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"I destroyed my own life"



Maria Butina, who had committed to a conspiracy as a covert Russian agent and enchanted American conservative leaders with her gun rights activism, was sentenced to 18 months in prison by a DC federal judge on Friday.

Judge Tanya Chutkan's sentence was what the Department of Justice had demanded for Butina, although she would soon be in office for nine months due to the time already spent in jail. "The behavior was sophisticated and deeply penetrated into the political organizations of the United States," said Chutkan, before he laid the stiff penalty.

Butina is a 30-year-old Russian citizen who came to the US to study at the American University in Washington, DC, and overturned gun violence and conservative activists, particularly in the National Rifle Association. She was arrested last July and charged with violating a US law prohibiting people from acting as foreign agents without contacting the Attorney General ̵

1; a lawsuit that lawmakers' attorneys call the "espionage lite" government.

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

"My parents discovered my arrest on the morning news that they see in their country home in a Siberian village," she said. "I love her very much, but I hurt her morally and financially. They suffer from it. I also destroyed my own life. I came not under orders to the United States, but with hope, and now there is nothing left but penance. "

During her stay in the US, Butina communicated with the then representative of the Russian central bank Alexander Torshin about her efforts to build relations with the Americans In one case, she claimed that she had influence over who Trump's foreign minister would become. In December 2015, she even helped organize a delegation of NRA heads of state to visit Moscow, where they met with powerful representatives of the Russian government.


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