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U.S.-Soviet spy swap

U.S.-Soviet spy swap



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On February 10, 1962, American spy pilot Francis Gary Powers is released by the Soviets in exchange for Soviet Colonel Rudolf Abel, a senior KGB spy who was caught in the United States five years earlier. The two men were brought to separate sides of the Glienicker Bridge, which connects East and West Berlin across Lake Wannsee. As the spies waited, negotiators talked in the center of the bridge where a white line divided East from West. Finally, Powers and Abel were waved forward and crossed the border into freedom at the same moment–8:52 a.m., Berlin time. Just before their transfer, Frederic Pryor–an American student held by East German authorities since August 1961–was released to American authorities at another border checkpoint.

In 1957, Reino Hayhanen, a lieutenant colonel in the KGB, walked into the American embassy in Paris and announced his intention to defect to the West. Hayhanen had proved a poor spy during his five years in the United States and was being recalled to the USSR, where he feared he would be disciplined. In exchange for asylum, he promised CIA agents he could help expose a major Soviet spy network in the United States and identify its director. The CIA turned Hayhanen over to the FBI to investigate the claims.

During the Cold War, Soviet spies worked together in the United States without revealing their names or addresses to each other, a precaution in the event that one was caught or, like Hayhanen, defected. Thus, Hayhanen initially provided the FBI with little useful information. He did, however, remember being taken to a storage room in Brooklyn by his superior, whom he knew as “Mark.” The FBI tracked down the storage room and found it was rented by one Emil R. Goldfus, an artist and photographer who had a studio in Brooklyn Heights.

Emil Goldfus was Rudolf Ivanovich Abel, a brilliant Soviet spy who was fluent in at least five languages and an expert at the technical requirements of espionage. After decorated service as an intelligence operative during World War II, Abel assumed a false identity and entered an East German refugee camp where he successfully applied for the right to immigrate to Canada. In 1948, he slipped across the Canadian border into the United States, where he set about reorganizing the Soviet spy network.

After learning of Hayhanen’s defection, Abel fled to Florida, where he remained underground until June, when he felt it was safe to return to New York. On June 21, 1957, he was arrested in Manhattan’s Latham Hotel. In his studio, FBI investigators found a hollow pencil used for concealing messages, a shaving brush containing microfilm, a code book, and radio transmitting equipment. He was tried in a federal court in Brooklyn and in October was found guilty on three counts of espionage and sentenced to 30 years imprisonment. He was sent to the federal penitentiary in Atlanta, Georgia.

READ MORE: 6 Traitorous Cold War Spies

Less than three years later, on May 1, 1960, Francis Gary Powers took off from Peshawar, Pakistan, at the controls of an ultra-sophisticated Lockheed U-2 high-altitude reconnaissance aircraft. Powers, a CIA-employed pilot, was to fly over some 2,000 miles of Soviet territory to Bodo military airfield in Norway, collecting intelligence information en route. Roughly halfway through his journey, he was shot down over Sverdlovsk in the Ural Mountains. Forced to bail out at 15,000 feet, he survived the parachute jump but was promptly arrested by Soviet authorities.

On May 5, Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev announced that the American spy aircraft had been shot down and two days later revealed that Powers was alive and well and had confessed to being on an intelligence mission for the CIA. On May 7, the United States acknowledged that the U-2 had probably flown over Soviet territory but denied that it had authorized the mission.

On May 16, leaders of the United States, the USSR, Britain, and France met in Paris for a long-awaited summit meeting. The four powers were to discuss tensions in the two Germanys and negotiate new disarmament treaties. However, at the first session, the summit collapsed after President Dwight D. Eisenhower refused to apologize to Khrushchev for the U-2 incident. Khrushchev also canceled an invitation for Eisenhower to visit the USSR.

In August, Powers pleaded guilty to espionage charges in Moscow and was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment–three in prison and seven in a prison colony.

At the end of his 1957 trial, Rudolf Abel escaped the death penalty when his lawyer, James Donovan, convinced the federal judge that Abel might one day be used either as a source of intelligence information or as a hostage to be traded with the Soviets for a captured U.S. agent. In his five years in prison, Abel kept his silence, but the latter prophecy came true in 1962 when he was exchanged for Powers in Berlin. Donovan had played an important role in the negotiations that led to the swap.

Upon returning to the United States, Powers was cleared by the CIA and the Senate of any personal blame for the U-2 incident. In 1970, he published a book, Operation Overflight, about the incident and in 1977 was killed in the crash of a helicopter that he flew as a reporter for a Los Angeles television station.

Abel returned to Moscow, where he was forced into retirement by the KGB, who feared that during his five years of captivity U.S. authorities had convinced him to become a double agent. He was given a modest pension and in 1968 published KGB-approved memoirs. He died in 1971.

READ MORE: The Spy Who Kept the Cold War From Boiling Over


Illegals Program

The Illegals Program (so named by the United States Department of Justice) was a network of Russian sleeper agents under non-official cover. An investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) culminated in the arrest of ten agents on June 27, 2010, and a prisoner exchange between Russia and the United States on July 9, 2010. [1]

Illegals Program

Ten Russian agents apprehended on June 27, 2010.

The arrested spies were Russian nationals who had been planted in the U.S. by the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service (known by its Russian abbreviation, SVR), most of them using false identity. [2] Posing as ordinary American citizens, they tried to build contacts with academics, industrialists, and policymakers to gain access to intelligence. They were the target of a multi-year investigation by the FBI. The investigation, called Operation Ghost Stories, culminated at the end of June 2010 with the arrest of ten people in the U.S. and an eleventh in Cyprus. [2] The ten sleeper agents were charged with "carrying out long-term, 'deep-cover' assignments in the United States on behalf of the Russian Federation." [3] [4] [5]

The suspect arrested in Cyprus skipped bail the day after his arrest. [6] A twelfth person, a Russian national who worked for Microsoft, was also apprehended about the same time and deported on July 13, 2010. [7] Moscow court documents made public on June 27, 2011, revealed that another two Russian agents managed to flee the U.S. without being arrested. [8]

Ten of the agents were flown to Vienna on July 9, 2010, soon after pleading guilty to charges of failing to register as representatives of a foreign government. The same day, the agents were exchanged for four Russian nationals, three of whom had been convicted and imprisoned by Russia on espionage (high treason) on behalf of the US and UK. [9]

On October 31, 2011, the FBI publicly released several dozen still images, clips from surveillance video, and documents related to its investigation in response to Freedom of Information Act requests. [3] [10]


U.S, Russia complete swap of 14 spies in Vienna

MOSCOW &mdash The U.S. and Russia orchestrated the largest spy swap since the Cold War, exchanging 10 spies arrested in the U.S. for four convicted in Russia in an elaborately choreographed diplomatic dance Friday at Vienna’s airport.

The exchange was a clear demonstration of President Barack Obama’s “reset” ties between Moscow and Washington, enabling the U.S. to retrieve four Russians, some of whom were suffering through long prison terms.

At least one of the four &mdash ex-colonel Alexander Zaporozhsky &mdash may have exposed information leading to the capture of Robert Hanssen and Aldrich Ames, two of the most damaging spies ever caught in the U.S.

The talks leading to the spy swap began when CIA director Leon Panetta approached Mikhail Fradkov, the head of Russia’s Foreign Intelligence Service, with a proposed deal, a U.S. official said Friday. Following the FBI arrests of the Russians, the U.S. intelligence agency reached out, making it possible for Panetta to suggest the exchange, the official said on condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive intelligence matters.

Moscow avoided having 10 spy trials in the United States that would have spilled embarrassing details of how its agents, posing as ordinary citizens, apparently uncovered little of value but managed to be watched by the FBI for years.

The handover allowed Vienna to add yet another distinctive event to its long history as a key site for diplomacy, the capital of neutral Austria being the preferred place to work on treaties and agreements to reduce U.S.-Soviet tensions during the Cold War.

After not commenting for days, the U.S. Justice Department finally announced a successful completion to the spy swap after the two planes involved touched down in Moscow and London.

The Russian Foreign Ministry also confirmed the swap, but said only that those involved had been “accused” or “convicted” of unspecified offenses &mdash a statement that underlined Russia’s apparent discomfort with the scandal that erupted nearly two weeks ago. The Kremlin has clearly been worried the June 27 arrests would undermine efforts to improve relations with Washington.

Ordinary Russians took little satisfaction from the agents’ undercover exploits.

“They obviously were very bad spies if they got caught. They got caught, so they should be tried,” said Sasha Ivanov, a businessman walking by a Moscow train station.

One alleged Russian spy wanted in the United States &mdash the paymaster for the whole spy ring &mdash was still a fugitive after jumping bail in Cyprus. Neither the U.S. or Russia have commented on his whereabouts.

To start the whirlwind exchange, two planes &mdash one from New York’s La Guardia airport and another from Moscow &mdash arrived Friday in Vienna within minutes of each other. They parked nose-to-tail at a remote section on the tarmac, exchanged spies using a small bus, then departed just as quickly. In all, it took less than an hour and a half.

The Russian Emergencies Ministry Yak-42 then left for Moscow carrying the 10 people deported from the U.S., and a maroon-and-white Boeing 767-200 that brought those agents in from New York whisked away four Russians who had confessed to spying for the West.

The U.S. charter landed briefly at RAF Brize Norton air base in southern England. A U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said two of the four Russians were dropped off there before the plane headed back across the Atlantic.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev had signed a decree pardoning the four Thursday after officials forced them to sign confessions. The Kremlin identified them as Zaporozhsky, Igor Sutyagin, Gennady Vasilenko and Sergei Skripal.

