Vladimir Putin met with the Russian spies who were expelled from the United States,
joining them in a patriotic song and promising them good jobs and a bright future back in their homeland. The agents were caught by the FBI in U.S. cities and suburbs where they had been living for more than a decade. The 10 agents were deported in exchange for three former intelligence officers and a think-tank arms expert convicted and sentenced to long prison sentences in Russia. An 11th Russian spy escaped authorities in Cyprus and remains at large, and a 12th one, who had worked for Microsoft, was deported from the United States in mid-July, 2010.
Putin, a former KGB agent who spent three years in socialist Germany as a low-level functionary, spoke about the uneasy lives the secret agents had in the U.S. Putin told reporters in Ukraine,”We talked about life,” “We sang ‘What Motherland Begins With’ and other songs of that character.” “What Motherland Begins With” is a song from the 1968 television series about Soviet spies in Nazi Germany. The song is favoured by intelligence officers. Putin stated, “They had a very difficult fate.” “They had to carry out a task to benefit their motherland’s interests for many, many years without a diplomatic cover, risking themselves and those close to them.” “They will work, and I am sure they will have decent jobs.” “And I am sure they will have an interesting and bright life.”
U.S. authorities did not charge the agents with spying, nor is it clear whether they actually compromised any U.S. secrets. Some Russian analysts called their mission a failure that showed how inefficient Russian intelligence agencies are since the Soviet collapse. The biggest spy swap scandal since the Cold War did not complicate President Barack Obama’s campaign to improve and broaden U.S. relations with Russia, and both Moscow and Washington sides expressed satisfaction with the resolution of the spy case.
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