‘Russian spy’ Maria Butina is living the American dream, in Russia

“Russian spy” Maria Butina, who joined the ranks of the Russian parliament last month, has enjoyed a non-traditional rise. In 2018, she committed the crime of conspiracy to act as a foreign agent after the FBI presented a case surrounding her involvement in using the NRA to create illicit channels between Russia and the Trump presidential campaign.

In spite of FBI Oath does not prove official employment of Butina by the Russian Federation, this document paints a clear picture of an ambitious young woman driven by power. Evidence shows how Butina seeks to influence foreign policy due to her own idealism and desire to insinuate herself into elite networks. Butina was not hired by the Kremlin to carry out an influence campaign; she volunteered.

In America, we honor the great legends of “rich” and “strong women” who overcome all odds to follow their dreams. A simple look at Butina’s history reveals this familiar story. Her past can be traced back to her humble beginnings in Siberia. Butina was born in Barnaul, a small city 2,260 miles from Moscow.

Butina was introduced to guns as a child, when she and her father went on hunting trips in the nearby Altai mountains. Shooting bears and wolves gave Butina her first taste of the power of life and death in her hands. In 2011, Butina founded the gun rights organization, “The Right to Bear a Weapon” and soon partnered with the NRA. She was later indicted for manipulating her relationships with the NRA to influence the 2016 US presidential election.

Before her arrest in 2019, Butina had successfully integrated herself intimately into elite political networks within both the Kremlin and the Republican party. She was mentored by Aleksandr Torshin, a former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Russia, and became involved in a romantic relationship with Paul Erickson, a former US presidential campaign adviser.

Network and influence tend to operate from a point of common interest. In Butina’s case, this area of ​​concern is gun rights.

The dubious nature of Butina’s charge of “influence” sets a dangerous precedent for any foreign nationals networking in the United States. Matters become more complicated in today’s society, where “making an impact” on social media is seen as a viable profession. The influencer marketing industry is expected to be worth up to 15 billion dollars in the United States by 2022.

Butina announced that she was convicted”for simply being RussianShowing her as the scapegoat in the 2016 Russian election interference investigations, Realizing that her future in American politics was over, Butina engaged in media opportunities in time. detained to share pro-Russian rhetoric and speak negatively about American national affairs. In her Interview with Lesley Stahl because the 60 minutes, Butina stressed that the United States has “racism against Russians” and that her sole motive is to connect with Americans to improve her home country. It’s not the American media audience she’s trying to influence here, but Vladimir Putin, who is now tracking Butina and determining her fate when she returns to Russia.

Since returning home in 2019, Butina has appeared dozens of times in the media, performing as a presenter on Russia’s state television network, RT, and publishing a memoir. , Diary in prison, about her being detained in America. Butina identifies herself as a prison activist, and used her new platform to interview Putin’s main opposition figure, Alexei Navalny, after Navalny complained he had been abused in the terrain colony. its own. In the RT . reportButina, the self-proclaimed human rights activist, can be seen looking around the prison blocks and then barking at Navalny, “Have you lost your mind? This is better than a hotel in the Altai region. I grew up there.” Navalny is never on camera, only his voice can be heard.

Butina, 33, has successfully leveraged media channels to spread Kremlin political narratives about American hypocrisy when it comes to feminism and human rights. She often cites her personal examples of being jailed for acting on her ambitions, and then being held in solitary confinement for two months as part of her punishment.

Butina’s critics argue that her new position in the Russian parliament is a gift from the Kremlin for her efforts. Butina responded to these claims in an interview with New York Times, and talk “It is not a bonus. I am not a spy. I don’t work for the government. I’m just a commoner.”

Butina’s Instagram shows her rapid transformation from a gun-loving Siberian into an elite influencer as she transitions between new roles as a TV presenter, published author, and activist. treat. Not far from her media-savvy American counterparts like the AOC, Butina showed herself as she moved between photo shoots, her signature long red hair clad in stylish monochrome outfits. way.

In her new Duma position, Butina represented the Kirov region east of Moscow. Butina doesn’t need to navigate back channels anymore. She is now 1,000 miles closer to Moscow than when she was growing up. Her own rich story is almost complete.

https://www.thedailybeast.com/russian-spy-maria-butina-is-living-the-american-dream-in-russia?source=articles&via=rss ‘Russian spy’ Maria Butina is living the American dream, in Russia


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