MOSCOW, November 22. /TASS/. Russian human rights ombudsperson Tatiana Moskalkova said on Friday her office will employ Maria Butina, a Russian national who has recently been released form a US prison, who will deal with issues of support to Russian citizens in difficult situation in foreign countries.
"Yes, she [Butina] has accepted this offer [to work with the ombudsperson’s office]. I would like to establish a community under the human rights ombudsperson that will deal with the protection of the rights of Russian nationals in difficult situations," she said.
"I think that taking into account her own social experience, her zeal to work in this field, we will be able to create an additional mechanism involving activists of public organizations, scientists, and all those who take such things personally. They will deal with legal literacy propaganda, support to relatives. They will write corresponding letters, organize roundtable meetings, draft press statements about our citizens," Moskalkova explained.
Butina, 30, was charged with conspiracy to act as a foreign agent in the United States. US special services argued that Butina had indulged in political lobbying without being registered at the Department of Justice. On December 13, 2018, Butina pleaded guilty to conspiracy to violate the US law governing foreign agents operating in the country and signed a plea bargain. On April 26, 2019, she was sentenced to 18 months in prison. On April 26, Butina was sentenced to 18 months in prison. The jail term incorporated the period she had spent in custody before trial. Moscow demanded her immediate release saying she had been convicted on fabricated charges. Butina's sentence ended on October 25. She was released from prison and deported to Russia.