Russian Woman Convicted by U.S. of Being Agent Returns Home

Russian national Maria Butina, who was jailed in the United States in April after admitting to working as a Russian agent, arrived in Moscow on Saturday, greeted by her father and Russian journalists who handed her flowers.

“Russians never surrender,” she said in a brief statement at the airport, flanked by her father and a foreign ministry spokesman. She thanked her supporters and added she was happy to be back.

Butina pleaded guilty in December last year to one count of conspiring to act as a foreign agent for Russia by infiltrating a gun rights group and influencing U.S. conservative activists and Republicans.

Her case further strained the U.S.-Russian relations, prompting Moscow to accuse Washington of forcing Butina, a 30-year-old graduate student, to confess to what it described as ridiculous charges.

Butina, released from a Florida prison on Friday after serving most of her 18-month sentence, did not comment on her case in her statement at the airport.

But in an interview with Russian state media apparently recorded during the flight, Butina insisted on her innocence.

“Some actions will need to be taken with regards to the outrage that happened to me,” RIA news agency quoted her as saying.

Butina had been scheduled for release from the low-security prison in Tallahassee in early November, but a change in federal law moved up her release date based on credit for good behavior, according to her attorney in the United States, Robert Driscoll.

Her 18-month sentence included nine months she spent incarcerated after her July 2018 arrest.

(Reporting by Gabrielle Tetrault-Farber; Writing by Olzhas Auyezov; Editing by Alison Williams and Frances Kerry)

Responses

  1. How is it that a starving American gets more jail time for shoplifting a gallon of milk than a Russian spy does?

  2. “You advised them to stop watching.” Phyllis

    A trapped animal looks for a way out and, if it can’t find one, then it can get really vicious, so I try to show them an escape route.

  3. James, LOL…What foreign news outlets tell you that Obama was born in Kenya and a practicing Muslim? Tell you the Mueller Report vindicated Trump? Tells you what the U.S. Constitution says in regard to impeachment? Which one keeps you updated on the latest conspiracy theory to replace the one that has been disproved, but you refuse to admit it? I love reading your post as it as if my Grandma is still here. She died in 1998 still professing that Nixon was framed and Reagan did not sell arms to Iran for hostages. We rolled our eyes, but we loved her and accepted her unconditional support for all Republicans. Thanks for keeping my memories of my grandma alive. Hey, she refused to believe the main stream media if it did not fit with her unfounded beliefs—But she would frequently recite an article in the Enquirer about Michael J Fox she read while at the beauty shop. She was very entertaining.

  4. Is Butina returning to Russia to start a chapter of the National Rifle Association? Wasn’t that her initial explanation of her attraction to Republican politicians?

  5. Re: news sources “There are a few which are credible (FOX for one being #1)” Confused James

    Roger Ailes created FOX to purposefully confuse people like you. They feed you stuff that plays on your fears, what disgusts you, & adds to your confirmation bias.

    On top of that, FOX is dangerous. They led to the wrong person being elected in 2000. They feed this nation’s racism, bigotry, Christian Nationalism and, now fascism. They are so toxic that they are even struggling to keep very conservative newscasters, but they do keep the rabid racists, such as Tucker Carlson and Laura Ingram, that warm the hearts of their low-information viewers and keeps the money rolling in.

    You would lift that heavy burden off of your hunched shoulders if you stopped watching them.

    1. I was confused by your down vote as the facts of FOX you cited are WHY they watch FOX. —Then I read the last sentence and it made sense.—You advised them to stop watching. R’s need FOX to keep feeding them in order to make it to the 7 year commitment to support Trump no matter what he does.

  6. .Phyllis Softa<

    No, I do not rely on all sources of news for my information; although I have found a couple foreign sources which report the facts. There are a few which are credible (FOX for one being #1); but most – like Reuters, CNN, MSNBC, CBS, et al – should never be counted on for anything even resembling the truth since they are the arm of the hate-America Left to spread their pro-Socialist (formerly called "DemocRAT"), anti-Trump propaganda, racism and hatred.

    The article about the release of Butina here is – and normal by IJR standards – incomplete. The full story can be read or seen on any number of REAL news sites in print, on the internet or on television.

    1. The MSM is not to be trusted as objective journalism. q.v the NYT, WaPo, the Clown Noise Network, BSNBC, the goiters at Reuters, etc. One might as well read USA Today.

      I also go outside the mainstream, including foreign (there’s that magic word!) like The Guardian, al Jihad, err, Jazeera, etc. The truth is out there. (thanks Chris Carter)

  7. If this spy was so “innocent”, why was she met at the prison gate by ICE and escorted to the airport to be deported? Who is the liar here?

    1. It gives me hope that you do not consider a Russian state-operated news agency as a credible news source. Restoring sanity one step at a time.

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