Accused abroad, Russians become celebrities at home - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Accused abroad, Russians become celebrities at home

Posted: Updated:
(AP Photo/Pavel Ptitsin, File). FILE - In this Sunday, April 22, 2012 filer, Maria Butina, a gun-rights activist, poses for a photo at a shooting range in Moscow, Russia. Accused of working as an undeclared foreign agent in the U.S., Butina is fast bec... (AP Photo/Pavel Ptitsin, File). FILE - In this Sunday, April 22, 2012 filer, Maria Butina, a gun-rights activist, poses for a photo at a shooting range in Moscow, Russia. Accused of working as an undeclared foreign agent in the U.S., Butina is fast bec...
(AP Photo/Misha Japaridze, File). FILE - In this Tuesday, March 12, 2013 file photo, former KGB agent Andrei Lugovoi speaks at a news conference in Moscow, Russia. The case of Andrei Lugovoi, a key suspect in the 2006 killing of ex-KGB officer Alexande... (AP Photo/Misha Japaridze, File). FILE - In this Tuesday, March 12, 2013 file photo, former KGB agent Andrei Lugovoi speaks at a news conference in Moscow, Russia. The case of Andrei Lugovoi, a key suspect in the 2006 killing of ex-KGB officer Alexande...
(AP Photo /Luba Sheme, File). FILE. In this file photo taken on Sunday, April 3, 2011, Anna Chapman, who was deported from the U.S. on charges of espionage, displays a creation by Russian designers Shiyan & Rudkovskaya during a Fashion Week in Mosc... (AP Photo /Luba Sheme, File). FILE. In this file photo taken on Sunday, April 3, 2011, Anna Chapman, who was deported from the U.S. on charges of espionage, displays a creation by Russian designers Shiyan & Rudkovskaya during a Fashion Week in Mosc...
(Metropolitan Police via AP, File). FILE In this file grab taken from CCTV and issued by the Metropolitan Police in London on Wednesday Sept. 5, 2018, Ruslan Boshirov and Alexander Petrov walk on Fisherton Road, Salisbury, England on March 4, 2018. Pre... (Metropolitan Police via AP, File). FILE In this file grab taken from CCTV and issued by the Metropolitan Police in London on Wednesday Sept. 5, 2018, Ruslan Boshirov and Alexander Petrov walk on Fisherton Road, Salisbury, England on March 4, 2018. Pre...
(AP Photo/Pavel Ptitsin). In this photo taken on Friday, Sept. 7, 2012, Maria Butina walks with Alexander Torshin then a member of the Russian upper house of parliament in Moscow, Russia. When gun activist Maria Butina arrived in Washington in 2014 to ... (AP Photo/Pavel Ptitsin). In this photo taken on Friday, Sept. 7, 2012, Maria Butina walks with Alexander Torshin then a member of the Russian upper house of parliament in Moscow, Russia. When gun activist Maria Butina arrived in Washington in 2014 to ...
  • NationalMore>>

  • Sheriff: Warehouse shooter may have been mentally ill

    Sheriff: Warehouse shooter may have been mentally ill

    Friday, September 21 2018 12:42 AM EDT2018-09-21 04:42:40 GMT
    Friday, September 21 2018 12:41 PM EDT2018-09-21 16:41:39 GMT
    (Jerry Jackson /The Baltimore Sun via AP). Authorities respond to a shooting in Harford County, Md., Thursday, Sept. 20, 2018.   Authorities say multiple people have been shot in northeast Maryland in what the FBI is describing as an "active shooter si...(Jerry Jackson /The Baltimore Sun via AP). Authorities respond to a shooting in Harford County, Md., Thursday, Sept. 20, 2018. Authorities say multiple people have been shot in northeast Maryland in what the FBI is describing as an "active shooter si...
    Maryland warehouse shooting: three people killed in shooting at distribution center and a fourth person, the female suspect, died after shooting herself in the head.More
    Maryland warehouse shooting: three people killed in shooting at distribution center and a fourth person, the female suspect, died after shooting herself in the head.More
  • Gunman upset by divorce is found dead after manhunt

