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Russia arms dealer Bout arrives in Moscow, hugs mother, wife - TV

FILE PHOTO: Suspected Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout is escorted by members of a special police unit after a hearing at a criminal court in Bangkok

(Reuters) - Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout arrived in Moscow on Thursday after he was exchanged in a prisoner swap with the United States and hugged his mother and wife after stepping onto the tarmac, images on live television showed.

Bout, 55, was given a 25-year prison sentence by a U.S. court in 2012 on charges related to his arms-dealing career. He was swapped for U.S. basketball star Brittney Griner, who had been held by Russia since February.

"I made it. That's the main thing," Bout said, adding he had not been told ahead of time what would happen.

"In the middle of the night they simply woke me up and said 'Get your things together' and that was it," Bout said in brief remarks to a reporter from national television.

Bout came down the steps carrying a large bouquet of flowers before embracing his mother and then his wife.

(Reporting by David Ljunggren and Ronald Popeski; Editing by Mark Porter and Will Dunham)