Mariia Butina (Russian: Мария Бутина; born 10 November 1988) is a political activist,, alleged Russian agent, and the founder of "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.
On July 15th, 2018, Butina was arrested in Washington, D.C. by the Federal Bureau of Investigations and charged with conspiring to act as an unregistered agent of the Russian Federation. 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." Prior to her arrest, Butina, along with Torshin and Paul Erickson, an American political operative, were under investigation for their potential involvement in Russian interference in the 2016 United States elections; Torshin was also the subject of an FBI probe into whether the Russian government had attempted to illegally funnel money to the National Rifle Association in order to help Donald Trump win the presidency. Wikipedia