Maria Butina was only interested in “building peace” between the United States and Russia when she sent notes about her work to Russian politician Alexander Torshin or while she sought meetings with U.S. officials and conservative leaders.
At least that’s what she claimed during an interview with NPR, which she did over the phone from the detention center outside Washington, D.C. where she’s serving her 18-month sentence for conspiring to serve as a foreign agent. She told NPR she didn’t know she was supposed to register.
“I love both countries, and I was building peace. This is the worst thing of my situation now and they’ve mentioned this in my last word in the court was that I am embarrassed that instead of creating peace, by not registering I created discord — that is what I’m going to carry for the whole my life,” she said. “‘I should have registered, which I didn’t. And this is why the whole this thing got started. But that wouldn’t be appropriate to say that this was all one grand giant plan. And I’m a part of some grand giant plan. There is no proof of that.”
Listen to the full interview here.
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