Freed Russian agents getting new life in spy swap - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Freed Russian agents getting new life in spy swap


WASHINGTON (WKOW) -- Ten Russian secret agents are on their way to a new life under Moscow's wing in a swiftly brokered trade that has freed four men imprisoned for spying at the highest levels for the West.

It's the largest known swap since the era of Cold War spy craft.

Both Russia and the U.S. have won admissions of crimes from the subjects of the exchange, signed confessions in Russia and guilty pleas in the U.S.

The 10 in U.S. custody were deported Thursday night.

The deal means freedom for two former Russian intelligence colonels who had been convicted of compromising dozens of valuable Soviet agents operating in the West. Two others also convicted of betraying Moscow were wrapped into the deal.

The women who pleaded guilty in a Cold War-era style U.S.-Russia spy case is believed to have done so mainly to get out of jail.

Anna Chapman's lawyer, Robert Baum also maintains in an interview that whatever tasks Chapman carried out over several years for her Russian handlers were "minimal under the statute with which she was charged."

Baum told ABC's "Good Morning America" Friday that "the only conduct that anybody ever claimed she ever did was to communicate on a laptop with an agent of the Russian Federation." He acknowledged she violated the law but insisted she gave the Russians "no secrets whatsoever."

Chapman's sultry photos gleaned from social-networking sites made her a tabloid sensation.

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