Thursday , April 22 2021

"I destroyed my life"

Maria Butina, who admitted to advocating acting as a concealed Russian agent and upsetting US conservative leaders with her activist activism, was sentenced to 18 months by federal judge D.C.

Judge Tanja Chutkan's sentence was what the justice department asked for Butina, although she would serve more than nine months thanks to the time already in jail. "The behavior was sophisticated and profoundly penetrated into US political organizations," said Chutkan before he handed the severe punishment.

Butina is a 30-year-old Russian citizen who came to the United States to study at the American University in Washington, DC. and had been courting activists for the rights of arms and conservatives, especially in the National Gun Association. She was arrested in July last year and was charged with breaking US law banning people from acting as foreign agents without telling the general attorney – the prosecution of the lawsuit, which is characterized as "espionage-light". Butina pleaded guilty in December and agreed to cooperate with the government.

Just before she was convicted, Butina made an emotional plea for leniency. Her voice shook as she spoke.

"My parents discovered my arrest of the morning news they see in their rural house in a Siberian village," she said. "I love them dearly, but I hurt them morally and financially, they suffer all of this, I ruined my own life, I came to the United States not under any orders, but with hope, and now nothing remains, but repentance."

While living in the United States, Butina communicates with then-Russian central bank, Alexander Torshin, for her efforts to build relations with the Americans. In one case, she argued that she had an influence on who would become Secretary of Trump. In December 2015, she even helped organize a delegation of NRA leaders to visit Moscow, where they met powerful figures in the Russian government.

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