Maria Butina Bio
Bor Name: Maria Butina
Born Date: November 10, 1988
Born: Barnaul, Altai Krai, Russia
Height: 1,70 m
Weight: 58 kg
Mariia Butina (Russian: Мария Бутина; born 10 November 1988) is a political activist and the founder of the Right to Bear Arms, a Russian gun rights group. At one time, she worked for Aleksandr Torshin, a former Russian senator belonging to Vladimir Putin’s political party and deputy governor of the Central Bank of Russia, with alleged ties to the Russian mafia. In recent years, Butina has developed extensive ties to conservative American political circles. As of 2018 Butina, Torshin, and Paul Erickson, an American political operative, are under investigation in the United States for their potential involvement in Russian interference in the 2016 United States elections; Torshin has also been the subject of a probe by the Federal Bureau of Investigations into whether the Russian government attempted to illegally funnel money to the NRA in order to help Donald Trump win the presidency.
On July 15th, 2018, Butina was arrested in Washington, DC, and charged with conspiring to act as an unregistered agent of the Russian Federation as required by the Foreign Agent Registration Act (FARA). In an affidavit in support of the arrest warrant, the FBI wrote that Butina sought to “exploit personal connections with U.S. persons having influence in American politics in an effort to advance the interests of the Russian Federation.”
Butina was born in Barnaul, Altai Krai, Russia, on 10 November 1988. Her mother was an engineer, and her father was an entrepreneur. In seventh grade, she ran for school mayor and came in second place. She studied political science at Altu State University (Russian: АлтГУ) and also received a teaching degree. At 19, she was elected to the Public Council of Altai Krai in the last direct election for the Council.[verification needed]
Butina built a furniture business in her hometown in Siberia. In 2011, she moved to Moscow and sold six of her seven furniture stores to start an advertising agency. [verification needed]
Also in 2011, Butina participated in the Youth Primaries organized by the Young Guard of United Russia, the youth wing of the United Russia party, the ruling political party of the Russian Federation, and started working for Aleksandr Torshin, who was then a Senator in the Federation Council of Russia and a leading member of United Russia.
Also in 2011, while still Torshin’s assistant, Butina founded a gun-rights organization, Right to Bear Arms, and began traveling back and forth to the U.S., initially with Torshin. In 2012, Butina and Torshin lobbied the Russian senate to expand gun rights. Torshin became deputy governor of the Central Bank of Russia in January 2015, and she remained his assistant until May 2017
In 2015, Butina said Right to Bear Arms had 10,000 members and 76 offices in Russia.
In 2017, Butina told The Washington Post that she never worked for the Russian government.
Involvement in U.S. politics
Torshin and Butina have established a cooperative relationship between the NRA and Right to Bear Arms. Torshin has been attending NRA annual meetings in the United States since at least 2011. Following the 2011 meeting then NRA President David Keene expressed his support for Torshin’s “endeavors” and extended an invitation to the 2012 meeting. Torshin also attended NRA annual meetings in 2012 and 2013. In November 2016 Torshin tweeted that he and Butina were lifetime NRA members.Butina and Torshin attended the 2014 NRA annual meeting as special guests of former NRA president Keene.Butina attended the Women’s Leadership Luncheon at the 2014 meeting as a guest of former NRA president Sandy Froman. Butina presented to then NRA president Jim Porter a plaque from Right to Bear Arms. Afterwards, she tweeted “Mission accomplished.” As Keene’s guest, Butina got to ring the NRA’s Liberty Bell, saying, “To the right to bear arms for citizens of the whole world.” Butina and Torshin also attended 2015 NRA annual convention