Sutyagin, an arms researcher convicted of spying for the United States, had told relatives earlier he was being sent to Britain. Skripal was convicted of spying for Britain, but there was no official confirmation he was left in the U.K.

Both the U.S and Russia won admissions of crimes from the subjects of the exchange &mdash guilty pleas in the U.S. and signed confessions in Russia.

In exchange for the 10 Russian agents, the U.S. won freedom for and access to two former Russian intelligence colonels who had been convicted in their home country of compromising dozens of valuable Soviet-era and Russian agents operating in the West. Two others also convicted of betraying Moscow were wrapped into the deal.

U.S. officials said some of those freed by Russia were ailing, and cited humanitarian concerns for arranging the swap in such a hurry. They said no substantial benefit to U.S. national security was seen from keeping the captured low-level agents in U.S. prisons for years.

“This sends a powerful signal to people who cooperate with us that we will stay loyal to you,” said former CIA officer Peter Earnest. “Even if you have been in jail for years, we will not forget you.”

The 10 Russian agents arrested in the U.S. had tried to blend into American suburbia but been under watch by the FBI. Their access to top U.S. national security secrets appeared spotty at best, although the extent of what they passed on is not publicly known.

The lawyer for one of them, Vicky Pelaez, said the Russian government had offered her $2,000 a month for life, housing and help with her children &mdash rather than the years behind bars she could have faced in the U.S. if she had not agreed to the deal.

Zaporozhsky, a former colonel in the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service, sentenced in 2003 to 18 years in prison for espionage on behalf of the United States, passing secret information about undercover Russian agents working in the United States and about Americans working for Russian intelligence.

Skripal, a former colonel in the Russian military intelligence, was found guilty of passing state secrets to Britain and sentenced to 13 years in prison in 2006. He was accused of revealing the names of several dozen Russian agents working in Europe.

Sutyagin asserts his innocence despite the forced confession. He worked with the U.S.A. and Canada Institute, a respected Moscow-based think-tank, before being sentenced to 15 years in 2004 on charges of passing information on nuclear submarines and other weapons to a British company that Russia claimed was a CIA cover. Sutyagin says the information he provided was available from open sources.

Gennady Vasilenko, a former KGB officer employed as a security officer by Russia’s NTV television, was sentenced in 2006 to three years in prison on illegal weapons possession and resistance to authorities. It was not exactly clear why he was involved in the spy swap.

The U.S. deported agents using the names Anna Chapman, Tracey Lee Ann Foley, Donald Howard Heathfield, Juan Lazaro, Patricia Mills, Richard and Cynthia Murphy, Vicky Pelaez, Mikhail Semenko and Michael Zottoli. All pleaded guilty on Thursday to conspiring to act as unregistered foreign agents.

Several of the agents had children, both minors and adults, and it was not clear yet exactly where the children would end up.

Chapman, 28, whose active social life was splashed all over the tabloids, was accused of using a special laptop to transmit messages to another computer of an unnamed Russian official. Chapman is her married name, her maiden name was Kushchenko.

Chapman spent several years in London, was married to a British man and then divorced, and is believed to be a dual British-Russian national. The British government said Friday it was considering stripping her of her U.K. citizenship.

“This case is under urgent consideration,” a Home Office spokeswoman said on condition of anonymity, in line with government policy.

Donald Heathfield and Tracey Foley were the aliases for Andrey Bezrukov and Elena Vavilova, who lived in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and had two sons, 20 and 16. She posed as a real estate agent around Boston, he worked as a sales consultant at Global Partners Inc., a Cambridge-based international management consulting firm and also had his own consulting company.

Another convicted couple, Mikhail Kutsik and Natalia Pereverzeva, had been living in Seattle and Arlington, Virginia, under the aliases Michael Zottoli and Patricia Mills. They had two children, ages 1 and 3, and before the plea bargain were already planning to send the children to live with relatives in Russia.

Vladimir and Lydia Guryev, had been living in Montclair, New Jersey, under the names Richard and Cynthia Murphy. While he stayed at home with their two daughters aged 7 and 11, she had a well-paying job as a tax consultant in New York City. It was not clear where the girls, who had always lived in the United States, would live now.

Lazaro, 66, whose real name is Mikhail Vasenkov, brought his wife, Vicky Pelaez, into the conspiracy by having her pass letters to the Russian intelligence service on his behalf. She was a journalist for a Spanish newspaper in New York. Pelaez is her real name. She has two sons, 38-year-old and a 17-year-old, and her lawyer said the youth might remain in the United States living with his half brother. The lawyer also said Pelaez wanted to go home to her native Peru.

Semenko of Arlington, Virginia, worked at the Travel All Russia agency.

The fugitive who jumped bail in Cyprus after being arrested on an Interpol warrant is the suspected paymaster for the U.S. spy ring. Canadian authorities say he was traveling as Christopher Metsos, a 54-year-old tourist on a Canadian passport that stole the identity of a dead child. Authorities have not released any other identity for him.

Oleskyn and Gera reported from Vienna. Associated Press writers George Jahn in Vienna, David Nowak in Moscow, Danica Kirka and Jill Lawless in London and Matt Lee, Calvin Woodward and Kimberly Dozier in Washington contributed to this report.


Shades of Cold War: US, Russia Swap 14 Spies in Vienna

The U.S. and Russia orchestrated the largest spy swap since the Cold War, exchanging 10 spies arrested in the U.S. for four convicted in Russia in a tightly choreographed diplomatic dance Friday at Vienna's airport.

The exchange was a clear demonstration of President Barack Obama's "reset" ties between Moscow and Washington, enabling the U.S. to retrieve four Russians, some of whom were suffering through long prison terms.

At least one of the four—ex-colonel Alexander Zaporozhsky—may have exposed information leading to the capture of Robert Hanssen and Aldrich Ames, two of the most damaging spies ever caught in the U.S.

Moscow avoided having 10 spy trials in the United Statesthat would have spilled embarrassing details of how its agents, posing as ordinary citizens, apparently uncovered little of value but managed to be watched by the FBI for years.

The handover allowed Vienna to add yet another distintive event to its long history as a key site for diplomacy, the capital of neutral Austria being the preferred place to work on treaties and agreements to reduce U.S.-Soviet tensions during the Cold War.

After not commenting for days, the U.S. Justice Department finally announced a successful completion to the spy swap after the two planes involved touched down in Moscow and London.

The Russian Foreign Ministry also confirmed the swap, but said only that those involved had been "accused" or "convicted" of unspecified offenses—a statement that underlined Russia's apparent discomfort with the scandal that erupted nearly two weeks ago. The Kremlin has clearly been worried the arrests would undermine recent efforts to improve relations with Washington.

Ordinary Russians took little satisfaction from the agents' undercover exploits.

"They obviously were very bad spies if they got caught. They got caught, so they should be tried," said Sasha Ivanov, a businessman walking by a Moscow train station.

One alleged Russian spy wanted in the United States—the paymaster for the whole spy ring—was still a fugitive after jumping bail in Cyprus. Neither the U.S. or Russia have commented on his whereabouts.

To start the whirlwind exchange, two planes—one from New York's La Guardia airport and another from Moscow—arrived Friday in Vienna within minutes of each other.

They parked nose-to-tail at a remote section on the tarmac, exchanged spies using a small bus, then departed just as quickly. In all, it took less than an hour and a half.

The Russian Emergencies Ministry Yak-42 then left for Moscow carrying the 10 people deported from the U.S., and a maroon-and-white Boeing 767-200 that brought those agents in from New York whisked away four Russians who had confessed to spying for the West.

The U.S. charter landed briefly at RAF Brize Norton air base in southern England, where a U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said two of the four Russians were dropped off before the plane headed back across the Atlantic.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev had signed a decree pardoning the four Thursday after officials forced them to sign confessions. The Kremlin identified them as Zaporozhsky, Igor Sutyagin, Gennady Vasilenko and Sergei Skripal.

Sutyagin, an arms researcher convicted of spying for the United States, had told relatives earlier he was being sent to Britain.

Skripal was convicted of spying for Britain, but there was no confirmation he was left in the U.K.

Both the U.S and Russia won admissions of crimes from the subjects of the exchange—guilty pleas in the U.S. and signed confessions in Russia.

In exchange for the 10 Russian agents, the U.S. won freedom for and access to two former Russian intelligence colonels who had been convicted in their home country of compromising dozens of valuable Soviet-era and Russian agents operating in the West. Two others also convicted of betraying Moscow were wrapped into the deal.

U.S. officials said some of those freed by Russia were ailing, and cited humanitarian concerns for arranging the swap in such a hurry. They said no substantial benefit to U.S. national security was seen from keeping the captured low-level agents in U.S. prisons for years.

"This sends a powerful signal to people who cooperate with us that we will stay loyal to you," said former CIA officer Peter Earnest.

"Even if you have been in jail for years, we will not forget you."

The 10 Russian agents arrested in the U.S. had tried to blend into American suburbia but been under watch by the FBI. Their access to top U.S. national security secrets appeared spotty at best, although the extent of what they passed on is not publicly known.

The lawyer for one of them, Vicky Pelaez, said the Russian government had offered her $2,000 a month for life, housing and help with her children—rather than the years behind bars she could have faced in the U.S. if she had not agreed to the deal.

