'Spy Affair' Podcast Unpacks FBI Investigation of Russian Agent - Rolling Stone
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‘Spy Affair’ Podcast Unpacks Real-Life FBI Investigation of Russian Agent

Six-part miniseries will explore Maria Butina investigation

In this photo taken on Sunday, April 22, 2012, Maria Butina, a gun-rights activist, poses for a photo at a shooting range in Moscow, Russia. When gun activist Maria Butina arrived in Washington in 2014 to network with the NRA, she was peddling a Russian gun rights movement that was already dead. Fellow gun enthusiasts and arms industry officials describe the strange trajectory of her Russian gun lobby project, which U.S. prosecutors say was a cover for a Russian influence campaign. Accused of working as a foreign agent, Butina faces a hearing Monday, Sept. 10 in Washington. (AP Photo/Pavel Ptitsin)

Pavel Ptitsin/AP

Podcast studio Wondery has released the first audio trailer for Spy Affair, a new six-part miniseries. The show, which premieres March 30th on Apple Podcasts, investigates the true story of Russian gun advocate Maria Butina, who was convicted in 2018 of conspiring to act as a foreign agent within the United States.

Amid the politically charged relationship between the U.S. and Russia, Butina sought to improve each country’s view of the other by forming powerful allegiances in both nations — or so she claims. Her actions led to her becoming entangled in an FBI investigation, where she was perceived as a spy looking to influence government officials in order to benefit her home country. Supposedly, she was being funded by a Russian oligarch with close ties to the Kremlin — but what was her true motivation? Spy Affair will follow Butina’s entire journey in America, from a carefree Disney World trip in 2015 to finding herself a convicted criminal.

Spy Affair is hosted by documentary producer and director Celia Aniskovich, who also wrote Spy Affair with Hannibal Deiz and produced the series with Heather Schroering. Tracy Egbas is an associate producer on the show, with George Lavender and Marshall Lewy credited as executive producers for Wondery. The show will be available early to Wondery+ subscribers, beginning March 16th.

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