Moscow Kremlin

Key takeaways from Russian agent Maria Butina's "60 Minutes" interview

Russian citizen Maria Butina (R) is pictured at the Sheremetyevo International Airport upon arrival from the United States; Russian citizen Butina was arrested by the FBI in July 2018 in Washington DC
Maria Butina at Moscow's Sheremetyevo International Airport after being deported from the U.S. following her Oct. 25 release from prison. Photo: Mikhail Japaridze/TASS via Getty Images

Convicted Russian agent Maria Butina spoke with "60 Minutes" on accusations that she was trying to influence U.S. policies and the NRA for the Kremlin in an interview broadcast Sunday. And she outlined why she asked then-presidential candidate Donald Trump about Russian sanctions at a 2015 event.

Expert Voices

Putin hosts African leaders to rile West, but with little to offer them

Putin and African leaders gathered and waving
Putin and African leaders at the summit in Sochi, Russia. Photo: Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images

The pomp and circumstance of this week's Sochi summit, where President Vladimir Putin hosted 43 senior African leaders, furthers a narrative Russia is crafting about its return to the continent.

The big picture: Putin's main goal was to rattle the U.S. and Europe, which have taken Russia’s decades-long absence from Africa for granted. Despite his hype, however, cash-strapped Russia’s reach on the continent is still a far cry from what China, the West and many lesser powers can muster when it comes to financing, trade, investment and even influence.