AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko

According to CNN, Russian government officials requested that former FSB colonel Vadim Krasikov be added to the US’ proposed swap of Viktor Bout, who was the world’s most notorious arms dealer before a U.S. court convicted him in 2011 and sent him to a prison in Illinois, for WNBA player Brittney Griner and former U.S. Marine Paul Whelan.

“The Russians communicated the request to the US earlier this month through an informal backchannel used by the spy agency, known as the FSB, that they wanted Vadim Krasikov released in addition to Viktor Bout, the sources said. Krasikov was convicted in December of murdering a former Chechen fighter, Zelimkhan “Tornike” Khangoshvili, in Berlin’s Kleiner Tiergarten in 2019 and sentenced to life in prison.”