The spy’s wealthy MAGA former lover could not save her from the election defeat

IRILL KUDRYAVTSEV/AFP via Getty Images

Convicted Russian agent Maria Butina Those who have served in the U.S. for more than one year prison and received a hero’s welcome upon her return to Moscow in 2019, faced an embarrassing setback in her attempt to be elected to the State Duma, the lower house of parliament in Russia. News agencies believe that Butina is from a rural area of ​​Kirov Oblast candidate. She runs under the leadership of President Vladimir Putin’s ruling party, the United Russia Party, which was declared the winner in last week’s election, but was widely affected. Allegations of fraud.

But according to the final result In the election reported by Russia’s only independent television channel, TV rain, Butina did not do it after all. Local Kirov media, Vyatka-na-Seti News, arrive The same conclusion. Vyatka-na-Seti News According to reports, “In the State Duma elections to be held from September 17 to 19, 2021, the Kirov region’s support for the United Russia Party was extremely low. Therefore, according to the list, the region has no authorization. Maria Butina Will not represent our region in the State Duma.” The media speculated that certain areas in the region were “rebellious” and refused to vote for the ruling United Russia Party. In the Kirov region, the party won only 29.54% of the votes.

Maria Butina is welcomed by heroes in Moscow

Butina’s candidacy has been problematic from the beginning. The financial support reports of American conspiracy theorists in the past year have further tarnished her already uneven reputation. Patrick Byrne, The former CEO of Overstock and an ardent supporter of former President Donald J. Trump.In addition to helping fund Butina’s candidacy, Byrne earlier Said He is funding “a team of hackers and cyber detectives” in an attempt to prove that Trump won the presidential election.

Byrne was one of the men Butina dated in her successful attempt to enter American politics, which eventually put her in jail.According to an email issued to the Senate Intelligence Committee in July 2016 reportPaul Erickson, another lover of Butina, wrote that Byrne offered Butina $1 million so that he could give birth to her child.According to a video posted by Alexei Navalny’s investigative team FBK, Butina’s election manifesto revealed that Byrne’s financial support Amount Tens of millions of rubles.

Although Byrne is still the chief executive officer of Overstock, he used company letterhead to claim that the “Man in Black” figure in the federal government urged him to fall in love with Butina.Bourne Tell Business insider He felt guilty for “founding” Butina, and his donation was intended to “make up” for the convicted Russian agent.

Communist Party of Russia Call Election officials rejected Butina’s candidacy on the grounds that she received foreign funding, but “special” candidates appeared to be exempt from the rules. After returning to Russia, Butina became a valuable tool for pro-Kremlin propaganda, slandering and condemning the United States on national television, and joined RT as a reporter.

Eager to please the regime, Butina appears Broadcast timefilming team ridicule The sick opposition leader Alexei Navalny sought medical help in prison in April this year. She described Navalny’s prison accommodation as comparable to the best hotels in the area.

When it comes to the Russian election, propagandists always seem to have a firm foothold.Host of national television station 60 minutes According to reports, Yevgeny Popov Prevailed 38-year-old Mikhail Lobanov is a university lecturer who plays the banner of the Communist Party in southwestern Moscow. Lobanov won until the suspicious results of the electronic voting overthrew his lead.Popov was not disqualified even after being disqualified discover He failed to accurately disclose his considerable income. Similarly, although Butina Foreign assets And funding, Russian election law prohibits.

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After allegedly losing to Popov, Lobanov Tweet, “The authorities may think they stole our victory, but we all know very well that we have surpassed Popov in all eight areas in my area. You can create any number of votes, but now you and I know What can we do, and this knowledge cannot be taken away from us. The battle has just begun.”

Video released by the team of the imprisoned opposition leader Alexei Navalny (Alexei Navalny) laugh at Butina’s “ridiculous” candidacy. The residents of Kirov Oblast apparently agreed, and their votes almost ruined Butina’s electoral prospects.

Nevertheless, the reported election results do not mean that Butina’s access to the State Duma has been completely blocked. The ruling party can arrange for her to accept authorization from another regional group or federal list.

The Russian voter rights movement “Golos” had previously opposed Butina’s political ambitions, pointing out that she had failed to disclose her beliefs in the United States during the campaign.In a narration replyThe Central Election Commission of Russia stated that Butina’s activities in the United States “are not considered crimes in the Russian Federation.”

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