posted on Jul, 9 2010 @ 08:20 AM
Cold War redux: US, Russia swap 14 spies in Vienna
VIENNA – The U.S. and Russia orchestrated the largest spy swap since the Cold War, exchanging 10 spies arrested in the U.S. for four convicted in
Russia in a tightly choreographed diplomatic dance Friday at Vienna's airport.
Two planes — one from New York's La Guardia airport and another from Moscow — arrived in Vienna within minutes of each other, parked nose-to-tail
at a remote section on the tarmac, then spent about an hour and a half before departing just as quickly. A small bus was seen driving between the two
The swap completed, a Russian Emergencies Ministry Yakovlvev Yak-42 plane left Vienna reportedly carrying the 10 people deported from the U.S. Shortly
afterward, a maroon-and-white Boeing 767-200 that brought those agents in from New York took off, apparently with four Russians who had confessed to
spying for the West.
No information was immediately available as to the planes' destinations. But the Russian flight was thought to heading for Moscow, while the U.S.
charter was likely flying to London.
Vienna has long been involved in such Cold War-like machinations, the capital of neutral Austria being a preferred place to work on treaties and
agreements meant to reduce U.S.-Soviet tensions.
Both countries won admissions of crimes from the subjects of the exchange — guilty pleas in the U.S. and signed confessions in Russia. One alleged
Russian spy wanted in the United States was still a fugitive after jumping bail in Cyprus.
In exchange for the 10 Russian agents, the U.S. won freedom for and access to two former Russian intelligence colonels who had been convicted in their
home country of compromising dozens of valuable Soviet-era and Russian agents operating in the West. Two others also convicted of betraying Moscow
were wrapped into the deal.
One ex-colonel, Alexander Zaporozhsky, may have exposed information leading to the capture of Robert Hanssen and Aldrich Ames, two of the most
damaging spies ever caught in the U.S.
"This sends a powerful signal to people who cooperate with us that we will stay loyal to you," said former CIA officer Peter Earnest. "Even if you
have been in jail for years, we will not forget you."
US, Russia Swap 14 Spies
Sounds alot like a movie scene. I havn't been keeping up with this subject, but did the spies even have any info worth anything? I read somewhere
that the information they had was stuff we could find off the internet.
And what/who were they spying on?