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The NRA Embraced Russia’s Maria Butina—Even As She Worked to Arm Anti-American Thugs Who Seized Crimea From Ukraine - ⁦@MotherJonesmotherjones.com/politics/2019/…
‼️As NRA welcomed #Butina, she was aiding Putin's military takeover Crimea. Right after March 2014 invasion & annexation, Butina denounced sanctions & went to Crimea to promote arming militants who seized Crimean "pro-American" news outlet—repurposing it for Kremlin propaganda.
The day Obama announced sanctions (March 17, 2014) after Putin's military used an illegal referendum to declare Crimea part of Russia—#Butina warned that US sanctions would “bankrupt the Russian arms industry." She then mobilized to support & arm separatist "Crimean Front" thugs.
At a March 2014 press conference #Butina held w/ pro-Russia Crimean Front militant leader, she touted her connections with Kremlin officials including Russian Deputy PM Dmitri Rogozin—under fresh US sanctions—who would be among those greeting NRA leaders in Moscow in 2015.
#Butina's militant pals clad in camouflage & balaclavas stormed the offices of the independent Crimean Center for Investigative Journalism. denounced the influence of “American agents” & recast the media outlet as “News Front," regularly publishing anti-US propaganda & fake news.
🚨The NRA—pillar of patriotism—has actually been embracing some of the most virulent anti-America forces in the world. #Butina promoted the militant seizure of Crimea's independent media outlet. Today News Front peddles pro-Kremlin propaganda, like this interview w/ Veselnitskaya
The #NRA repeatedly brought #Butina to the US. NRA leaders lavished "Russian godfather" Torshin w/ VIP treatment at multiple NRA events. Congressional investigators suspect the gun lobby hasn't been truthful about all the Russian money it may have taken during the 2016 election
BTW Exactly 2yrs ago NRA pals Butina & Torshin were working that other backchannel to the GOP—the National Prayer Breakfast. Kremlin media said big Russia delegation met w/ Rohrbacher. Torshin almost met Trump, but someone in the WH used the google machine & saw Russian mob ties.
Think how anti-American it was for NRA/Republicans to welcome Russian officials AFTER Obama sanctioned Russia for a freaking invasion of Ukraine—killing 1000s—annexing Crimea, infowar vs West. Yet GOP would subvert sanctions—Butina's mission for Putin. Even Kremlin media said it.
Most Americans didn't get the gravity of #Russia's war in #Ukraine. Media was SO slow to even call it INVASION—feeding Kremlin propaganda of "rebels." We're gullible bc we're used to Russia's version of history. But after #sanctions, we had to face Russia under Putin was bad news
🤯AFTER #sanctions made clear #Russia was an aggressive power under Putin, Republicans welcomed a delegation of 16 officials at National Prayer Breakfast in 2017. AND in 2018— AFTER we knew more about the election attack on US—Russia had the largest delegation—60—of ANY country‼️
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