Russia urges support of alleged agent with #FreeMariaButina campaign

Russia urges support of alleged agent with #FreeMariaButina campaign
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Russia’s foreign ministry is showing its support to alleged Russian agent Maria Butina by launching a #FreeMariaButina campaign.

The Russian Foreign Ministry’s official Twitter account on Thursday asked supporters to change their Twitter avatars to a picture of Butina, using the hashtag #FreeMariaButina.

The accounts for both English and Russian tweets changed their own avatars to a photo of Butina.






Butina was arrested and charged Monday with conspiring to work for the Russian government by infiltrating politically influential organizations without registering as a foreign agent.

A grand jury indicted the Russian woman on the charges on Tuesday.

The foreign ministry previously claimed the woman’s arrest was a “political put-up job set to it by forces that are whipping up anti-Russia hysteria in the US.”

The Department of Justice alleges that Butina moved to establish relationships with conservative politicians and groups like the National Rifle Association from 2015 to 2017, with the goal of creating “back channel" lines of communication between Russian and U.S. officials.

Butina’s attorney has disputed the charges, saying she was only in the U.S. to study at American University in D.C.