    Gunman upset by divorce is found dead after manhunt

    Thursday, September 20 2018 6:08 AM EDT2018-09-20 10:08:16 GMT
    Friday, September 21 2018 12:41 PM EDT2018-09-21 16:41:18 GMT
    (Pete Bannan/Daily Local News via AP). Police arrive after a deadly shooting at Bellingham Retirement Community on East Boot Road in East Goshen Township, Pa., Wednesday, Sept. 19, 2018. Authorities are searching for a man who they say shot at his ex-w...(Pete Bannan/Daily Local News via AP). Police arrive after a deadly shooting at Bellingham Retirement Community on East Boot Road in East Goshen Township, Pa., Wednesday, Sept. 19, 2018. Authorities are searching for a man who they say shot at his ex-w...
    A gunman authorities say shot at his ex-wife and then killed his parents in Pennsylvania has been found dead.More
    A gunman authorities say shot at his ex-wife and then killed his parents in Pennsylvania has been found dead.More
  • New evacuations ordered because of Florence flooding

    New evacuations ordered because of Florence flooding

    Friday, September 21 2018 12:10 AM EDT2018-09-21 04:10:29 GMT
    Friday, September 21 2018 12:41 PM EDT2018-09-21 16:41:10 GMT
    (AP Photo/Alex Derosier). Pastor Floyd Benfield stands in front of the flood-damaged sanctuary of the Presbyterian Church of the Covenant in Spring Lake, N.C., Thursday, Sept. 20, 2018. Just days before, the flooding Little River had left the church ha...(AP Photo/Alex Derosier). Pastor Floyd Benfield stands in front of the flood-damaged sanctuary of the Presbyterian Church of the Covenant in Spring Lake, N.C., Thursday, Sept. 20, 2018. Just days before, the flooding Little River had left the church ha...
    The crisis from Hurricane Florence is slowly moving to South Carolina along with the trillions of gallons of water dumped by the storm.More
    The crisis from Hurricane Florence is slowly moving to South Carolina along with the trillions of gallons of water dumped by the storm.More

By JAMES ELLINGWORTH
Associated Press

MOSCOW (AP) - The last time Britain accused two Russians of an assassination, one of them ended up in the Russian parliament.

The case of Andrei Lugovoi, a key suspect in the 2006 killing of ex-KGB officer Alexander Litvinenko, shows how the two alleged Russian military intelligence operatives accused by Britain of poisoning ex-Russian spy Sergei Skripal could have lucrative careers in Russia if they go public.

President Vladimir Putin said Wednesday the men - who British authorities said used the names Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov - appeared to be innocent. He suggested they tell their story "to some media outlet."

Hours later, Russian state TV said it had spoken with Petrov and that he planned to comment on the case next week. Previous cases show that could be an improbable springboard into parliament or a network TV show.

When some Russians have been accused of crimes abroad, political and business leaders have embraced them and made them celebrities.

ANDREI LUGOVOI

Accused of poisoning Litvinenko with the radioactive substance polonium, Lugovoi, a former KGB officer, parlayed his newfound fame into a political career. In 2007, he was elected to parliament on the ticket of the nationalist LDPR party, which has strong Kremlin ties.

Since then, he's given his name to the Lugovoi Law - a 2014 measure allowing authorities to block "extremist" websites without a court ruling - and he's a regular commentator on the Skripal case for state TV.

Lugovoi argues Skripal's poisoning had nothing to do with Russia and blames Britain for harboring what he calls defectors.

"As long as you keep welcoming all kinds of scum on your territory, you're going to keep having problems," he said in March on a popular talk shows.

The Russian constitution bans extraditing criminal suspects, and Lugovoi's status as a lawmaker makes him immune from prosecution at home. A fellow suspect, Dmitry Kovtun, has kept a lower profile.

ANNA CHAPMAN

When the FBI rounded up 10 Russian sleeper agents in 2010 and sent them home in a spy swap, one caught the eye of the tabloids.

The then-28-year-old Chapman, who was married to a British man, later launched a modeling career in Russia, and was briefly on the board of the youth arm of a pro-Putin political party.

She's best known, however, as the host of "Chapman's Secrets," a long-running show mixing anti-U.S. rhetoric with conspiracy theories and mysticism.

