In she attended a Trump campaign event in Las Vegas, asking the presidential candidate about his views on US sanctions in Russia. Her LinkedIn profile said she was focusing on "cyber policy, the Internet of Things, cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology". She was living at the time with year-old Paul Erickson, a South Dakota-based conservative political activist.
He is alleged to have helped her pursue her plan. Lookibg never shied away from a public profile. russiann
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In one piece on the Russian Snob website she said her dream lacy "to live in a prosperous, highly developed country, leading in the world, and without migration". In another interview in with the Russian-based Guns website, she said she hoped that the Russian government would allow her organisation "to work with young children in schools" - like the NRA in the US. Her Facebook profile, and all the gun-toting images of her on it, remained active after her arrest.
A user claiming to be her sister updated her asking for donations and even shared a video of her, apparently speaking while in detention. Alexander Torshin has made no comment on her arrest but the FBI said the two shared a string of messages when she was in the US. He is under US sanctions, but has not been charged for his alleged role. Butina's father Valery has called the charges against gug "psychopathic and a witch-hunt".
Her lawyer, Robert Driscoll, described her as an "ambitious young woman" not a political agent. But under her plea deal, Maria Butina admitted to the charge of conspiracy.
Despite prosecutors' claims that she damaged US national security, Butina insisted that she had no intention of harming the American people. When Margarita said she thought they should split up, he ignored her. But when she produced divorce papers he was furious. One night he attacked her in their one-bedroom apartment, waking the children, who saw the bruises on her body.
The next time, when he threatened her with a knife, she went to the police. The desk officer explained that women often made complaints only to withdraw them later, which just swamped the police in paperwork. Five days after the case was dropped for lack of evidence, Dmitri cut off Margarita's hands. Her mutilated left hand was retrieved from the forest and sewn back on in a nine-hour operation. Though Margarita has now published a book about her recovery, called Happy Without Hands, she hadn't wanted publicity to begin with.
Her lawyers told her that if she didn't get on to national TV, Dmitri would be let out of prison in three-to-five years - it was essential that they felt pressure from public opinion. Margarita took aldy lawyers' advice, and Dmitri ended up with a year sentence. Although she is maimed for life, Margarita could easily have suffered a worse fate. The most conservative estimates suggest that domestic violence kills hundreds of women a year. This longstanding domestic violence "crisis", as campaigners call it, helps explain why two developments have sparked protests in cities across Russia.
One was the decision taken in to downgrade domestic violence from a criminal offence to a misdemeanour for first-time offenders, as long as the victim doesn't need hospital treatment. The other was the prospect of long prison ruszian being handed down to three sisters arrested for killing their abusive father in July The father, Mikhail Khachaturyan - a businessman who made a name for himself running protection rackets in the s - drove his wife from the family home at gunpoint inthen began to focus his aggression on the girls.
He had a bell and each of layd had to come and submit to whatever he desired. The kids were really ruasian.
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So one night, while Khachaturyan was asleep in an armchair in their home in Altufyevo, a northern suburb of Moscow, americn eldest daughter Krestina, aged 19, pepper-sprayed his face. Then year-old Maria stabbed him with a hunting knife while year-old Angelina hit him on the head with a hammer.
A public outcry led to them being released from lookiny while awaiting trial. A petition calling for them to be acquitted has gatheredatures.
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When she headlined a fundraiser last summer she spoke about domestic and sexual abuse as "one of the most important problems in Russia" but one that is "always pushed under the carpet". She added that 80 of the women gjy she had met during her 18 months in a prison colony for performing a "punk prayer" in Moscow's main cathedral were women who had been subjected to domestic abuse "until they just couldn't take it any more".
Few Russian politicians see tackling domestic abuse as a priority. Oksana Pushkina is a rare exception. She was elected in as a member of President Vladimir Putin's own party, United Russia, but the treatment of women has turned her into a amerkcan. She is now campaigning to get the decriminalisation law overturned, and for Russia to pass a specific domestic violence law for the first time.
Her list of proposals includes restraining orders to keep abusers away from their victims - which have never existed in Russia - anti-sexual-harassment measures and steps to promote gender equality. But she faces fierce opposition and daily hate mail. More than Russian Orthodox Church and family groups have addressed an open letter to Vladimir Putin asking him to block her law, arguing that it's the work of "foreign agents" and supporters of "radical feminist ideology". At a round-table debate in parliament last month, Andrei Kormukhin, a businessman and arch-conservative, warned that the draft law could lead to "the genocide of the family".
I asked. But he wouldn't let me in. I even called the manager, but they just told me I wasn't allowed in. There's a big difference between Bryansk and Moscow. Moscow is like a different country. I never felt discrimination lpoking. He said he had "never seen police beat up a black person in Russia" and "I've never had anything to do with the police here".
There's no point being aggressive. People won't understand anyway and they won't change. I try to ignore it. It just makes you stressed. You start to think, 'Why was I born black? I only encountered racism when I came to Russia in I find it very hurtful. You step outside and everyone looks at you as if you're not human. It's really offensive. Isabel says she was treated meanly by other kids at school and reminded every single day that her skin colour was different.
I couldn't stand up for myself there. I didn't tell my parents about amreican. My big brother protected me at school. Sometimes he had to get into fights for me. Isabel dreamt about moving from Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk to a place where she would be able to walk down the street without people looking at her. Both she and her Dominican dad were routinely stared at. But later, when I started work and needed to rent a flat, I felt the gky again.
I had to arrange to meet them in person, so they could see I was a normal person with a normal job and wouldn't turn their apartment into a drug den. I either ignore them or in the banter, if I can see that it's just teasing. If you get angry every time it'll make you a nervous wreck. Isabel's mother is from Sakhalin island and her dad from the Dominican Republic.
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They met in the s, studying in Kyiv, the capital of then-Soviet Ukraine. Isabel's father came over to the Soviet Union on a student exchange programme. Isabel says that when her parents got married, while still studying, the university's reaction was negative. Her mother was harassed and called an "enemy of the people". The day lad giving birth to my brother she had an exam. The university refused to let her postpone it. She wasn't allowed to defend her dissertation properly. She always got top marks, but they wouldn't give her anything higher than a third-class degree.