Russia Pushing For US Release Of Suspected Agent

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KELO Maria Butina

The Russian government is pushing for the release of a gun rights activist accused of being a covert agent in the U.S., calling her arrest a “farce.”
    
The Russian ambassador to the U.S., Anatoly Antonov, told a conference in Moscow that the accusations against Maria Butina are groundless and that American authorities tried to “break her” and refused her consular visits for the first few days after her arrest.
    
Russian Embassy representatives visited Butina in Washington on Thursday, and said in a statement that she is in good health but “has difficulties in adapting to prison conditions.”
    
Antonov said Moscow is working to return her to Russia. The Russian Foreign Ministry started an online campaign to “Free Maria Butina.”
    
U.S. federal prosecutors accused Butina this week of being a covert Russian agent and working to infiltrate U.S. political organizations, including the National Rifle Association, before and after Donald Trump’s election as president.
    
Butina, 29, denies wrongdoing.
 

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