Like many others I had never heard of Maria Butina until she was arrested and imprisoned. She is apparently being held in solitary confinement (23 hours a day without contact) in the Alexandria Detention Centre near Washington. As if that is not punishment enough she is allegedly being tortured using sleep-deprivation techniques. This is what it is believed in some quarters that led to a confession of guilt for not having registered with the Foreign Agents Registration Act of 1938 – which so many other foreign nationals did not realise was a prerequisite in the land of the “free”.
Do I support her campaigns? No. Do I think she is an agent or officer of Russian intelligence? No. Whatever the real reasons for her arrest it is impossible to say. The fact that she aligns with the Trump camp and gun-law lobby suggests an attempt by the NSA, not for the first time, to smear the President. Way back in 2012 she founded a Russian gun-law group “Right to Bear Arms” following yet another US massacre. To my mind these US massacres demonstrate why the gun-lobby is so wrong. They do not happen in civilised countries unless somebody has got access to a gun.
There are unanswered questions but her actions, especially regarding gun-laws for Russia, ought to make her a darling of the USA. She courted the very people funded by the west to overthrow Putin, including Alexei Navalny, who encouraged his 220,000 Twitter followers to support her gun-law rally, though he did not go himself.
Being banged up in some hell-hole for being young, female and Russian appears to be the modus operandi of modern-day western governments. Few are asking – and those that are will not get answers – about the whereabouts of Yulia Skripal, abducted by UK intelligence without trial and never heard of since. Is she alive? Is she in prison? Where is she?
Yulia Skripal’s last desire was to return to her native Russia when her father, Russian agent Sergei Skripal, had recovered. Is he still ill? She made this plea above seven months ago. We don’t hear about the Novichok farce these days. Yulia and Sergei Skripal have vanished. Since the Novichok incident they have never been interviewed by a single UK or other journalist. They are almost certainly dead.