“Foreign agent” and “agent of influence” of Russia 30-year-old Maria Butina, convicted in the US for 1.5 years on charges of conspiracy to operate “as a foreign agent” and engaged, according to investigators, the secret activities in favor of Russia, took off from Miami international airport (MIA) to Moscow at 18:10 local time (01:10 GMT).
On the morning of Friday, October 25, Bucino was released from prison in the United States and handed over for deportation to Russia, employees of U.S. immigration and customs service, which put her on a plane to Moscow. Airbus 330 of airline “Aeroflot” flight SU-111 are scheduled to arrive at Sheremetyevo airport at 12:15 Moscow time on Saturday, October 26.
Being already in the plane, i.e. on the territory of the Russian state, Maria Butina recorded a video message in which she said she is very excited to return home. “Almost home, just a little bit left. I’m very much wait, when will finally be on home soil,” said she.
Father convicted in the United States, the Russians Valery Boutin came from Barnaul in the Russian capital, to meet daughter after returning to Russia.
According to the investigation, Butina operated in the United States as agent of a Russian official, as a former assistant of Senator of the Russian Federation Alexander Torshina. Having driven in the US on a student visa, as he studied at the University of Washington until the spring of 2018, Butina allegedly used a personal connection with the American having an impact on American policy.
July 15, 2018, the Russian woman was arrested. The U.S. justice Department she was charged in the conspiracy with the purpose of acting in favor of a foreign state on the territory of the United States, and conspiring to operate “as a foreign agent without notifying the US attorney General”. At the end of 2018 Butina pleaded guilty to violation of US law about registered as a foreign agent and made a deal with prosecutors.
From Barnaul with love: lobotka, adventurer and “agent of influence” Butina
Mary Butina was born 10 November 1988 in Barnaul. He graduated from the gymnasium N22 with profound studying of English language, then Altai state University with honors in political science.
Butina grew up in a family of an entrepreneur, and she owned a family furniture stores, but began to make a political career. In 2008 she was appointed adviser to the member of the Public chamber of the Altai territory, and then for two years was a member of the OP and managed the press service of the chamber.
Since 2010 Butina was in the party “United Russia”. In his article, “Operation “Introduction” she wrote that she joined the party to influence decision-making in the Russian political institutions and “do something to change for the better.”
At the age of 22 years Butina has sold six of its furniture stores, participated in the primaries of the “Young guard “United Russia” and in 2011 he moved to Moscow.
In the capital Butina founded public organization “Right to arms”, which stands for the free possession of weapons on the territory of the Russian Federation, and also created advertising Agency “Antares”, these two agencies worked with the same people, reported “Radio Liberty”.
This gun theme allow the girl to get into the National rifle Association of America, and then “implemented” in the American establishment. Even then, Mary could appear influential patrons, the newspaper notes. Mary herself “he said that it has all the inputs and outputs to the Parliament, the government, everywhere she was given the green light,” said her friends.
Being the assistant to the Senator of the Russian Federation Alexander Torshin, Butina became a life member of the National rifle Association (NSA) of the United States (it is and the Senator himself) and started using it even in 2013, taking the delegation. Starting in 2014, they Torshin participated in several activities of the NSA, including its congresses.
Recall, the Senator Torshin also has a mixed reputation. He, in particular, appears in the Spanish investigation concerning the activities of the “Russian mafia”. In 2010-2013, the future Chairman of the Central Bank Torshin gave instructions to the members of the “Taganskaya” OPG ” to launder money through banks and buying property in Spain.” Torshin was even called “the Treasurer of the mafia.” Moreover, Torshin performed sensitive tasks, including work of the Russian special services, where he held the position of Vice-speaker of the Federation Council. Then he headed the Commission on investigation of the Beslan terrorist attack. The findings of the Commission and the affected independent experts considered biased and prejudiced.
The former assistant to Senator Alexander Torshin came to the US on a student visa. She got in the spring of 2018 master’s degree in one of the most prestigious institutions of higher education Washington – American University. There she studied international relations.
