Russia: OK, Release Our Accused Spy

Moscow calls charges against Maria Butina 'fabricated,' asks Pompeo to release her
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 22, 2018 8:09 AM CDT
In this photo taken April 21, 2013, Maria Butina speaks to a crowd in support of legalizing the possession of handguns in Moscow, Russia.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – The week of Russia whiplash continues, with Moscow now demanding the release of a Russian woman accused of being a covert spy, reports the New York Times. Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov made the request Saturday during a phone call to counterpart Mike Pompeo in which he "stressed that the actions of the US authorities that arrested Russian citizen [Maria] Butina on fabricated charges are unacceptable," per a Russian statement picked up by RT. Lavrov further called for her "immediate release," though the Times calls that possibility "unlikely." Russia is also mounting a social media campaign to draw awareness to Butina's plight, using #FreeMariaButina. (Read more Maria Butina stories.)

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