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US charges 29-year-old Russian woman with acting as Kremlin agent

• https://www.scmp.com, The Washington Post

A Russian national with alleged ties to a top Russian official was charged in federal court in Washington on Monday with conspiracy to act as an agent of the Russian Federation, and was ordered held without bond.

Maria Butina, 29, was arrested on Sunday in Washington and made her first appearance in US District Court before Magistrate Judge Deborah Robinson. Her lawyer, Robert Neil Driscoll, told the judge that Butina's residence was searched by the FBI in April, that she had testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee in a closed session several months ago, and that "we have been offering to cooperate with the government the entire time."

Butina did not speak during the brief hearing other than to state her name. A preliminary hearing was set for Wednesday.

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