However, according to the U.S. attorney’s office, Butina was in graduate school at American University in Washington to cover up, and in fact “continued to work for the Russian government.”
Russian woman in USA interested persons who are able to influence the political life of America. Along with learning Butina established contacts with the National rifle Association (NRA), the United States and wound up Dating among American politicians-Republicans, Pro-free carrying of weapons. In particular, she was in contact with the future US presidential Advisor John Bolton in 2013, when he worked in the NRA. In correspondence with some members of the Association, she stated that supposedly has connections with the higher leadership of the Russian Federation wants to organize a TV show about the love of Russian President Vladimir Putin to nature.
Butina also was in correspondence with Geoffrey Gordon – member election campaign Donald trump, responsible for the national security of the United States from March to August 2016.
Before the US presidential elections of 2016, interference in which accused Russia, Butina communicated with the Governor of Wisconsin Scott Walker.
During the investigation, American investigators came to the conclusion that Butynol had connections with the Russian government and the FSB, as well as with an unnamed oligarchs. In her e-mail correspondence refers to “the known Russian businessman with close ties with the presidential administration of Russia”. Forbes estimated his fortune at $ 1.2 billion. He often travels to the United States. Butina was referred to in correspondence as “sponsor”. Note that Forbes mentioned a few billionaires with this condition. Among them, in particular, there are Boris Rotenberg (one of the brothers, who was a friend of his youth, with Vladimir Putin). On the eve of his first visit to the US in late 2014 Butina exchanged a series of SMS with another wealthy Russian businessman, discussing the cost of your trip and planned a meeting with designated “sponsor”.
With the help of American political strategist Paul Erickson, with whom Butina began to cohabit, it started in the USA a wide circle of acquaintances. Erickson also paid her tuition and helped to pass the session, “editing the essays and answering exam questions”.
According to the U.S. attorney’s office, an intimate relationship with Erickson Butina is considered only as a part of the job. So, in the papers, the FBI, the Russian woman complained that she has to live with Erickson, and “scornfully spoke further with him cohabitation”.
Erickson was not the only partner of Butynol in the United States. She was in close relations with the founder of the American online retailer Overstock’s Patrick Byrne.
As argued by the prosecution, Butina practiced “sex in exchange for the position of” in order to infiltrate us political circles. The American press such details caused associations with the spy movie “Red Sparrow”, where there is something like that. Butina she said that her words were misinterpreted, and intimate relationships was just a joke.
The Federal Bureau of investigation (FBI) led constant surveillance of Butynol from August 2016. As argued by the prosecution, she “was in contact with officials, which are considered as operational staff of the Russian intelligence”. As evidence of the Prosecutor for the district of Columbia have submitted a photograph of Butynol in the company of an employee of Russian intelligence.
In the spring of 2018 Butina gave sworn testimony to special Committee on intelligence of the upper house of Congress in the investigation of foreign interference in the elections in 2016. A girl in over eight hours, answered questions from U.S. lawmakers and gave them their interested documents. During the hearing Butina told that the financial support it received from the CEO and co-owner of group “N-TRANS” Konstantin Nikolaev. The representative of the businessman acknowledged that he was in contact with Butynol in the period from 2012 to 2014, when she started work “Law on weapons”, but has not confirmed the fact of providing financial assistance.
Butina was arrested July 15, 2018, when going from Washington to South Dakota to his roommate Erickson.
13 December 2018 Butina in the court of the capital of the district of Columbia pleaded guilty to one of the charges related to violations of the laws on registered as a foreign agent in the United States. It has signed agreements with prosecutors. Butina has admitted that was a secret “agent of the Kremlin” and tried to ingratiate himself to the American politicians.
April 26, Butina was sentenced to 1.5 years in prison for working as an agent of a foreign state. According to investigators, Butina at least in 2015 involved in the US secret activities in favor of Russia, acted as an agent of the Russian officials and used their personal relationship with the American that have an impact on US policy.
Taking into account already served in custody before that time and good behavior, a Russian citizen was released on October 25.
After the deportation of a Russian woman will not be able for 10 years to apply for permission to enter the United States.