flareneld's oven: Russian 'double agent' named

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Russian 'double agent' named

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Russian 'double agent' named by Moscow newspaper

Anna Chapman, one of the 10 Russian spies deported from the US. File photo Anna Chapman, one of the 10 spies expelled, made a surprise public appearance in October

A newspaper in Moscow has named the Russian intelligence agent it claims helped America break up a Russian spy ring last summer.

The paper, Kommersant, says a Col Shcherbakov of the Russian foreign intelligence agency had been working for the Americans.

Ten Russian sleeper agents were arrested and sent back home, in the biggest spy swap since the Cold War.

It was the biggest US-Russian spy scandal since the end of the Cold War.

Col Shcherbakov had a senior role in Russia's foreign intelligence agency, Kommersant says; his job: to plant moles in the United States, secret agents deep under cover.

But at some point the colonel changed sides.

Quoting intelligence sources, the newspaper says Col Shcherbakov fled to America in June, just three days before President Dmitry Medvedev's official visit to the US.

A few days after that, once the Russian president was back in the Kremlin, the Russian agents were seized.
Promotion 'shunned'
A year before the spy scandal, Col Shcherbakov had reportedly been offered a promotion at work, but had turned it down, to avoid having to take a lie detector test.

Col Shcherbakov's bosses - the newspaper claims - had overlooked the fact the colonel's own daughter had been living in America for years.

Kommersant quotes an unidentified Kremlin official as suggesting that a Russian hit squad was already planning to kill the colonel.

The Kremlin source predicted Shcherbakov would spend the rest of his life fearing retribution.
A spokesman for Russia's foreign intelligence agency refused to comment on the newspaper report.

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