From the films Golden Eye and Red Sparrow, to Tom Clancy novels and same tirades my great-uncle has been repeating since 1984, we Americans have always seemed to romanticize the intrigue, deception, and history of the Cold War. Though the USSR fell nearly three decades ago, it seems like the fear and distrust of the now Russian Federation are still alive in the minds of many. But with good reason. Because Oklahomans have apparently had an alleged Russian spy in their backyard for a while now.
Maria Butina, a Russian gun rights activist convicted of working for the Kremlin without registering as a foreign agent, is speaking out from jail, asking the public to help with her legal expenses.
Alexander Ionov, the founder of a nonprofit called the Anti-Globalization Movement, released a video of Butina’s public appeal on Instagram on Saturday. Butina can be seen sitting in front of bunk beds and talking through a telephone handset.
Delivering her message in Russian, Butina begged for money to help pay her lawyer who is filing an appeal, according to the Associated Press.
During a Sunday appearance on state television, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said “We aren’t financing a lawyer, but we are doing everything so that she will be afforded all rights as a Russian citizen,” the AP reported.
For the purposes of Glasnost, Maria Butina is a Russian citizen who pleaded guilty last year to attempting to infiltrate conservative political circles and influence American politics for the benefit of Russia. Wow, it’s like a spy novel has really come to life! And like any classic, Cold War era espionage story, the convicted Butina was sentenced to spend time in a vast wasteland...
Russian news agency TASS reported that the footage was shot inside Oklahoma’s Grady County Jail.
Gather up the Wolverines! Maria Butina is currently being held in the Grady County Jail right here in Chickasha, America because... uhm... we have no clue, but either way, for the first time in years Oklahoma is experiencing a red scare that has nothing to do with the GOP! Whether or not you believe she purposely tried to influence Republican politicians, it’s easy to take pity on her. I understand that some consider her to be a Russian spy, but judges generally agree that non-citizens are guaranteed many constitutional rights when tried in a US court, including a fair trial. And can you really say Maria Butina received a fair trial if she was sentenced to 18 months of living in Oklahoma?