Russian ‘Red Sparrow’ Butina Admits US Spying Charge
Miss Maria Butina, the red-haired Russian girl who loved heavy guns and US conservative politicians, has agreed to a plea deal with US prosecutors. The 30-year-old admits having worked (just a bit) as a spy for Russia.
Because she is cooperating, she is likely to receive a short prison sentence or will soon be released as the five months she has spent in a US jail are probably enough. She will upon release be immediately expelled from the US.
Maria Butina and the Russian Gov’t claimed she had no ties to anyone legit in Russia. That’s a lie. The photos we found at @TheDemCoalition of her at a Russian private military training facility prove it: https://t.co/RxwUnXpHfm
It would seem that Miss Butina was mainly used by powerful men who manipulated her in such a way that she was willing to infiltrate in the National Rifle Association (NRA). She claimed to have entered the organization because she herself was an avid supporter of heavy weaponry back home in Russia.
She also liked to pose on social media with impressive weaponry. Through her contacts in the NRA she hoped to get to know powerful Republican politicians, including President Donald Trump.
Miss Maria Butina came to Washington in 2015 on a student visa. She worked with a high-level employee of the Russian Central Bank, Mr Alexander Torsjin.
Mr Torsjin has ties with the Kremlin, and has been on the sanctions list of the Americans since April. The two tried to set up a 'back channel' via dinners, drinks and other contacts. A kind of secret diplomatic backdoor out of sight for the security services. This would allow the Kremlin to speak freely with then-presidential candidate Trump. That did not succeed though.
However, she once sat at a dinner where Donald Trump Jr. was also present.
In the original indictment, she was portrayed as a character from the Hollywood blockbuster Red Sparrow, a thriller in which beautiful Russian women are used to gather information.
Sex was a formidable weapon for them. But that image now turns out to be completely wrong. In the indictment she is now presented as a mediocre student who let her fantasy run away with her.
There is no proof of any ties with the White House administration.
Major question, in my view: When Butina goes back to Russia, what kind of reception does she get? Folk hero like A. Chapman? Or does the Kremlin hold it against her that she cooperated? Doesn't help that Torshin is out of a job at the central bank... https://t.co/bk97MZYJM9