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Dublin: 3 °C Friday 15 November, 2019

#Spy Swap

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THE TEN SPIES DEPORTED by the United States as part of the ‘Illegals’ spy-swap programme last month have been socialising with Russian prime minister Vladimir Putin.

The PM said he had met with the ten deportees on a visit to the Ukraine – and led them in a sing-song where they belted out Soviet era patriotic tunes.

“I met with them. We talked about life,” said the prime minister, himself a former KGB agent. “They will find decent work — I’m sure. I don’t doubt that they will have interesting, bright lives.”

Putin said that among the songs they had sung were ‘What With The Motherland Begins?’, a hit from the 1968 Soviet movie The Sword and the Shield, which deals with an undercover Russian spy in Nazi Germany.

“I’m not joking, seriously. And other songs with similar content,” Putin said.

He added that the songs had been sung to live music, and not to karaoke – but declined to say where and how the meeting had been arranged.

Putin went on to praise the professionalism of the agents, saying that the spies’ lives were not easy.

“Just imagine – first you have to master a language as if it were your own, think in that language, talk in it.

“[Then you must] fulfil the task set in the interests of your motherland over many years, suffering daily dangers for you and your loved ones, who don’t even know who you are or for whom you work.”

The former president also said that he knew the identities of the people who had ‘betrayed‘ the Russians to the American government, saying their revealing “was the result of treason.”

US AUTHORITIES have detained a 12th person in connection with the Russian spy ring recently broken on the east coast of the States, the Wall Street Journal reports. Ten people found guilty of operating as foreign agents in the US were deported to Moscow last week in an apparent spy swap deal between the US and Russia. This 12th person may follow suit.