In the occupied Crimea, Russian propaganda used Russian Maria Butina, who had been released from an American prison. It turns out that the Russian authorities appreciate such identified agents, as Butina was made a member of the Public Chamber of Russia after her release. She was recently helped to publish the book “Prison Diary”, with her own version of events. However, on December 13, 2018, Butina herself pleaded guilty to one of the charges, which concerned the violation of the laws on foreign agents in the United States.

Butina also told to the U.S. officials that she was acting under the leadership of a Russian official. In the spring of 2018, Butina, in the presence of a lawyer, “voluntarily testified in camera for eight hours to representatives of both parties in a special committee of intelligence of the U.S. Senate, and provided them with thousands of documents” [1]. Thus, Ms. Butina may well be considered a Russian in the service of the Russian Federation, who actively cooperated with the US authorities, to wit – a collaborator.

On April 26, 2019, Butina was sentenced to 18 months in prison in the United States. Taking into account the time previously spent in custody and “exemplary behavior”, Butina was released on October 25, 2019, and the next day she returned to Russia. On February 10, 2021 a meeting in Simferopol was organized, for the “honorary prisoner” with the so-called “speaker of the State Council” Volodymyr Konstantinov and with other Ukrainian collaborators under the brand of “deputies of the Crimean parliament”. Konstantinov said at the meeting that Butina had shown a “Russian character” in a U.S. prison. Obviously, this “character” means the active cooperation of the identified agent of the Russian Federation with the authorized bodies of the country of exposure in order to mitigate the deserved punishment.

In turn, Butina said at the meeting that during interrogations, FBI agents allegedly were interested in her opinion about the seizure of Crimea by Russia in 2014. Butina allegedly told American officers that “Crimea is Russian”, and the reaction of American officials has not yet been reported. In particular, for some reason, torture, violence and other “tricks of American imperialism” are not claimed now. Apparently, after the recent failure in the Russian box office for the film “Zoya” about the events of World War II, Russian propaganda does not risk developing another image of the “heroine in enemy prisons”, so as not to be ridiculed again.

It is noteworthy that Butina, already a member of the Public Chamber of Russia, is concerned that “Crimean residents cannot, for example, visit relatives abroad”, due to the insignificance of documents issued to Russia on the peninsula. Of course, this opinion of the Russian agent, exposed by the U.S. authorities – who should be allowed to enter the territory by the same US, and who – no, will be “especially valuable” for the authorities of all democracies of the world.

1. https://ru.wikipedia.org/wiki/Бутина,_Мария_Валерьевна

2. https://sevastopol.su/news/rossii-nuzhno-aktivnee-otstaivat-prava-krymchan-v-mire-butina