Zaporozhsky, a former colonel in the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service, sentenced in 2003 to 18 years in prison for espionage on behalf of the United States, passing secret information about undercover Russian agents working in the United States and about Americans working for Russian intelligence.

Skripal, a former colonel in the Russian military intelligence, was found guilty of passing state secrets to Britain and sentenced to 13 years in prison in 2006. He was accused of revealing the names of several dozen Russian agents working in Europe.

Sutyagin asserts his innocence despite the forced confession. He worked with the U.S.A. and Canada Institute, a respected Moscow-based think-tank, before being sentenced to 15 years in 2004 on charges of passing information on nuclear submarines and other weapons to a British company that Russia claimed was a CIA cover. Sutyagin says the information he provided was available from open sources.

Gennady Vasilenko, a former KGB officer employed as a security officer by Russia's NTV television, was sentenced in 2006 to three years in prison on illegal weapons possession and resistance to authorities. It was not exactly clear why he was involved in the spy swap.

The U.S. deported agents using the names Anna Chapman, Tracey Lee Ann Foley, Donald Howard Heathfield, Juan Lazaro, Patricia Mills, Richard and Cynthia Murphy, Vicky Pelaez, Mikhail Semenko and Michael Zottoli. All pleaded guilty on Thursday to conspiring to act as unregistered foreign agents.

Several of the agents had children, both minors and adults, and it was not clear yet exactly which country the children would end up in.

Chapman, 28, whose active social life was splashed all over the tabloids, was accused of using a special laptop to transmit messages to another computer of an unnamed Russian official. Chapman is her married name, her maiden name was Kushchenko. She is now divorced from a British man who says his Russian father-in-law used to be a high-ranking KGB official.

Donald Heathfield and Tracey Foley were the aliases for Andrey Bezrukov and Elena Vavilova, who lived in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and had two sons, 20 and 16. She posed as a real estate agent around Boston, he worked as a sales consultant at Global Partners Inc., a Cambridge-based international management consulting firm and also had his own consulting company.

Another convicted couple, Mikhail Kutsik and Natalia Pereverzeva, had been living in Seattle and Arlington, Virginia, under the aliases Michael Zottoli and Patricia Mills. They had two children, ages 1 and 3, and before the plea bargain were already planning to send the children to live with relatives in Russia.

Vladimir and Lydia Guryev, had been living in Montclair, New Jersey, under the names Richard and Cynthia Murphy. While he stayed at home with their two daughters aged 7 and 11, she had a well-paying job as a tax consultant in New York City. It was not clear where the girls, who had always lived in the United States, would live now.

Lazaro, 66, whose real name is Mikhail Vasenkov, brought his wife, Vicky Pelaez, into the conspiracy by having her pass letters to the Russian intelligence service on his behalf. She was a journalist for a Spanish newspaper in New York. Pelaez is her real name. She has two sons, 38-year-old and a 17-year-old, and her lawyer said the youth might remain in the United States living with his brother.


Contents

Robert Hanssen was born in Chicago, Illinois, to a Lutheran family who lived in the Norwood Park neighborhood. [9] His father Howard, a Chicago police officer, was emotionally abusive to Hanssen during his childhood. [4] [10] He graduated from William Howard Taft High School in 1962 and went on to attend Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois, where he earned a bachelor's degree in chemistry in 1966.

Hanssen applied for a cryptographer position in the National Security Agency, but was rebuffed due to budget setbacks. He enrolled in dental school at Northwestern University [11] but switched his focus to business after three years. [12] Hanssen received an MBA in accounting and information systems in 1971 and took a job with an accounting firm. He quit after one year and joined the Chicago Police Department as an internal affairs investigator, specializing in forensic accounting. In January 1976, he left the police department to join the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). [4]

Hanssen met Bernadette "Bonnie" Wauck, a staunch Roman Catholic, while attending dental school at Northwestern. The couple married in 1968, and Hanssen converted from Lutheranism to his wife's Catholicism. Hanssen embraced his conversion and went on to join the Catholic organization Opus Dei [13] with like-minded individuals.

Upon becoming a special agent on January 12, 1976, Hanssen was transferred to the FBI's Gary, Indiana, field office. In 1978, he and his growing family of three children (and eventually six) moved to New York City when the FBI transferred him to its field office there. [14] The next year, Hanssen was moved into counterintelligence and given the task of compiling a database of Soviet intelligence for the Bureau.

In 1979, Hanssen approached the Soviet Main Intelligence Directorate (GRU) and offered his services. He never indicated any political or ideological motive for his actions, telling the FBI after he was caught that his only motivation was financial. [15] During his first espionage cycle, Hanssen provided a significant amount of information to the GRU, including details of the FBI's bugging activities and lists of suspected Soviet intelligence agents. His most important leak was the betrayal of Dmitri Polyakov, a CIA informant who passed enormous amounts of information to U.S. intelligence while rising to the rank of General in the Soviet Army. For unknown reasons, the Soviets did not act against Polyakov until he was betrayed a second time by CIA mole Aldrich Ames in 1985. Polyakov was arrested in 1986 and executed in 1988. Ames was officially blamed for giving Polyakov's name to the Soviets, while Hanssen's attempt was not revealed until after his 2001 capture. [16] CIA and FBI officials, including Deputy Director William Sullivan, believed that, at some point, Polyakov was turned by the Soviets and made into a triple agent who deceived the West with misinformation. [17] [18]

In 1981, Hanssen was transferred to FBI headquarters in Washington, D.C., and he moved to the suburb of Vienna, Virginia. His new job in the FBI's budget office gave him access to information involving many different FBI operations. This included all the FBI activities related to wiretapping and electronic surveillance, which were Hanssen's responsibility. He became known in the Bureau as an expert on computers. [19]

Three years later, Hanssen transferred to the FBI's Soviet analytical unit, which was responsible for studying, identifying, and capturing Soviet spies and intelligence operatives in the United States. Hanssen's section was in charge of evaluating Soviet agents who volunteered to give intelligence to determine whether they were genuine or re-doubled agents. [20] In 1985, Hanssen was again transferred to the FBI's field office in New York, where he continued to work in counterintelligence against the Soviets. It was after the transfer, while on a business trip back to Washington, that he resumed his career in espionage.

On October 1, 1985, Hanssen sent an anonymous letter to the KGB offering his services and asking for $100,000 in cash, equivalent to $240,625 in 2020. [21] . In the letter, he gave the names of three KGB agents secretly working for the FBI: Boris Yuzhin, Valery Martynov, and Sergei Motorin. Although Hanssen was unaware of it, all three agents had already been exposed earlier that year by Ames. [22] Yuzhin had returned to Moscow in 1982 and had been put under intensive investigation by the KGB there due to having lost a concealed camera in the Soviet consulate in San Francisco, but he was not arrested until being exposed by Ames and Hanssen. [23] Martynov and Motorin were recalled to Moscow, where they were arrested, charged, tried, and convicted of espionage against the USSR. Martynov and Motorin were condemned to death and executed via a gun-shot to the back of the head. Yuzhin was imprisoned for six years before he was released under a general amnesty to political prisoners, and subsequently emigrated to the U.S. [24] Because the FBI blamed Ames for the leak, Hanssen was not suspected nor investigated. The October 1 letter was the beginning of a long, active espionage period for Hanssen.

Hanssen was recalled yet again to Washington in 1987. He was given the task of making a study of all known and rumored penetrations of the FBI in order to find the man who had betrayed Martynov and Motorin this meant that he was looking for himself. Hanssen ensured that he not unmask himself with his study, but in addition, he turned over the entire study—including the list of all Soviets who had contacted the Bureau about FBI moles—to the KGB in 1988. [25] That same year, Hanssen, according to a government report, committed a "serious security breach" by revealing secret information to a Soviet defector during a debriefing. The agents working beneath him reported this breach to a supervisor, but no action was taken. [4]

In 1989, Hanssen compromised the FBI investigation of Felix Bloch, a State Department official who had come under suspicion for espionage. Hanssen warned the KGB that Bloch was under investigation, causing the KGB to abruptly break off contact with him. The FBI was unable to produce any hard evidence, and as a result, Bloch was never charged with a crime, although the State Department later terminated his employment and denied his pension. The failure of the Bloch investigation and the FBI's investigation of how the KGB found out they were investigating Bloch drove the mole hunt that eventually led to the arrest of Hanssen. [26]

Later that year, Hanssen handed over extensive information about American planning for measurement and signature intelligence (MASINT), an umbrella term for intelligence collected by a wide array of electronic means, such as radar, spy satellites, and signal intercepts. [27] [28] When the Soviets began construction on a new embassy in 1977, the FBI dug a tunnel beneath their decoding room. The Bureau planned to use it for eavesdropping, but never did for fear of being caught. Hanssen disclosed this information to the Soviets in September 1989 and received a $55,000 payment the next month, equivalent to $114,828 in 2020. [21] [29] On two occasions, Hanssen gave the Soviets a complete list of American double agents. [30]

In 1990, Hanssen's brother-in-law, Mark Wauck, who was also an FBI employee, recommended to the Bureau that Hanssen be investigated for espionage because his sister (Hanssen's wife) told him that her sister (Jeanne Beglis) had found a pile of cash on a dresser in the Hanssens' house. Bonnie had previously told her brother that Hanssen once talked about retiring in Poland, then part of the Eastern Bloc. Wauck also knew that the FBI was hunting for a mole and so spoke with his supervisor, who took no action. [4] [31]

When the Soviet Union collapsed in December 1991, Hanssen, possibly worried that he could be exposed during the ensuing political upheaval, broke off communications with his handlers for a time. [32] The following year, after the Russian Federation took over the defunct USSR's spy agencies, Hanssen made a risky approach to the GRU, with whom he had not been in contact in ten months. He went in person to the Russian embassy and physically approached a GRU officer in the parking garage. Hanssen, carrying a package of documents, identified himself by his Soviet code name, "Ramon Garcia," and described himself as a "disaffected FBI agent" who was offering his services as a spy. The Russian officer, who evidently did not recognize the code name, drove off. The Russians then filed an official protest with the State Department, believing Hanssen to be a triple agent. Despite having shown his face, disclosed his code name, and revealed his FBI affiliation, Hanssen escaped arrest when the Bureau's investigation into the incident did not advance. [33]

Hanssen continued to take risks in 1993 when he hacked into the computer of a fellow FBI agent, Ray Mislock, printed out a classified document from Mislock's computer, and took the document to Mislock, saying, "You didn't believe me that the system was insecure." Hanssen's superiors were not amused and launched an investigation. In the end, officials believed his claim that he was merely demonstrating flaws in the FBI's security system. Mislock has since theorized that Hanssen probably went onto his computer to see if his superiors were investigating him for espionage, and invented the document story to cover his tracks. [34]

In 1994, Hanssen expressed interest in a transfer to the new National Counterintelligence Center, which coordinated counterintelligence activities. When told that he would have to take a lie detector test to join, Hanssen changed his mind. [35] Three years later, convicted FBI mole Earl Edwin Pitts told the Bureau that he suspected Hanssen was dirty due to the Mislock incident. Pitts was the second FBI agent to mention Hanssen by name as a possible mole, but superiors were still unconvinced and no action was taken. [36]

IT personnel from the National Security Division's IIS Unit were sent to investigate Hanssen's desktop computer following a reported failure. NSD chief Johnnie Sullivan ordered the computer impounded after it appeared to have been tampered with. A digital investigation found that an attempted hacking had taken place using a password cracking program installed by Hanssen, which caused a security alert and lockup. Following confirmation by the FBI CART Unit, Sullivan filed a report with the Office of Professional Responsibility requesting further investigation of Hanssen's attempted hack. Hanssen claimed that he was attempting to connect a color printer to his computer, but needed the password cracker to bypass the administrative password. The FBI believed his story and Hanssen was let off with a warning. [37]

During the same time period, Hanssen searched the FBI's internal computer case record to see if he was under investigation. He was indiscreet enough to type his own name into FBI search engines. Finding nothing, Hanssen decided to resume his spy career after eight years without contact with the Russians. He established contact with the SVR (the successor to the Soviet-era KGB) in the fall of 1999. He continued to perform highly incriminating searches of FBI files for his own name and address. [38]

The existence of two Russian moles working in the U.S. security and intelligence establishment simultaneously—Ames at the CIA and Hanssen at the FBI—complicated counterintelligence efforts in the 1990s. Ames was arrested in 1994 his exposure explained many of the asset losses U.S. intelligence suffered in the 1980s, including the arrest and execution of Martynov and Motorin. However, two cases—the Bloch investigation and the embassy tunnel—stood out and remained unsolved. Ames had been stationed in Rome at the time of the Bloch investigation, and could not have had knowledge of that case or of the tunnel under the embassy, as he did not work for the FBI. [39] [40]

The FBI and CIA formed a joint mole-hunting team in 1994 to find the suspected second intelligence leak. They formed a list of all agents known to have access to cases that were compromised. The FBI's codename for the suspected spy was "Graysuit". Some promising suspects were cleared, and the mole hunt found other penetrations such as CIA officer Harold James Nicholson. However, Hanssen escaped notice. [41]

By 1998, using FBI criminal profiling techniques, the pursuers zeroed in on an innocent man: Brian Kelley, a CIA operative involved in the Bloch investigation. The CIA and FBI searched his house, tapped his phone and put him under surveillance, following him and his family everywhere. In November 1998, they had a man with a foreign accent come to Kelley's door, warn him that the FBI knew he was a spy and tell him to show up at a Metro station the next day in order to escape. Kelley instead reported the incident to the FBI. In 1999, the FBI even interrogated Kelley, his ex-wife, two sisters and three children. All denied everything. He was eventually placed on administrative leave, where he remained falsely accused until after Hanssen was arrested. [4] [42]

FBI investigators later made progress during an operation in which they paid off disaffected Russian intelligence officers to deliver information on moles. They paid $7 million to KGB agent Alexandr Shcherbakov [43] who had access to a file on "B." While it did not contain Hanssen's name, among the information was an audiotape of a July 21, 1986, conversation between "B" and KGB agent Aleksander Fefelov. [44] FBI agent Michael Waguespack felt the voice was familiar, but could not remember who it was. Rifling through the rest of the files, they found notes of the mole using a quote from General George S. Patton about "the purple-pissing Japanese." [45] FBI analyst Bob King remembered Hanssen using that same quote. Waguespack listened to the tape again and recognized the voice as belonging to Hanssen. With the mole finally identified, locations, dates and cases were matched with Hanssen's activities during the time period. Two fingerprints collected from a trash bag in the file were analyzed and proved to be Hanssen's. [46] [47] [48]

The FBI placed Hanssen under surveillance and soon discovered that he was again in contact with the Russians. In order to bring him back to FBI headquarters, where he could be closely monitored and kept away from sensitive data, they promoted him in December 2000 and gave him a new job supervising FBI computer security. In January 2001, Hanssen was given an office and an assistant, Eric O'Neill, who, in reality, was a young FBI surveillance specialist who had been assigned to watch Hanssen. O'Neill ascertained that Hanssen was using a Palm III PDA to store his information. When O'Neill was able to briefly obtain Hanssen's PDA and have agents download and decode its encrypted contents, the FBI had its "smoking gun." [49] [50] [51]

During his final days with the FBI, Hanssen began to suspect that something was wrong in early February 2001 he asked his friend at a computer technology company for a job. He also believed he was hearing noises on his car radio that indicated that it was bugged, although the FBI was later unable to reproduce the noises Hanssen claimed to have heard. In the last letter he wrote to the Russians, which was picked up by the FBI when he was arrested, Hanssen said that he had been promoted to a "do-nothing job . outside of regular access to information," and that, "Something has aroused the sleeping tiger." [52]

However, Hanssen's suspicions did not stop him from making one more dead drop. After dropping his friend off at the airport on February 18, 2001, Hanssen drove to Virginia's Foxstone Park. He placed a white piece of tape on a park sign, which was a signal to his Russian contacts that there was information at the dead drop site. He then followed his usual routine, taking a package consisting of a sealed garbage bag of classified material and taping it to the bottom side of a wooden footbridge over a creek. When FBI agents spotted this highly incriminating act, they rushed in to catch Hanssen red-handed and arrest him. [53] Upon being arrested, Hanssen asked, "What took you so long?" The FBI waited two more days to see if any of Hanssen's SVR handlers would show up at Foxstone Park. When they failed to appear, the Justice Department announced the arrest on February 20. [54]

With the representation of Washington lawyer Plato Cacheris, Hanssen negotiated a plea bargain that enabled him to escape the death penalty in exchange for cooperating with authorities. [7] On July 6, 2001, he pleaded guilty to 15 counts of espionage and one of conspiracy to commit espionage in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. [7] [8] On May 10, 2002, Hanssen was sentenced to 15 consecutive sentences of life in prison without the possibility of parole. "I apologize for my behavior. I am shamed by it," Hanssen told U.S. District Judge Claude Hilton. "I have opened the door for calumny against my totally innocent wife and children. I have hurt so many deeply." [55]

Hanssen is Federal Bureau of Prisons prisoner #48551-083. He is serving his sentence at the ADX Florence, a federal supermax prison near Florence, Colorado, in solitary confinement for 23 hours a day. [56] [57]

Hanssen never told the KGB or GRU his identity and refused to meet them personally, with the exception of the abortive 1993 contact in the Russian embassy parking garage. The FBI believes that the Russians never knew the name of their source. [58] Going by the alias "Ramon" or "Ramon Garcia", [59] Hanssen exchanged intelligence and payments through an old-fashioned dead drop system in which he and his KGB handlers left packages in public, unobtrusive places. [60] He refused to use the dead drop sites that his handler, Victor Cherkashin, suggested and instead picked his own. He also designated a code to be used when dates were exchanged. Six was to be added to the month, day, and time of a designated drop time, so that, for example, a drop scheduled for January 6 at 1 pm would be written as July 12 at 7 pm. [61]

Despite these efforts at caution and security, Hanssen could at times be reckless. He once said in a letter to the KGB that it should emulate the management style of Mayor of Chicago Richard J. Daley—a comment that easily could have led an investigator to look at people from Chicago. [62] Hanssen took the risk of recommending to his handlers that they try to recruit his closest friend, a colonel in the United States Army. [63]

According to USA Today, those who knew the Hanssens described them as a close family. They attended Mass weekly and were very active in Opus Dei. Hanssen's three sons attended The Heights School in Potomac, Maryland, an all-boys preparatory school. [64] His three daughters attended Oakcrest School for Girls in Vienna, Virginia, an independent Roman Catholic school. Both schools are associated with Opus Dei. Hanssen's wife Bonnie retired from teaching theology at Oakcrest in 2020. [65]