"Why does official science still not concede that unidentified flying objects are alien spaceships?" she said one episode. "Our hypothesis that alien intelligence has long colluded with the ruling elite was recently and unexpectedly confirmed. What are politicians and soldiers keeping quiet about? I, Anna Chapman, will reveal this secret."

More than 400 episodes have been made. Last week, guests speculated the U.S. was training Eastern European guerrillas to invade Russia, and another - introduced as a shaman - suggested intelligent trees caused hikers to go missing out of spite for humanity.

"It's incredible, but the living forest from the movie 'Avatar' isn't the director's make-believe," Chapman summarized.

MARIA BUTINA

Accused of working as an undeclared foreign agent in the U.S., Butina is fast becoming a cause celebre at home.

She was a relatively obscure gun-rights activist in Russia before she started making political contacts among Republicans and National Rifle Association members in the U.S. Now, Butina's photo is the avatar on the Russian Foreign Ministry's social media profiles.

Government rhetoric portrays her as a martyr to U.S. paranoia and a victim of poor conditions in the Washington, D.C., jail where she's being held pending trial.

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • InternationalMore>>

  • Polish leader resists view that he was disrespected by Trump

    Polish leader resists view that he was disrespected by Trump

    Friday, September 21 2018 4:49 AM EDT2018-09-21 08:49:56 GMT
    Friday, September 21 2018 12:41 PM EDT2018-09-21 16:41:00 GMT
    (AP Photo/Susan Walsh). President Donald Trump, right, listens as Polish President Andrzej Duda, left, speaks during a joint news conference in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, Sept. 18, 2018.(AP Photo/Susan Walsh). President Donald Trump, right, listens as Polish President Andrzej Duda, left, speaks during a joint news conference in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, Sept. 18, 2018.
    Poland's president is fighting back against criticism at home over a photo posted by Donald Trump that some say shows the Polish leader in a subservient role during a White House visit.More
    Poland's president is fighting back against criticism at home over a photo posted by Donald Trump that some say shows the Polish leader in a subservient role during a White House visit.More
  • Kremlin slams new US sanctions affecting arms exports

    Kremlin slams new US sanctions affecting arms exports

    Friday, September 21 2018 9:10 AM EDT2018-09-21 13:10:03 GMT
    Friday, September 21 2018 12:40 PM EDT2018-09-21 16:40:42 GMT
    (Alexei Nikolsky, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP). Russian President Vladimir Putin aims a sniper rifle during a visit to the Patriot military exhibition center outside Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, Sept. 19, 2018. Putin chaired a meeting that focused...(Alexei Nikolsky, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP). Russian President Vladimir Putin aims a sniper rifle during a visit to the Patriot military exhibition center outside Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, Sept. 19, 2018. Putin chaired a meeting that focused...
    The Kremlin has dismissed the latest round of U.S. sanctions that affected an aircraft-making factory as an 'unfair' move to undercut Russia as a major arms exporter.More
    The Kremlin has dismissed the latest round of U.S. sanctions that affected an aircraft-making factory as an 'unfair' move to undercut Russia as a major arms exporter.More
  • Walk into my parlor: Greek spiders spin giant web over shore

    Walk into my parlor: Greek spiders spin giant web over shore

    Friday, September 21 2018 11:20 AM EDT2018-09-21 15:20:47 GMT
    Friday, September 21 2018 12:35 PM EDT2018-09-21 16:35:19 GMT
    (Giannis Giannakopoulos via AP). In this frame grab taken from video on Sept. 18, 2018, a view of spider webs over bushes, in Aitoliko, Greece. Spurred into overdrive by an explosion in the populations of insects they eat, thousands of little spiders i...(Giannis Giannakopoulos via AP). In this frame grab taken from video on Sept. 18, 2018, a view of spider webs over bushes, in Aitoliko, Greece. Spurred into overdrive by an explosion in the populations of insects they eat, thousands of little spiders i...
    It's not quite the World Wide Web _ but the spiders of Aitoliko in Greece have made a good start.More
    It's not quite the World Wide Web _ but the spiders of Aitoliko in Greece have made a good start.More
Powered by Frankly

All content © Copyright 2000 - 2018 WBOC. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices