|Maria Butina Quick Info
|5 ft 6 in
|Date of Birth
|November 10, 1988
Maria Butina is a Russian politician, political activist, journalist, and former entrepreneur who worked as an assistant for politician Aleksandr Torshin. In 2018, she was convicted of acting as an unregistered foreign agent of Russia within the United States.
Maria Valeryevna Butina
Barnaul, Russian SFSR, Soviet Union
When Maria Butina was 17 years old, she graduated with honors from Gymnasium Number 22 with an in-depth study of the English language. She then got enrolled at Altai State University, a public research university located in Barnaul, Russia, and studied political science. She also received a teaching degree.
She was elected to the public council of Altai Krai at the age of 19. Moreover, she also attended American University (a private federally chartered research university situated in Washington, D.C.) and studied International Relations. She subsequently earned a master’s degree in international relations in 2018.
Politician, Political Activist, Journalist, Former Entrepreneur
- Father – Valery Viktorovich Butin (An entrepreneur who established a furniture manufacturing business in Barnaul)
- Mother – She was the chief engineer of an energy enterprise.
- Siblings – She has one sister.
- Others – Kira (Niece)
5 ft 6 in or 167.5 cm
55 kg or 121 lbs
Boyfriend / Spouse
Maria Butina has dated –
- Paul Erickson – She was romantically involved with Paul Erickson (an American conservative political operative, lawyer, and businessperson) in the past. They met in 2013 and the duo even started living together at one point in time. Reportedly, Maria Butina emailed him a description of a proposed project to influence the Republican Party to be friendlier to Russia, through the NRA in 2015. The duo also started a South Dakota business, Bridges LLC. in February 2016.
- Patrick M. Byrne – Maria Butina has been in a relationship with American businessperson and conspiracy theorist Patrick M. Byrne. He later claimed that it was the FBI that encouraged him to pursue Butina. However, the claim has been denied by retired FBI officials.
Race / Ethnicity
Maria Butina Facts
- She launched a furniture retail business in Altai Krai at the age of 21 and shifted to Moscow in 2011. She then sold six of her seven furniture stores to start an advertising agency.
- Maria Butina founded Right to Bear Arms (described as a Russian gun-rights organization) in 2011 and eventually started traveling back and forth to the United States, initially with politician Aleksandr Torshin. Torshin was a Senator in the Federation Council of Russia at the time and a half-month later became Acting Chairman/Speaker of this Senate of the Russian Federation. Butina was hired as his “special assistant”.
- In 2014, she resigned from her position as the head of Right to Bear Arms.
- During her time at American University, Maria Butina reportedly got drunk on at least two separate occasions and went on to brag to her fellow students about her contacts in the Russian government. On both occasions, her classmates reported her to law enforcement.
- After Aleksandr Torshin was appointed as deputy governor of the Central Bank of Russia in January 2015, she started working as his special assistant and served in the position until May 2017.
- Maria Butina told The Washington Post in 2017 that she never worked for the Russian government.
- She was arrested in Washington on July 15, 2018, and was charged with acting in the United States as an agent of a foreign government; specifically the Russian Federation, without prior notification to the Attorney General, a conspiracy to commit an offense against the United States, to wit, 18 U.S.C. §951 (foreign relations, agents of foreign governments), in violation of 18 U.S.C. §371 (conspiracy).
- Maria Butina expressed support for the Russian invasion of Ukraine in 2022.
Featured Image by Rodrigo Fernández / Wikimedia / CC BY-SA 4.0 DEED