A priest at Oakcrest said that Hanssen had regularly attended a 6:30 a.m. daily Mass for more than a decade. [66] Opus Dei member Father C. John McCloskey III said he also occasionally attended the daily noontime Mass at the Catholic Information Center in downtown Washington. After going to prison, Hanssen claimed he periodically admitted his espionage to priests in Confession. He urged fellow Catholics in the Bureau to attend Mass more often and denounced the Russians as "godless," even though he had been spying for them. [67]

However, at Hanssen's suggestion, and without the knowledge of his wife, a friend named Jack Hoschouer, a retired Army officer, would sometimes watch the Hanssens having sex through a bedroom window. Hanssen then began to secretly videotape his sexual encounters and shared the videotapes with Hoschouer. Later, he hid a video camera in the bedroom that was connected via closed-circuit television line so that Hoschouer could observe the Hanssens from his guest bedroom. [68] He also explicitly described the sexual details of his marriage on Internet chat rooms, giving information sufficient for those who knew them to recognize the couple. [69]

Hanssen frequently visited D.C. strip clubs and spent a great deal of time with a Washington stripper named Priscilla Sue Galey. She went with Hanssen on a trip to Hong Kong and on a visit to the FBI training facility in Quantico, Virginia. [70] Hanssen gave her money, jewels, and a used Mercedes-Benz, but cut off contact with her before his arrest when she fell into drug abuse and prostitution. Galey claims that although she offered to sleep with him, Hanssen declined, saying that he was trying to convert her to Catholicism. [71]

The Hanssen spy case is told in Ronald Kessler's book The Secrets of the FBI in chapter 15, "Catching Hanssen," chapter 16, "Breach", and chapter 17, "Unexplained Cash", based in part on interviews with Michael Rochford, who headed the FBI team that eventually caught Hanssen after initially wrongly focusing on a CIA officer as the master spy. [72]

Hanssen was the subject of a 2002 made-for-television movie, Master Spy: The Robert Hanssen Story, with the teleplay by Norman Mailer and starring William Hurt as Hanssen. Hanssen's jailers allowed him to watch this movie, but he was so angered by it that he turned it off. [73]

Eric O'Neill's role in the capture of Robert Hanssen was dramatized in the 2007 film Breach, in which Chris Cooper played the role of Hanssen and Ryan Phillippe played O'Neill. [74]

The 2007 documentary Superspy: The Man Who Betrayed the West describes the hunt to trap Hanssen.

Hanssen is mentioned in chapter 5 of Dan Brown's book The Da Vinci Code, as the most noted Opus Dei member to non-members. Because of his sexual deviancy and espionage conviction, the organization's reputation was badly hurt. [75]

The American Court TV (now TruTV) television series Mugshots released an episode on the Robert Hanssen case titled "Robert Hanssen – Hanssen and the KGB". [76]

Hanssen's story was featured in episode 4, under the name of "Perfect Traitor", of Smithsonian Channel's series Spy Wars, aired end of 2019 and narrated by Damian Lewis. [78]

Hanssen is also mentioned in the seventh episode of The History Channel series America's Book of Secrets.

Hanssen is also mentioned in the fifth episode of Netflix series Spycraft.


Cold War redux: US, Russia swap 14 spies in Vienna

Journalists crowd near the entrance to Moscow's Lefortovo prison, where Igor Sutyagin, an arms control analyst convicted of spying for the West, was earlier reportedly transferred, Thursday, July 8, 2010. A lawyer for Sutyagin says he reportedly has been flown to Vienna in what appeared to be the first step of a Russia-U.S. spy swap. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)

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MOSCOW&mdash The U.S. and Russia orchestrated the largest spy swap since the Cold War, exchanging 10 spies arrested in the U.S. for four convicted in Russia in an elaborately choreographed diplomatic dance Friday at Vienna's airport.

The exchange was a clear demonstration of President Barack Obama's "reset" ties between Moscow and Washington, enabling the U.S. to retrieve four Russians, some of whom were suffering through long prison terms.

At least one of the four -- ex-colonel Alexander Zaporozhsky -- may have exposed information leading to the capture of Robert Hanssen and Aldrich Ames, two of the most damaging spies ever caught in the U.S.

The talks leading to the spy swap began when CIA director Leon Panetta approached Mikhail Fradkov, the head of Russia's Foreign Intelligence Service, with a proposed deal, a U.S. official said Friday. Following the FBI arrests of the Russians, the U.S. intelligence agency reached out, making it possible for Panetta to suggest the exchange, the official said on condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive intelligence matters.

Moscow avoided having 10 spy trials in the United States that would have spilled embarrassing details of how its agents, posing as ordinary citizens, apparently uncovered little of value but managed to be watched by the FBI for years.

The handover allowed Vienna to add yet another distinctive event to its long history as a key site for diplomacy, the capital of neutral Austria being the preferred place to work on treaties and agreements to reduce U.S.-Soviet tensions during the Cold War.

After not commenting for days, the U.S. Justice Department finally announced a successful completion to the spy swap after the two planes involved touched down in Moscow and London.

The Russian Foreign Ministry also confirmed the swap, but said only that those involved had been "accused" or "convicted" of unspecified offenses -- a statement that underlined Russia's apparent discomfort with the scandal that erupted nearly two weeks ago. The Kremlin has clearly been worried the June 27 arrests would undermine efforts to improve relations with Washington.

Ordinary Russians took little satisfaction from the agents' undercover exploits.

"They obviously were very bad spies if they got caught. They got caught, so they should be tried," said Sasha Ivanov, a businessman walking by a Moscow train station.

One alleged Russian spy wanted in the United States -- the paymaster for the whole spy ring -- was still a fugitive after jumping bail in Cyprus. Neither the U.S. or Russia have commented on his whereabouts.

To start the whirlwind exchange, two planes -- one from New York's La Guardia airport and another from Moscow -- arrived Friday in Vienna within minutes of each other. They parked nose-to-tail at a remote section on the tarmac, exchanged spies using a small bus, then departed just as quickly. In all, it took less than an hour and a half.

The Russian Emergencies Ministry Yak-42 then left for Moscow carrying the 10 people deported from the U.S., and a maroon-and-white Boeing 767-200 that brought those agents in from New York whisked away four Russians who had confessed to spying for the West.

The U.S. charter landed briefly at RAF Brize Norton air base in southern England. A U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said two of the four Russians were dropped off there before the plane headed back across the Atlantic.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev had signed a decree pardoning the four Thursday after officials forced them to sign confessions. The Kremlin identified them as Zaporozhsky, Igor Sutyagin, Gennady Vasilenko and Sergei Skripal.

Sutyagin, an arms researcher convicted of spying for the United States, had told relatives earlier he was being sent to Britain. Skripal was convicted of spying for Britain, but there was no official confirmation he was left in the U.K.

Both the U.S and Russia won admissions of crimes from the subjects of the exchange -- guilty pleas in the U.S. and signed confessions in Russia.

In exchange for the 10 Russian agents, the U.S. won freedom for and access to two former Russian intelligence colonels who had been convicted in their home country of compromising dozens of valuable Soviet-era and Russian agents operating in the West. Two others also convicted of betraying Moscow were wrapped into the deal.

U.S. officials said some of those freed by Russia were ailing, and cited humanitarian concerns for arranging the swap in such a hurry. They said no substantial benefit to U.S. national security was seen from keeping the captured low-level agents in U.S. prisons for years.

"This sends a powerful signal to people who cooperate with us that we will stay loyal to you," said former CIA officer Peter Earnest. "Even if you have been in jail for years, we will not forget you."

The 10 Russian agents arrested in the U.S. had tried to blend into American suburbia but been under watch by the FBI. Their access to top U.S. national security secrets appeared spotty at best, although the extent of what they passed on is not publicly known.

The lawyer for one of them, Vicky Pelaez, said the Russian government had offered her $2,000 a month for life, housing and help with her children -- rather than the years behind bars she could have faced in the U.S. if she had not agreed to the deal.

Zaporozhsky, a former colonel in the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service, sentenced in 2003 to 18 years in prison for espionage on behalf of the United States, passing secret information about undercover Russian agents working in the United States and about Americans working for Russian intelligence.

Skripal, a former colonel in the Russian military intelligence, was found guilty of passing state secrets to Britain and sentenced to 13 years in prison in 2006. He was accused of revealing the names of several dozen Russian agents working in Europe.

Sutyagin asserts his innocence despite the forced confession. He worked with the U.S.A. and Canada Institute, a respected Moscow-based think-tank, before being sentenced to 15 years in 2004 on charges of passing information on nuclear submarines and other weapons to a British company that Russia claimed was a CIA cover. Sutyagin says the information he provided was available from open sources.

Gennady Vasilenko, a former KGB officer employed as a security officer by Russia's NTV television, was sentenced in 2006 to three years in prison on illegal weapons possession and resistance to authorities. It was not exactly clear why he was involved in the spy swap.

The U.S. deported agents using the names Anna Chapman, Tracey Lee Ann Foley, Donald Howard Heathfield, Juan Lazaro, Patricia Mills, Richard and Cynthia Murphy, Vicky Pelaez, Mikhail Semenko and Michael Zottoli. All pleaded guilty on Thursday to conspiring to act as unregistered foreign agents.

Several of the agents had children, both minors and adults, and it was not clear yet exactly where the children would end up.

Chapman, 28, whose active social life was splashed all over the tabloids, was accused of using a special laptop to transmit messages to another computer of an unnamed Russian official. Chapman is her married name, her maiden name was Kushchenko.

