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Russian lawmaker announces plans to make TV series based on her Prison Diary

Maria Butina said "this is a completely new thing for me; it’s a feature series"

MOSCOW, February 25. /TASS/. Maria Butina, a member of the Russian State Duma (lower house of parliament) who spent 467 days in US prison on foreign agent charges, has told TASS that a TV series is in the works based on her Prison Diary.

"I am working on the script together with [director] Igor Kopylov; we are working on the Prison Diary series. I hope that we will be able to release it at the end of this year or early next year," Butina said.

"This is a completely new thing for me; it’s a feature series. The focus will be on telling the true story," she added.

Butina’s case

Maria Butina was arrested in Washington on July 15, 2018. She was charged with conspiracy to act as a foreign agent in the United States. On April 26, 2019, she was sentenced to 18 months behind bars. In her final statement, Butina said that the goal of her visit to the US was to help improve relations between Washington and Moscow and that she did not know that she had to be registered as a foreign agent. She apologized for her actions that were interpreted as violation of US law. The presiding judge admitted that Butina was not acting as a spy and sustained the prosecution’s motion to deport Butina when her sentence was over. On May 8, 2019, the US Federal Bureau of Prisons said that Butina would be released on November 5. However, her prison term was shortened and ended on October 25, 2019. She returned to Russia the next day.