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Russian embassy visits Butina in prison

MOSCOW (AP) — Russia's embassy in the United States says its diplomats have visited the gun-rights activist who was sentenced to prison last week for being an unregistered agent of Russia. In a Facebook statement on Friday, the embassy said Maria Butina is "bearing the burdens of imprisonment staunchly and with dignity."

The statement also said the embassy has sent a note of protest to the State Department "in connection with an illegitimate court decision" in her case. Butina was sentenced to 18 months in prison last week as part of a plea deal. Butina admitted last year to covertly gathering intelligence on the National Rifle Association and other groups at the direction of a former Russian lawmaker

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