In the United States, the Russian Maria Boetina has been sentenced to 18 months in prison for conspiracy. She is the first Russian citizen convicted in the US for attempting to interfere with domestic affairs.
The 30-year-old woman was arrested in the United States in July last year. The period that she was in custody will be deducted from her prison sentence. She has now been sentenced to 18 months in prison.
Butina has announced that she has attempted to infiltrate circles of conservative Republicans in the US. “I deeply regret my crime. Ironically, it has undermined my attempt to improve the relationship between our two countries,” Butina said before her conviction.
Butina is not regarded as a spy but admitted that as an agent of a foreign power, she had sought rapprochement with the Republican party, with the NRA arms lobby and with the National Prayer Breakfast religious conservative association to facilitate US relations with Russia to influence.
Maria Boetina was not convicted of attempting to influence the American elections that brought President Donald Trump to power in 2016, but her arrest was partly the result of the investigation into that Russian interference.