Butina Claims She Was Just ‘Building Peace’ Between Two Countries She Loves

Mariia Butina, leader of a pro-gun organization, speaks on October 8, 2013 during a press conference in Moscow. - A 29-year-old Russian woman has been arrested for conspiring to influence US politics by cultivating t... Mariia Butina, leader of a pro-gun organization, speaks on October 8, 2013 during a press conference in Moscow. - A 29-year-old Russian woman has been arrested for conspiring to influence US politics by cultivating ties with political groups including the National Rifle Association, the powerful gun rights lobby. Mariia Butina, whose name is sometimes spelled Maria, was arrested in Washington on July 15, 2018 and appeared in court on July 16, the Justice Department said. (Photo by STR / AFP) (Photo credit should read STR/AFP/Getty Images) MORE LESS
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May 10, 2019 8:51 a.m.

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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