News / Europe

US, Russia Swap Spies

Multimedia

Audio
  • Senior correspondent Andre de Nesnera discusses the exchange of Russian spies

A U.S. judge has ordered 10 suspects in a Russian spy ring deported as part of a swap between the United States and Russia. Judge Kimba Wood handed down her order in New York City moments after all 10 pleaded guilty in what a federal prosecutor called a plea bargain. U.S. Justice Department officials say that in exchange for the 10, Russia will free four people that U.S. officials say were jailed for alleged contacts with Western intelligence. The four have not been identified. But Justice Department officials say three were convicted of treason. Earlier Thursday, Russian nuclear scientist Igor Sutyagin reportedly left a Moscow jail for Vienna, on his way to London.

The arrest of 10 Russians accused of spying surprised many people here in the United States, and in Russia. So many at one time.  Now, they have pleaded guilty to conspiracy to act as unregistered agents of a foreign country.



This is what one of their attorneys had to say.

"Initially, the decision to plead guilty was a very difficult one, and as I mentioned, involved numerous factors," said Robert Baum, Anna Chapman's attorney.

Shift now to halfway around the world and the focus on Russian scientist Igor Sutyagin. He was convicted six years ago of spying for the U.S.  His brother says American officials sought his release.

"From Igor's conversation with a general, it became clear that this question was being solved on the highest level, most likely with the involvement of Russian and U.S. presidents," said Igor Sutyagin' s brother, Dmitry.

One of the 10 Russians, Anna Chapman, captured the attention of many Americans with her looks and stories of her New York party lifestyle.  Her attorney and her mother expect Chapman back in Moscow on Friday.

"She didn't want to do anything bad, but she has got her parents into trouble, caused problems for the people with whom she worked and for her friends," said Anna Chapman's mother, Irina Kushchenko.

U.S. authorities say the Russians mostly lived and worked quietly in the United States for years - some raising children - while trying to gather information on U.S. nuclear weapons and politics for Russian intelligence.  

Former CIA agent Bob Baer and others in the intelligence community say they are shocked at the Russians' clandestine activities.

"The Cold War is over," said Bob Baer. "The Russians may not know it, but it's over.  We are on the same side. The fact that the FBI got in their communications is extraordinary, or to actually meet them and pretend to be Russians.  They were completely and totally compromised and this is going to cause an enormous scandal in Moscow."

Senior correspondent Andre de Nesnera discusses the exchange of Russian spies:

The last time Washington and Moscow publicly swapped prisoners was on this Berlin bridge in 1986.  Anatoly Sharansky, a famous Soviet dissident, and three other prisoners were exchanged for communist spies detained in the West.  

You May Like

China’s Influence Grows With New Infrastructure Bank

Multibillion-dollar China-backed and BRICS-supported Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank seen as possible challenger to such lenders as IMF, World Bank More

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

Rabbi Michel Serfaty makes the rounds in his friendship bus to encourage dialogue and break down barriers between the two groups More

Post-deal Iran Leaders Need 'Economic Momentum' to Solidify

Economists say deal could inject more than $100 billion into coffers - not enough to entirely rescue ailing economy - but maybe adequate to create 'economic momentum' More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Gay Marriage Ruling Yields Real-life Impacti
X
Michael Bowman
June 28, 2015 10:05 PM
Friday’s landmark Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage throughout the United States is an outcome few thought possible just years ago, and shows a nation that increasingly tolerates and even celebrates the hopes and aspirations of gay people. VOA’s Michael Bowman spoke to a same-sex couple that will benefit from the high court ruling, and to a Christian scholar who is apprehensive about its potential consequences for America’s faith community.
Video

Video US Gay Marriage Ruling Yields Real-life Impact

Friday’s landmark Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage throughout the United States is an outcome few thought possible just years ago, and shows a nation that increasingly tolerates and even celebrates the hopes and aspirations of gay people. VOA’s Michael Bowman spoke to a same-sex couple that will benefit from the high court ruling, and to a Christian scholar who is apprehensive about its potential consequences for America’s faith community.
Video

Video Syrians Flee IS Advance in Hasaka

The Syrian government said Monday it has taken back one of several districts in Hasaka overrun by Islamic State militants. But continued fighting elsewhere in the northern city has forced thousands of civilians from their homes. In this report narrated by Bill Rodgers, VOA Kurdish Service reporter Zana Omer describes the scene in Amouda, where some of the displaced are taking refuge.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video S. Korea Christians Protest Gay Rights Festival

The U.S. Supreme Court decision mandating marriage equality nationwide has energized gay rights supporters around the world. Gay rights remain a highly contentious issue in a key U.S. ally, South Korea, where police did a deft job Sunday of preventing potential clashes between Christian protesters and gay activists. Kurt Achin reports from Seoul.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Nubians in Kenya Face Land Challenges

East Africa's ethnic Nubians have a rich cultural history that dates back thousands of years, but in Kenya they are facing hardships, including the loss of lands they have lived on for generations. They say the government has reneged on its pledge to award them title deeds for the plots. VOA's Lenny Ruvaga reports.
Video

Video Syrian Refugees Return to Tal Abyad

Syrian refugees in Turkey confirm they left their hometown of Tal Abyad because of intense fighting and coalition airstrikes, not because Kurdish fighters were engaged in ethnic cleansing, as some Turkish officials charged. VOA Kurdish Service reporter Zana Omer, in Tal Abyad, finds that civilians coming back to the town agree, as we hear in this report narrated by Roger Wilkison.
Video

Video Military Experts Question New Russian Tank Capabilities

Russia has been showing off its new tank design – the Armata T-14. Designers claim it is 20 years ahead of current Western designs - and driving it feels like playing a computer game. But military analysts question those assertions, and warn the cost could be too heavy a burden for Russia’s struggling economy. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.
Video

Video In Syrian Crisis, Social Media Offer Small Comforts

Za’atari, a makeshift city in Jordan, may be the only Syrian refugee camp to tweet its activities, in an effort to keep donors motivated as the war in Syria intensifies and the humanitarian crisis deepens. Inside the camp, families say mobile phone applications help hold together families that are physically torn apart. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.
Video

Video Chemical-Sniffing Technology Fights Australia's Graffiti Vandals

Cities and towns all over the world spend huge amounts of resources battling graffiti writers who deface buildings, public transport vehicles and even monuments. Authorities in Sydney, Australia, hope a new chemical-sniffing technology finally will stop vandals from scribbling on walls in the passenger areas of commuter trains. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Cambodia Struggling to Curb Child Labor

Earlier this year a United Nations report found 10 percent of Cambodian children aged 7-14 are working – one of the highest rates in the region – and said one in four children in that age bracket are forced to quit school to help their families. Although the child labor rate has dropped over the past decade, Cambodia has a lot more to do – including keeping more children in school. Robert Carmichael reports for VOA from Phnom Penh.

VOA Blogs