News you may have missed #390 (Russia-US spy swap edition I)

  • In spy swap, agents were pawns in a practiced game. The US arrests were not made to facilitate a swap, said a US official, speaking on condition of anonymity. Rather, they were precipitated, at least partly, by the plans of several of the Russians to leave this country this summer.
  • Russian spies get tepid reception in Moscow. The 10 spies who pleaded guilty to acting as foreign agents in the United States, including one Peruvian, were given a tepid, uneasy reception in Russia on Friday. State-controlled national television channels reported their return briefly, with no patriotic fervor. No national TV channels carried live coverage of the plane’s landing, even though it was available from international news agencies.
  • Russian, US spies start new lives but mystery swirls. The 14 spies swapped by Moscow and Washington were starting new lives in Russia and the West last weekend, but mystery shrouded their precise whereabouts. In one case, Igor Sutyagin, a Russian nuclear arms expert who allegedly spied for the US, found himself at a hotel somewhere in Britain, without a visa and still wearing his Russian prison clothes.

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Expert news and commentary on intelligence, espionage, spies and spying, by Dr. Joseph Fitsanakis and Ian Allen.

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