Chapman spent several years in London, was married to a British man and then divorced, and is believed to be a dual British-Russian national. The British government said Friday it was considering stripping her of her U.K. citizenship.

"This case is under urgent consideration," a Home Office spokeswoman said on condition of anonymity, in line with government policy.

Donald Heathfield and Tracey Foley were the aliases for Andrey Bezrukov and Elena Vavilova, who lived in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and had two sons, 20 and 16. She posed as a real estate agent around Boston, he worked as a sales consultant at Global Partners Inc., a Cambridge-based international management consulting firm and also had his own consulting company.

Another convicted couple, Mikhail Kutsik and Natalia Pereverzeva, had been living in Seattle and Arlington, Virginia, under the aliases Michael Zottoli and Patricia Mills. They had two children, ages 1 and 3, and before the plea bargain were already planning to send the children to live with relatives in Russia.

Vladimir and Lydia Guryev, had been living in Montclair, New Jersey, under the names Richard and Cynthia Murphy. While he stayed at home with their two daughters aged 7 and 11, she had a well-paying job as a tax consultant in New York City. It was not clear where the girls, who had always lived in the United States, would live now.

Lazaro, 66, whose real name is Mikhail Vasenkov, brought his wife, Vicky Pelaez, into the conspiracy by having her pass letters to the Russian intelligence service on his behalf. She was a journalist for a Spanish newspaper in New York. Pelaez is her real name. She has two sons, 38-year-old and a 17-year-old, and her lawyer said the youth might remain in the United States living with his half brother. The lawyer also said Pelaez wanted to go home to her native Peru.

Semenko of Arlington, Virginia, worked at the Travel All Russia agency.

The fugitive who jumped bail in Cyprus after being arrested on an Interpol warrant is the suspected paymaster for the U.S. spy ring. Canadian authorities say he was traveling as Christopher Metsos, a 54-year-old tourist on a Canadian passport that stole the identity of a dead child. Authorities have not released any other identity for him.

Oleskyn and Gera reported from Vienna. Associated Press writers George Jahn in Vienna, David Nowak in Moscow, Danica Kirka and Jill Lawless in London and Matt Lee, Calvin Woodward and Kimberly Dozier in Washington contributed to this report.


U.S. Confirms Successful Exchange of Spies

The U.S. and Russia orchestrated the largest spy swap since the Cold War, exchanging 10 spies arrested in the U.S. for four convicted in Russia in a tightly choreographed diplomatic dance Friday at Vienna's airport.

The exchange was a clear demonstration of President Barack Obama's "reset" ties between Moscow and Washington, enabling the U.S. to retrieve four Russians, some of who were suffering through long prison terms.

At least one of the four - ex-colonel Alexander Zaporozhsky - may have exposed information leading to the capture of Robert Hanssen and Aldrich Ames, two of the most damaging spies ever caught in the U.S.

Moscow avoided having 10 spy trials in the United States that would have spilled embarrassing details of how its agents, posing as ordinary citizens, apparently uncovered little of value but managed to be watched by the FBI for years.

After not commenting for days, the U.S. Justice Department in Washington finally announced a successful completion to the spy swap after the two planes involved touched down in Moscow and London.

Trending News

One alleged Russian spy wanted in the United States - the paymaster for the whole spy ring - was still a fugitive after jumping bail in Cyprus. Neither the U.S. or Russia have commented on his whereabouts.

To start the whirlwind exchange, two planes - one from New York's La Guardia airport and another from Moscow - arrived Friday in Vienna within minutes of each other. They parked nose-to-tail at a remote section on the tarmac, exchanged spies using a small bus, then departed just as quickly. In all, it took less than an hour and a half.

The swap completed, the Russian Emergencies Ministry Yakovlvev Yak-42 plane left Vienna for Moscow carrying the 10 people deported from the U.S., and a maroon-and-white Boeing 767-200 that brought those agents in from New York then carried four Russians who had confessed to spying for the West on the U.K.

British media said the U.S. charter landed at RAF Brize Norton air base in Oxfordshire in southern England, but it was not immediately clear what the plane's next destination would be - if any.

A White House official said late Friday that the Obama administration began thinking about a possible spy swap as early as June 11 , well ahead of the arrests of the 10 Russians on June 27.

The official says White House officials were first briefed on the Russians' covert activities back in February and that President Barack Obama was made aware of the case on June 11. It was on that date that the idea of some kind of spy swap was raised, along with other options.

The official said the United States came up with the names of the four people it wanted Russia to release. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter.

Vienna added yet another event to its long history as a key Cold War diplomatic site, the capital of neutral Austria being a preferred place to work on treaties and agreements meant to reduce U.S.-Soviet tensions.

Both the U.S and Russia won admissions of crimes from the subjects of the exchange - guilty pleas in the U.S. and signed confessions in Russia.

In exchange for the 10 Russian agents, the U.S. won freedom for and access to two former Russian intelligence colonels who had been convicted in their home country of compromising dozens of valuable Soviet-era and Russian agents operating in the West. Two others also convicted of betraying Moscow were wrapped into the deal.
&emsp
One ex-colonel, Alexander Zaporozhsky, may have exposed information leading to the capture of Robert Hanssen and Aldrich Ames, two of the most damaging spies ever caught in the U.S.

U.S. officials said some of those freed by Russia were ailing, and cited humanitarian concerns in part for arranging the swap in such a hurry. They said no substantial benefit to national security was seen from keeping the captured agents in prison for years. Former intelligence operatives agreed.

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, in an exclusive interview for CBS's "Face the Nation" told Bob Schieffer it was a good deal for both sides.

"We essentially orchestrated a swap so that we had access to or got back people who had been charged in Russia with conducting intelligence activities on behalf of western countries," said Holder.

U.S. officials said some of those freed by Russia were ailing, and cited humanitarian concerns for arranging the swap in such a hurry. They said no substantial benefit to U.S. national security was seen from keeping the captured low-level agents in U.S. prisons for years.

"This sends a powerful signal to people who cooperate with us that we will stay loyal to you," said former CIA officer Peter Earnest. "Even if you have been in jail for years, we will not forget you."

The 10 Russian agents arrested in the U.S. had tried to blend into American suburbia but been under watch by the FBI. Their access to top U.S. national security secrets appeared spotty at best, although the extent of what they knew and passed on is not publicly known.

The lawyer for one of them, Vicky Pelaez, said the Russian government had offered her $2,000 a month for life, housing and help with her children - rather than the years behind bars she could have faced in the U.S. if she had not agreed to the deal.

U.S. officials had met Monday in Russia with the convicted spies and offered them a chance for freedom if they left their homeland, while Russian officials in the U.S. held similar meetings with the agents captured by the FBI.

Each of the defendants, after entering a guilty plea, described for the court specifically what they had done, reports CBS News investigative producer Pat Milton. Some of them read from prepared statements. They all acknowledged that they were living in the United States under the direction of the Russian Federation, and that they were not diplomats and had not notified the U.S. attorney general as is required by law.

Robert Baum, the lawyer for Anna Chapman, told CBS' "The Early Show" that his client "would have preferred to stay in the United States" but wasn't afraid to return to Russia. He also maintained she wasn't involved in any criminal plots against the U.S., despite the guilty plea.

"Anna never used any false names," Baum said. "She never met with any individual of the Russian Federation. She never accepted money. She never did any transfers. In fact, the only time that she was ever asked to do anything - by an undercover FBI agent - she refused to do it."

U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York Preet Bharara told CBS News, "With these arrests and guilty pleas it would appear that Russian Federation is unlikely to engage in this methodology in the future. It sends a message to every other intelligence agency that if you come to spy on Americans in America you will be arrested."

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev signed a decree pardoning the four Thursday after officials forced them to sign confessions. The Kremlin identified them as Zaporozhsky, Igor Sutyagin, Gennady Vasilenko and Sergei Skripal.

Zaporozhsky, a former colonel in the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service, sentenced in 2003 to 18 years in prison for espionage on behalf of the United States. He was convicted on charges of passing secret information about Russian agents working undercover in the United States and about American sources working for Russian intelligence.

Skripal, a former colonel in the Russian military intelligence, was found guilty of passing state secrets to Britain and sentenced to 13 years in prison in 2006. He was accused of revealing the names of several dozen Russian agents working in Europe.

Sutyagin, an arms control researcher convicted of spying for the United States, asserts his innocence despite the confession. He worked with the U.S.A. and Canada Institute, a respected Moscow-based think-tank, before being sentenced to 15 years in 2004 on charges of passing information on nuclear submarines and other weapons to a British company that Russia claimed was a CIA cover. Sutyagin says the information he provided was available from open sources.

Gennady Vasilenko, a former KGB officer employed as a security officer by Russia's NTV television, was sentenced in 2006 to three years in prison on murky charges of illegal weapons possession and resistance to authorities. It was not exactly clear why he was involved in the spy swap.

In exchange, the U.S. deported agents using the names Anna Chapman, Tracey Lee Ann Foley, Donald Howard Heathfield, Juan Lazaro, Patricia Mills, Richard and Cynthia Murphy, Vicky Pelaez, Mikhail Semenko and Michael Zottoli. All pleaded guilty on Thursday to conspiring to act as unregistered foreign agents.

Chapman, 28, whose active social life were splashed all over the tabloids, was accused of using a special laptop to transmit messages to another computer of an unnamed Russian official. Chapman is her married name, her maiden name was Kushchenko. She's now divorced from a British man after four years of marriage who said his Russian father-in-law used to be a high-ranking KGB official.

