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Suspected spy Maria Butina : Russian influence on US policy

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The Russian Maria Butina is in custody in the United States, accusation: espionage. It is said to have established a network through arms lobbying associations to enforce Russian interests. Now she wants to plead guilty.

The alleged Russian spy Maria Butina, who had built up a widespread network in the United States in conservative circles, wants to plead guilty to illegal activities. A document filed by her lawyers at a federal court in Washington reveals that the 30-year-old has signed a cooperation agreement with the prosecution.

Accordingly, she wants to admit in a plea in court to have been active as an „unregistered agent“ of Russia. She also pleads guilty to participating in a „conspiracy“ with the goal of infiltrating US political organizations and „promoting“ the interests of the Russian government.

Contacts with politicians and consultants

Butina was arrested in July. At that time she pleaded non-guilty. In the meantime, the „matter“ between defense and prosecution had been resolved, the lawyers of the young woman explained. On the possible sentence for the 30-year-old, they did not provide information.

Butina had made contacts in the US with politicians and political advisers as well as with the powerful arms lobby NRA. According to investigations by the Federal Bureau of Investigation FBI , she wanted to invade the „national decision-making apparatus of the United States“.

The young woman arrived in the US in August 2016 on a student visa. In Washington she was living with a political advisor who belongs to the Republican Party of President Donald Trump .

Butina is a protégé of Alexander Torschin, vice-president of the Russian Central Bank and close to head of state Vladimir Putin . With Torschin she was traveling a lot in the US, especially with the NRA.

Russian influence on US policy

The case of the young Russian woman has aroused much attention in the USA. The red-haired woman posed on photos in the online networks with rapid-fire guns and other shooting equipment, in some she wears a cowboy hat. In US media parallels were drawn to Anna Chapman , the 2010 flown in the US – and also red-headed – Russian spy.

The Butina case joins the ramifications of US justice for attempting Russian influence on US policy. In another – and the most politically explosive – path of the investigation is about possible illegal collusion between Trump employees and Moscow during the 2016 election campaign.