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Boris Viktor

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  1. Boris Viktor

    here is some confusion regarding Bout's military career although it is clear he served in the Soviet Armed Forces. Having graduated from the Military Institute of Foreign Languages, he is said to be fluent in six languages. These include Persian and Esperanto, which he had mastered by age 12, and in the early 1980s he was member of the Esperanto club in Dushanbe. Bout's personal website states that he served in the Soviet Army as a translator, holding the rank of lieutenant.[6] He is thought to have been discharged in 1991 with the rank of lieutenant colonel. But other sources state he rose to the rank of major in the GRU (an arm of the Soviet military that combines intelligence services and special forces), that he was an officer in the Soviet Air Forces, that he graduated from a Soviet military intelligence training program, or that he was a KGB operative. Bout was involved with a Soviet military operation in Angola in the late 1980s. He has said he was in Angola for only a few weeks. Bout's web site states that he began an air freight business in Africa around the time of the collapse of the USSR.