13:53 GMT30 March 2020
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    Maria Butina arrives in Moscow on Saturday, after spending 18 months behind bars in the United States for allegedly conspiring to act as an unregistered foreign agent in the US.

    Butina, after her release from a US federal prison in Tallahassee, Florida on Friday, was handed over to US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) before travelling to Miami airport, where she boarded a Russian Aeroflot plane and departed for Moscow in the early evening.

    In July 2018, US authorities arrested Russian citizen Maria Butina after she pleaded guilty earlier to one count of conspiracy to act as a foreign agent in the United States. She was facing up to 15 years in prison.

    The initial charges against Butina carried a maximum sentence of five years in prison but in April, despite her defence lawyer requesting time served, a US court sentenced Butina to 18 months in prison. In June, however, her sentence was reduced slightly due to good behaviour.

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