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Russia swap 14 spies in Vienna

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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 planes.

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?

posted on Jul, 9 2010 @ 08:25 AM

Video of US, Russia spy swap planes in Vienna

US and Russian flights believed to be carrying candidates for a 14-person spy swap landed briefly in Vienna, apparently exchanged agents, then took off again, in the largest such deal since the Cold War. A Russian government plane apparently departed with 10 agents deported from the US, while the US plane that brought them in from New York left with four Russians who had confessed to spying for the West.

Here's the video of the swap. Wonder how tense it was, and how relieved both sides were.

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