Maria Butina, the Russian infamous gun rights advocate, hit the center of Mueller affair and became the main point of investigation of foreign nationals in the United States. They are reported to have connections to the foreign capitals and some of the important American businessmen and officials. Butina chose the perfect timing and after befriending think tank president Dmitri Simes, Washington insider Paul Erikson and other renowned Washingtonians became a Russian doorkeeper and a go-to person in the nation’s capital.
Well, why not? She had quite vast business connections and gained her popularity while starting the “Right To Bear Weapons” movement in Russia. A little while later she appeared on the ammunition producer Promtechnologii’s radar screen and ended up escorting American NRA delegation to the entity’s plant in Russia.
Promtechnologii is the producer of sniper rifle Orsis. At that very moment, Promtechnologii were working on anticipated federal government agreements, which failed to materialize beyond a small sample order for protection services. Despite this, the company’s rifles ended up having pro-Russian separatists in Donbass.
And that is where the hero of the story appears. Mikhail Abyzov, the former minister for open government affairs of Russia set up the business in 2010 in collaboration with a billionaire co-owner of rail carrier Globaltrans Konstantin Nikolaev. In 2015 Nikolaev exited the arms business.
Abyzov introduced Bright Capital Fund, a high tech investment vehicle, to handle his huge fortune. He also started investing in hi-tech organizations with military applications in the US. And it should be noted that his connection with Maria Butina solidified immensely.
Butina also moved to the United States and pursued a graduate degree in Washington, developing connections with NRA professionals and GOP authorities at the same time. She started promoting Russian firearms and guns in Washington (quite successfully, though). Well, it didn’t last long either, and now she is spending 18 months’ sentence in the federal prison convicted of becoming an unregistered foreign agent.
It should be noted that the participation of Abyzov in the USA investigation, as well as the development industry, continued. In 2011, his company, Bright Capital, spent $75 million on Alta Devices that created flexible solar power panels to mount on drones, airplanes, etc. These solar panels helped the devices to stay afloat for a longer time. The company has collaborated with the US Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, D.C.
In 2016 Bright Capital moved to Augmented Pixels, a Ukranian software startup company in Silicon Valley. The main idea of the startup was to focus on technologies and to develop automatic navigation algorithms for unmanned aerial vehicles. These technologies are widely introduced in training special forces and improving guidance precision for UAVs.
In 2018 Mikhail Chuchkevich, the supervisor of Bright Capital, was arrested in Russia on the uncertainty of embezzlement. The Russian Investigative Committee suspects that he had stolen 20 million dollars from the Russian Venture Organization through Alion Power, the US-based company, which produces robots for automated assembly of solar power photovoltaic (PV) plants. Bright Capital is said to be the first investor of the company (up to now it had invested 15 million dollars).
Abyzov was arrested in Moscow while attending his friend’s birthday party. They say that his arrest might be a part of Kremlin strategic plan against those who are linked to the Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev. It’s obvious that numerous bureaucratic strikes and law-enforcement companies are aimed at Medvedev’s clan.
Our main theme is going through the entire story. Remember the Russian rifles that finished up in the hands of pro-Russian separatists battling the Ukrainian army in Donbass? Abyzov’s high-tech drone technology could become very handy there, wherever UAVs play a major role. Besides, Abyzov was more than excited about cutting edge US technology having armed forces applications. FBI warned certain US organizations numerous times against the intentions of Russian oligarchs, which might have been more than just connected to financial revenues.
One thing can be said for sure – the curiosity of Russia and China about US high tech with military application might continue without any hindrance.