Donald Heathfield and Tracey Foley were the aliases for Andrey Bezrukov and Elena Vavilova, who lived in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and had two sons, 20 and 16. She posed as a real estate agent around Boston, he worked as a sales consultant at Global Partners Inc., a Cambridge-based international management consulting firm and also had his own consulting company.

Another convicted couple, Mikhail Kutsik and Natalia Pereverzeva, had been living in Seattle and Arlington, Virginia, under the aliases Michael Zottoli and Patricia Mills. They had two children, ages 1 and 3.

Vladimir and Lydia Guryev, had been living in Montclair, New Jersey, under the names Richard and Cynthia Murphy. While he stayed at home with their two daughters, she had a well-paying job as a tax consultant in New York City.

Lazaro, 66, whose real name is Mikhail Vasenkov, brought his wife, Vicky Pelaez, into the conspiracy by having her pass letters to the Russian intelligence service on his behalf. She was a journalist for a Spanish newspaper in New York. Pelaez is her real name.

Semenko of Arlington, Virginia, worked at the Travel All Russia agency.

The fugitive who jumped bail in Cyprus after being arrested on an Interpol warrant is the suspected paymaster for the U.S. spy ring. Canadian authorities say he was traveling as Christopher Metsos, a 54-year-old tourist on a Canadian passport that stole the identity of a dead child. Authorities have not released any other identity for him and his whereabouts were not known.

First published on July 9, 2010 / 6:27 AM

© 2010 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.


Contents

Chapman was born Anna Vasilyevna Kushchenko (Russian: А́нна Васи́льевна Кущенко ) in Volgograd on 23 February 1982. [5] Her father was a senior KGB official employed in the Soviet embassy in Nairobi, Kenya. [6] [7] The family's home is located in south-west Ramenki District, a once-elite district for KGB officials, mid-ranking diplomats, and army officers. [8] According to Komsomolskaya Pravda, Kushchenko occupies a senior position at the ministry known by its Russian initials MID (foreign affairs). According to her ex-husband, Anna earned a master's degree in economics with first class honours from Moscow University. [9] According to other sources, she got her degree from Peoples' Friendship University of Russia. [10] [11]

Anna Kushchenko met Alex Chapman at a London Docklands rave party in 2001. They married shortly thereafter in Moscow, [12] and she gained British citizenship, in addition to her native Russian one, and a British passport. [13]

In 2003 or 2004, Anna Chapman moved to London where she worked at NetJets, Barclays, and allegedly at a few other companies for brief periods. [14]

Anna and Alex Chapman divorced in 2006. [12] In March 2018, it was reported that Alex Chapman had died in May 2015, aged 36, from a drug overdose. [15] [16]

In 2009, Chapman moved to New York, taking up residence at 20 Exchange Place, one block from Wall Street in Manhattan. [17] [18] Her LinkedIn social networking site profile identified her as CEO of PropertyFinder LLC, a website selling real estate internationally. [18] [19] Her husband Alex stated that Anna told him the enterprise was continually in debt for the first couple of years. But suddenly in 2009, she had as many as 50 employees and a successful business. [12]

Chapman was reportedly in a relationship with Michel Bittan, a divorced Israeli-Moroccan restaurant owner, while she was living in New York. [20] [21] Around this time, she had allegedly attempted to purchase ecstasy tablets. [22] She later described her time in the United States with the Charles Dickens quote, "it was the best of times, it was the worst of times". [23]

After Anna was arrested in New York on charges of spying, Alex hired media publicist Max Clifford, and sold her story to The Daily Telegraph. [12] [24] [25] She pleaded guilty to conspiracy to act as an agent of a foreign government without notifying the U.S. Attorney General. In 2010 she was deported to Russia as part of a prisoner exchange between the United States and Russia. [26]

In late December 2010 Chapman was appointed to the public council of Young Guard of United Russia. [27] [28] According to the organization, she would "be engaged in educating young people". [29] [30]

On 21 January 2011, Chapman began hosting a weekly TV show in Russia called Secrets of the World for REN TV. [3] [31] In June 2011, Chapman was appointed as editor of Venture Business News magazine, according to Bloomberg News. [32] [33]

Chapman testified to the closed trial in absentia of Col. Alexander Poteyev, an ex-KGB soldier, which took place in Moscow in May and June 2011. [34] Chapman testified that only Poteyev could have provided the U.S. authorities with the information that led to her arrest in 2010 [35] she also alleged that she was arrested shortly after an undercover U.S. agent contacted her using a code that only Poteyev and her personal handler would have known. [35]

Chapman wrote a column for Komsomolskaya Pravda. In October 2011, she was accused of plagiarizing material on Alexander Pushkin from a book by Kremlin spin doctor Oleg Matveychev. [36] The Guardian reported that this incident added to general negative opinions of her in certain sections of Russian society it said that in September 2011, she had been "heckled during a speech on leadership at St Petersburg University". Students had, it said, displayed signs stating: "Chapman, get out of the university!", and "The Kremlin and the porn studio are in the other direction!" [36]

In 2012, FBI counter-intelligence chief Frank Figliuzzi said that Chapman almost caught a senior member of President Barack Obama's cabinet in a honey trap operation. Subsequent reporting suggested that these initial reports were sensational misinterpretation. Officials from the US Department of Justice claimed that the FBI's concern was that another of the alleged spies, Cynthia Murphy, "had been in contact with a fundraiser and 'personal friend' of Hillary Clinton". [37]

In September 2015, Russian online magazine Starhit reported that Chapman had given birth to her first child, a son the identity of the child's father was not revealed. [ citation needed ]

Chapman had been sighted in the breakaway region of Nagorno Karabakh in August 2013. She arrived with a group of Russian officials to discuss issues with the Republic of Artsakh to resolve their conflict with Azerbaijan over the territory. She reportedly was also working on her television show, Mysteries of the World. Her visit caused an outcry in Azerbaijan its foreign ministry declared that Chapman and the other Russian visitors would be classified as personae-non-gratae in Azerbaijan. [38]

Chapman later visited Tsitsernakaberd, a memorial in Armenia dedicated to the victims of the Armenian genocide. She said in an interview that her visit to Armenia taught her the importance of family relationships, and that her best friends were Armenians. She said that she was impressed by the family values expressed in Armenian society, saying that Russian society lacked that, and she was learning a lot from Armenia. [39]

Chapman is one of only two of the Illegals Program Russians arrested in June 2010 who did not use an assumed name. [3]

Arrest Edit

Officials claimed Chapman worked with a network of others, until an undercover FBI agent attempted to draw her into a trap at a Manhattan coffee shop. [3] [40] The FBI agent offered Chapman a fake passport, with instructions to forward it to another spy. He asked, "Are you ready for this step?" to which Chapman replied, "Of course." She accepted the passport. [41] [42] But, after making a series of phone calls to her father Vasily Kushchenko in Moscow, Chapman took his advice and handed the passport in at a local police station. She was arrested shortly after. [3] [42] [43]

International exchange Edit

After being formally charged, Chapman and nine other detainees became part of a spy swap deal between the United States and Russia, the biggest of its kind since 1986. [44] The ten Russian agents returned to Russia via a chartered jet that landed at Vienna International Airport in Austria, where the swap occurred on the morning of 8 July 2010. [45] The Russian jet returned to Moscow's Domodedovo Airport where, after landing, the ten spies were kept away from local and international press.

Revocation of UK citizenship Edit

According to a statement from her US lawyer Robert Baum and media reports, Chapman had wanted to move to the UK. [46] The Home Office exercised special powers via the British Home Secretary to revoke Chapman's British citizenship to prevent her return to the UK. This was done under section 40 of the British Nationality Act 1981, [47] introduced as part of the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002 and Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006. This power had at that point only been used against a dozen people since its introduction. [13] [48] The Home Office issued legal papers revoking her citizenship on 13 July 2010. [1] Steps were taken to exclude Chapman, meaning she could not travel to the UK. [13] After Chapman's departure to Russia, Baum reiterated that his client had wished to stay in the UK he also said that she was "particularly upset" by the revocation of her UK citizenship and exclusion from the country. [49] [50]

After her arrest by the FBI for her part in the Illegals Program, Chapman gained celebrity status. Photos of Chapman taken from her Facebook profile appeared on the web, and several videos of her were uploaded to YouTube. [51] Her affiliation with the Russian Federation led at least one media outlet to refer to her as "the Red under the bed." [52]

FundserviceBank, a Moscow bank that handles payments on behalf of state- and private-sector enterprises in the Russian aerospace industry has employed Chapman as an adviser on investment and innovation issues to the President. [53]

Magazines and blogs detailed Chapman's fashion style and dress sense, while tabloids displayed her action figure dolls. [24] [54] [55] [56] Chapman was described by local media in New York as "stunning" and a regular of exclusive bars and restaurants. [54] [55] [57] US Vice President Joe Biden, when jokingly asked by Jay Leno on NBC's The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, "Do we have any spies that hot?", replied jokingly, "Let me be clear. It was not my idea to send her back." [58]

As a model, Chapman posed on the cover of Russian version of Maxim magazine in Agent Provocateur lingerie. The magazine included Chapman in its list of "Russia's 100 sexiest women." [59] [60] Chapman has also made an appearance as a runway model for Moscow Fashion Week at the Shiyan & Rudkovskaya show in 2011, [ citation needed ] and for Antalya at the Dosso Dossi in 2012. [61]

Chapman has parlayed her media capital through Twitter, where she asked Edward Snowden to marry her, [62] [63] and on Instagram, which she has used to voice her political opinions. [64]


Steven Spielberg and his father's Cold War connection to Bridge of Spies

Long before the director made Bridge of Spies, about the U.S/Soviet spy swap to recover downed American U-2 pilot Francis Gary Powers, his father, Arnold, shot some of his own images of the plane wreckage during a visit to Moscow as part of a peace program exchange in the early 1960s.

