirmed or hinted at a radio interview in Moscow to have been born in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan. A South African intelligence report issued in 2001 claims that he is Ukrainian. He uses more than one passport and among his aliases stand out names such as Vadim S. Aminov, Víktor Anatolievich But, Víktor S. Bulakin. It is because of the uncertainty regarding his true identity and origin that it has been difficult to follow him and his figure has a certain mythical character. It is known in any case that his brother Sergei works for him, that he is married and has at least one daughter.
On March 8, 2008, Víktor But was arrested in Thailand in a joint operation carried out by several countries with the assistance of Interpol. But rejected accusations of arms trafficking.
On April 5, 2012, a federal judge in New York imposed a 25-year prison sentence for selling arms to the terrorist group of the FARC.
According to him, he was an officer of the Soviet Air Force and graduated from the Military Institute of Foreign Languages in Moscow, a famous training place for the GRU Main Intelligence Directorate, a vast network of military spies in charge of the arms flow towards African revolutionary movements and communist states of the third world. He is said to be fluent in English, French, Portuguese, Uzbek and several African languages, in addition to the Esperanto auxiliary language, and official US sources say that he worked as a translator for peace forces in Angola in the late 1980s. British and South African say that he was sent by the KGB to Rome from 1985 to 1989, while he denies any kind of connection with espionage. His life inspired the movie Lord of War, and his character was played by Nicolas Cage.
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