Good little sparrow.

Courtesy of Reuters

In her first public appearance since being deported by U.S. authorities who had jailed her for being a Russian agent, Maria Butina was on Monday offered a job by Moscow to defend Russians imprisoned abroad.

During an event for the media, Russia’s human rights commissioner, Tatyana Moskalkova, offered Butina, 31, a job working for her commission.

“I invite you to work in our group defending compatriots abroad. I’m sure together we’ll be able to do a lot of good for people who’ve ended up in tough situations abroad,” Moskalkova said.

Butina, who flew back to Russia on Oct. 26 after being deported, did not say whether she would accept the offer made at what she called her first public appearance since she was mobbed by wellwishers in front of the media at the airport on her arrival home.

Butina pleaded guilty in December last year to one count of conspiring to act as a foreign agent for Russia by infiltrating a gun rights group and influencing U.S. conservative activists and Republicans, a conviction slammed as ridiculous by Moscow.

Russia accused Washington of forcing Butina to confess.

I thnk it is pretty clear that Russia believes Butina did a good job on her assignment, which remember was to infiltrate the NRA and use those contacts to influence American politics. 

This kind of reminds me of how another female Russian spy was received by the homeland when she was released from custody. 

Does everybody remember Anna Chapman?

Butina also seems to have left some collateral damage in her wake. Such as her former boyfriend.

Courtesy of The Daily Beast

Paul Erickson, the former boyfriend of convicted Russian agent Maria Butina, has pleaded guilty to wire fraud and money laundering, according to a plea agreement filed in a South Dakota federal court Monday afternoon.

In a two-page statement detailing the factual basis for the plea, Erickson said he conned someone only identified as “D.G.” into wiring him $100,000 under the pretense that the money was for a real estate investment in North Dakota. As part of the plea filed in U.S. district court in South Dakota, Erickson admits the money was not for a real estate deal. He also notes that he wired $1,000 of the money to a person called “M.B.”

“M.B.” of course stand for Maria Butina. So essentially this Erickson fellow defrauded an American citizen in order to funnel money to a Russian operative. 

Well that is certainly a no no. 

Yet why do I get the feeling that if Paul Erickson were to flee to Russia he would also receive a hero’s welcome?