Maria Butina Arrest: Accused Russian Spy Seen in Resurfaced American University Graduation Video
The 29-year-old redhead earned an international relations degree, which prosecutors believe was a cover as she exchanged sex for introductions to powerful men.
Video of accused Russian spy Maria Butina graduating from American University in Washington D.C., has surfaced.
The 29-year-old flame-haired femme fatale earned a master's degree in international relations. But prosecutors say her studies were just a cover while she worked as a spy offering sex in exchange for introductions to powerful men.
Federal court documents claim Butina was living with 56-year-old well-connected Republican political operative, Paul Erickson, who appeared to be her unwitting dupe.
He allegedly did her homework assignments and answered exam questions for her, but her Russian handlers expressed disdain for her much older boyfriend, according to court documents.
Butina is being called a "Red Sparrow" after the Jennifer Lawrence spy thriller released earlier this year.
Former FBI Counter-Intelligence Agent Eric O’Neill and National Security Strategist for Carbon Black spoke to Inside Edition about the situation.
"She was an interesting spy because it was always clear she was a Russian national who was here studying as a student and she was very out there," he said. "She had a Facebook page. She engaged in social media."
She is also being compared with another sultry Russian spy — Anna Chapman — who was arrested in 2010 and deported back to Russia in a prisoner exchange after infiltrating the U.S. on a mission similar to that of Butina.
Chapman is now a celebrity in Russia, appearing on TV shows, posing for men's magazines and working for Russian government agencies. She is also a single mom.
Maria Butino will be hoping a prisoner exchange will free her too. But she might have to hand that degree back.
Butino has pleaded not guilty to her charges.
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