Gifts that keep giving: The Russian spy story never ends! A man identified as “Colonel Shcherbakov” (tres Mission Impossible!) has been uncovered by Russian newspaper Kommersant as the person responsible for betraying the spy ring — which, as you well know, most thrillingly included sexiest of spies Anna Chapman, our girl at right — in the U.S. this summer.
“Scherbakov” was apparently a double agent and, while, head of Russian spy operations, betrayed the network and defected. Which keeps things exciting since, if true, the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) has been dealt a major blow…and they are not happy about it. Not one bit.
The paper said Shcherbakov had left Russia days before U.S. authorities announced the spy ring arrests on June 28 and quoted a Kremlin official as saying a Russian hit squad was probably already planning to kill him.
“We know who he is and where he is,” the unidentified official was quoted as saying. “Do not doubt that a Mercader has been sent after him already.”
Ramon Mercader was the Russian agent who murdered exiled Bolshevik Leon Trotsky with an ice axe in Mexico in 1940.
While this whole thing was rather embarrassing for everyone (the spies weren’t even very good), it seems the U.S. may have won a major coup if they indeed recruited this Shcherbakov fellow to our side.
Former U.S. intelligence officer Mark Stout said: “Recruiting a Russian officer who was actually in charge of so-called ‘illegal operations’ in the U.S. is about as big a counter-espionage success as U.S. intelligence can hope to get.”
So…yay for us. If we can believe any of this, of course. Now, bets on who’s playing Anna Chapman in the movie?