Friday, July 9, 2010

Past Russian spies have found post-swap life gets a bit sticky


washingtonpost.com

Russia's accused spies could be posing soon for stamp designers in Moscow instead of prison intake photographers here, if a swap deal comes through and the Kremlin follows its tradition of honoring its secret agents.

Ever since the depths of the Cold War, the Kremlin has used postage stamps to showcase operatives who managed to steal some of the West's most guarded secrets, from atomic bomb designs to diplomatic cables to sensitive technical information, before they were arrested.

Their stories are as well known in Russia as the legend of Revolutionary War spy Nathan Hale is here.

And while life in Moscow may be duller than New York, Boston, New Jersey, Seattle and Washington, D.C., where the 11 Russians charged last week allegedly lived as long-term, deep-penetration agents, it won't be too bad, either, if their predecessors' experience is any guide.

Their main worry will be keeping their minds.

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