- Israel hits symbols of Hamas rule; scores killed
- Mississippi abortion law can’t be enforced
- Teacher who survived Sandy Hook has book deal
- Jury awards Jesse Ventura $1.8M in case vs. ‘American Sniper’ author Chris Kyle
- Government OKs Arab-owned company to operate U.S. cargo port
- Defense lawyer: McDonnell’s wife had ‘crush’ on CEO
- Chinese hackers stole ‘huge quantities’ of sensitive data on Israel’s Iron Dome
- House unveils bill to speed deportations of illegal immigrant children
- Californians protest middle school for hiring white man to teach cultural studies
- Killer’s sentencing overturned because mother couldn’t find seat in courtroom
Putin joins expelled agents in patriotic songs
Question of the Day
FOROS, Ukraine (AP) — Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said late Saturday that he met with the Russian spies who were expelled from the United States, joining them in patriotic songs and promising them good jobs and a bright future back in their homeland.
Mr. Putin said he recently got together with the 10 sleeper agents, without saying when or where. The agents were expelled from the United States earlier this month in a biggest spy scandal since the Cold War.
“We talked about life,” Mr. Putin told reporters in Ukraine. “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 widely known as an unofficial anthem of Russian intelligence officers.
Mr. Putin, a former KGB officer who in the early 1980s worked in communist East Germany as a low-level functionary, spoke about the uneasy lives the secret agents had in the United States, where they were caught by the FBI in cities and suburbs where they had been living for more than a decade.
“They had a very difficult fate,” Mr. Putin said, referring to the expelled spies who spent years of burrowing into American society. “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.”
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.
U.S. authorities did not charge the agents with spying, and it is not 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.
Mr. Putin, however, promised that the Motherland will take a good care of its spying sons and daughters.
“They will work, and I am sure they will have decent jobs,” he said. “And I am sure they will have an interesting and bright life.”
The biggest spy swap since the Soviet collapse did not complicate President Obama’s campaign to improve and broaden U.S. relations with Russia, and both Moscow and Washington expressed satisfaction with the resolution of the spy case.
TWT Video Picks
- Boehner rules out impeachment: 'Scam started by Democrats'
- Obama: 'Not a new Cold War,' but new Russia sanctions announced
- Obama thanks Muslims for 'building the very fabric of our nation'
- Federal judge grants 90-day stay in D.C. gun case
- Smugglers, rainstorm combine to poke holes in border fence
- PHILLIPS: Once-in-a-century stupidity
- Obama's brother wears Hamas scarf bearing anti-Israel slogans in photo
- HURT: Impeaching Obama is a losing strategy for the GOP
- Kerry's credibility questioned as fighting in Gaza rages
- D.C. seeks to stay judge's order allowing gun owners to carry in public
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world