Spy Affair


A charismatic Russian woman arrives in the US on a mission to improve relations between the two countries, and she soon makes some powerful friends. But who is Maria Butina? And who is she working for? As Maria gets closer to the rich and connected she also attracts the attention of the FBI. In the politically charged world of US-Russia relations, everyone has secrets and almost nothing is what it seems. From Wondery, the makers of The Shrink Next Door and Dr. Death comes SPY AFFAIR a story about deception, appearances and betrayal. Hosted by Celia Aniskovich.

Available exclusively on Wondery+ or on Amazon Music with a Prime membership or Amazon Music Unlimited subscription.

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Our Editor's Take


Typically, people on the FBI's radar don't intentionally raise their profile with well-connected politicians. So, what did Maria Butina do to catch the attention of federal agents?

In Spy Affair, listeners get acquainted with Butina's backstory—where she is from, how she grew up, and why she came to America. A charismatic Russian woman, Maria Butina came to America as a graduate student. A gun enthusiast with close ties to a Russian businessman connected with Vladimir Putin and the Kremlin, it did not take long before she drew attention from FBI agents, fearing that she was a Russian agent.

Throughout this seven-part series, Butina becomes known as a Russian agent due to her involvement in several controversial incidents. She worked to infiltrate the American National Rifle Association and became involved in many American political movements—including developing ties and communications with the Republican Party.

After her arrest, Putin denied all knowledge of Butina's existence. The story is laid out in full for the listener to decide whether or not they believe it. As a former news broadcaster, New York-based producer and director Celia Aniskovich is the perfect host for this thrilling investigative series from Wondery on Amazon Music.

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