Ex-spy Maria Butina claims Russia is ‘not bombing civilians’

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Ex-spy Maria Butina claims Russia is 'not bombing civilians'

Former Russian spy Maria Butina claimed that Russia is “not bombing civilians” and suggested in a bizarre interview Wednesday that Ukrainians are destroying their own cities.

Butina — a former Kremlin spy who admitted to setting up a Moscow backchannel for Republican operatives in the US — pushed Kremlin propaganda lines during an interview with the BBC News.

“Russia is not bombing civilians, Russian military troops actually having humanitarian corridors,” said the ex-spy, who is now a member of the Russian parliament and helped author the “fake news law” that would put journalists in prison for up to 15 years for reporting anything that contradicts that government’s official stance.

The Kremlin loyalist wants to “seriously see the evidence that these are Russians,” she said of the Russian bombs going off in residential areas of Ukraine. “In my region, we helped people evacuating from Donbas.”

When the BBC asked her if she was suggesting Ukraine was bombing its own people, Butina said: “I hope not … I hope no one in the world can bomb their own population.”

Ukrainian emergency employees work at the side of the severly damaged hospital.
Ukrainian emergency workers at the site of a severely damaged hospital.
Evgeniy Maloletka
People from the same family lie dead on the ground after the Russian army shelled the evacuation point of Irpin,
People from the same family lie dead on the ground after the Russian army shelled an evacuation corridor in Irpin.
Diego Herrera / Europa Press/Abaca/Sipa USA

The Russian politician cited no evidence that Russians are not bombing civilians even though she said, “We have tons of evidence Russian army does not bomb civilian population.”

“We just don’t do it,” she said. “Russians just don’t it.”

The British journalist pressed Butina about why Ukrainians aren’t fleeing to Russia if it’s so benevolent and instead heading west, and she responded by saying it was their right to go east or west.

Maria Butina
Butina was arrested in 2018.
Alexandria Detention Center via AP, File
People lie on the floor of a hospital during shelling by Russian forces in Mariupol, Ukraine,
People lie on the floor of a hospital during shelling by Russian forces in Mariupol, Ukraine.
AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka

Russia, she insisted, is on a mission to “denazify” Ukraine, and she believes President Vlodymyr Zelensky, a Jewish descendant of Holocaust survivors, is a Nazi himself.

 “According to his actions, absolutely,” she said when asked if Zelensky is a Nazi.

Butina reaffirmed her commitment to President Vladimir Putin, saying: “I do trust my president as well as the majority of Russians do.”


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Butina was arrested in 2018 and sentenced to 18 months behind bars in the US, after pleading guilty to trying to infiltrate the NRA and other political groups without registering as a foreign agent. She was elected to the Russian parliament in 2021.

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