The drama debuts on Blu-ray Feb. 2, and EW has an exclusive behind the scenes video of Spielberg and his father discussing their unusual family connection to this moment in history.

“When he heard I was making this movie, he said, ‘Oh, Steve, you’ve got to hear this,’” the director told EW. “Then he comes up with the pictures he took of the remains of the U-2.”

We also have the exclusive Blu-ray trailer for the film, which stars Tom Hanks as American attorney James Donovan, who helped broker the swap, and Mark Rylance as the enigmatic, captured Soviet spy Rudolf Abel.

In another bit of Spielberg family coincidence, Arnold turns 99 on Feb. 6, just four days after the Bridge of Spies disc hits stores.


Cold War redux: US, Russia swap 14 spies in Vienna

MOSCOW (AP) — The U.S. and Russia orchestrated the largest spy swap since the Cold War, exchanging 10 spies arrested in the U.S. for four convicted in Russia in an elaborately choreographed diplomatic dance Friday at Vienna's airport.

The exchange was a clear demonstration of President Barack Obama's "reset" ties between Moscow and Washington, enabling the U.S. to retrieve four Russians, some of whom were suffering through long prison terms.

At least one of the four — ex-colonel Alexander Zaporozhsky — may have exposed information leading to the capture of Robert Hanssen and Aldrich Ames, two of the most damaging spies ever caught in the U.S.

The talks leading to the spy swap began when CIA director Leon Panetta approached Mikhail Fradkov, the head of Russia's Foreign Intelligence Service, with a proposed deal, a U.S. official said Friday. Following the FBI arrests of the Russians, the U.S. intelligence agency reached out, making it possible for Panetta to suggest the exchange, the official said on condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive intelligence matters.

Moscow avoided having 10 spy trials in the United States that would have spilled embarrassing details of how its agents, posing as ordinary citizens, apparently uncovered little of value but managed to be watched by the FBI for years.

The handover allowed Vienna to add yet another distinctive event to its long history as a key site for diplomacy, the capital of neutral Austria being the preferred place to work on treaties and agreements to reduce U.S.-Soviet tensions during the Cold War.

After not commenting for days, the U.S. Justice Department finally announced a successful completion to the spy swap after the two planes involved touched down in Moscow and London.

The Russian Foreign Ministry also confirmed the swap, but said only that those involved had been "accused" or "convicted" of unspecified offenses — a statement that underlined Russia's apparent discomfort with the scandal that erupted nearly two weeks ago. The Kremlin has clearly been worried the June 27 arrests would undermine efforts to improve relations with Washington.

Ordinary Russians took little satisfaction from the agents' undercover exploits.

"They obviously were very bad spies if they got caught. They got caught, so they should be tried," said Sasha Ivanov, a businessman walking by a Moscow train station.

One alleged Russian spy wanted in the United States — the paymaster for the whole spy ring — was still a fugitive after jumping bail in Cyprus. Neither the U.S. or Russia have commented on his whereabouts.

To start the whirlwind exchange, two planes — one from New York's La Guardia airport and another from Moscow — arrived Friday in Vienna within minutes of each other. They parked nose-to-tail at a remote section on the tarmac, exchanged spies using a small bus, then departed just as quickly. In all, it took less than an hour and a half.

The Russian Emergencies Ministry Yak-42 then left for Moscow carrying the 10 people deported from the U.S., and a maroon-and-white Boeing 767-200 that brought those agents in from New York whisked away four Russians who had confessed to spying for the West.

The U.S. charter landed briefly at RAF Brize Norton air base in southern England. A U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said two of the four Russians were dropped off there before the plane headed back across the Atlantic.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev had signed a decree pardoning the four Thursday after officials forced them to sign confessions. The Kremlin identified them as Zaporozhsky, Igor Sutyagin, Gennady Vasilenko and Sergei Skripal.

Sutyagin, an arms researcher convicted of spying for the United States, had told relatives earlier he was being sent to Britain. Skripal was convicted of spying for Britain, but there was no official confirmation he was left in the U.K.

Both the U.S and Russia won admissions of crimes from the subjects of the exchange — guilty pleas in the U.S. and signed confessions in Russia.

In exchange for the 10 Russian agents, the U.S. won freedom for and access to two former Russian intelligence colonels who had been convicted in their home country of compromising dozens of valuable Soviet-era and Russian agents operating in the West. Two others also convicted of betraying Moscow were wrapped into the deal.

U.S. officials said some of those freed by Russia were ailing, and cited humanitarian concerns for arranging the swap in such a hurry. They said no substantial benefit to U.S. national security was seen from keeping the captured low-level agents in U.S. prisons for years.

"This sends a powerful signal to people who cooperate with us that we will stay loyal to you," said former CIA officer Peter Earnest. "Even if you have been in jail for years, we will not forget you."

The 10 Russian agents arrested in the U.S. had tried to blend into American suburbia but been under watch by the FBI. Their access to top U.S. national security secrets appeared spotty at best, although the extent of what they passed on is not publicly known.

The lawyer for one of them, Vicky Pelaez, said the Russian government had offered her $2,000 a month for life, housing and help with her children — rather than the years behind bars she could have faced in the U.S. if she had not agreed to the deal.

Zaporozhsky, a former colonel in the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service, sentenced in 2003 to 18 years in prison for espionage on behalf of the United States, passing secret information about undercover Russian agents working in the United States and about Americans working for Russian intelligence.

Skripal, a former colonel in the Russian military intelligence, was found guilty of passing state secrets to Britain and sentenced to 13 years in prison in 2006. He was accused of revealing the names of several dozen Russian agents working in Europe.

Sutyagin asserts his innocence despite the forced confession. He worked with the U.S.A. and Canada Institute, a respected Moscow-based think-tank, before being sentenced to 15 years in 2004 on charges of passing information on nuclear submarines and other weapons to a British company that Russia claimed was a CIA cover. Sutyagin says the information he provided was available from open sources.

Gennady Vasilenko, a former KGB officer employed as a security officer by Russia's NTV television, was sentenced in 2006 to three years in prison on illegal weapons possession and resistance to authorities. It was not exactly clear why he was involved in the spy swap.

The U.S. deported agents using the names Anna Chapman, Tracey Lee Ann Foley, Donald Howard Heathfield, Juan Lazaro, Patricia Mills, Richard and Cynthia Murphy, Vicky Pelaez, Mikhail Semenko and Michael Zottoli. All pleaded guilty on Thursday to conspiring to act as unregistered foreign agents.

Several of the agents had children, both minors and adults, and it was not clear yet exactly where the children would end up.

Chapman, 28, whose active social life was splashed all over the tabloids, was accused of using a special laptop to transmit messages to another computer of an unnamed Russian official. Chapman is her married name, her maiden name was Kushchenko.

Chapman spent several years in London, was married to a British man and then divorced, and is believed to be a dual British-Russian national. The British government said Friday it was considering stripping her of her U.K. citizenship.

"This case is under urgent consideration," a Home Office spokeswoman said on condition of anonymity, in line with government policy.

Donald Heathfield and Tracey Foley were the aliases for Andrey Bezrukov and Elena Vavilova, who lived in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and had two sons, 20 and 16. She posed as a real estate agent around Boston, he worked as a sales consultant at Global Partners Inc., a Cambridge-based international management consulting firm and also had his own consulting company.

Another convicted couple, Mikhail Kutsik and Natalia Pereverzeva, had been living in Seattle and Arlington, Virginia, under the aliases Michael Zottoli and Patricia Mills. They had two children, ages 1 and 3, and before the plea bargain were already planning to send the children to live with relatives in Russia.

Vladimir and Lydia Guryev, had been living in Montclair, New Jersey, under the names Richard and Cynthia Murphy. While he stayed at home with their two daughters aged 7 and 11, she had a well-paying job as a tax consultant in New York City. It was not clear where the girls, who had always lived in the United States, would live now.

Lazaro, 66, whose real name is Mikhail Vasenkov, brought his wife, Vicky Pelaez, into the conspiracy by having her pass letters to the Russian intelligence service on his behalf. She was a journalist for a Spanish newspaper in New York. Pelaez is her real name. She has two sons, 38-year-old and a 17-year-old, and her lawyer said the youth might remain in the United States living with his half brother. The lawyer also said Pelaez wanted to go home to her native Peru.

Semenko of Arlington, Virginia, worked at the Travel All Russia agency.

The fugitive who jumped bail in Cyprus after being arrested on an Interpol warrant is the suspected paymaster for the U.S. spy ring. Canadian authorities say he was traveling as Christopher Metsos, a 54-year-old tourist on a Canadian passport that stole the identity of a dead child. Authorities have not released any other identity for him.

Oleskyn and Gera reported from Vienna. Associated Press writers George Jahn in Vienna, David Nowak in Moscow, Danica Kirka and Jill Lawless in London and Matt Lee, Calvin Woodward and Kimberly Dozier in Washington contributed to this report.


Watch the video: US, Russia complete biggest spy swap since Cold War (August 2022).

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