Newspaper names ‘double agent’ that helped U.S. to break up Russian spy ring

November 11th, 2010 - 8:46 pm ICT by BNO News  

MOSCOW (BNO NEWS) — A colonel from the Russian foreign intelligence agency, surnamed Shcherbakov, was the agent who helped the U.S. to break up a Russian spy ring earlier this year, a Russian newspaper revealed.

According to the Kommersant newspaper, Shcherbakov was the head of a department responsible to plant moles in the United States, secret agents deep under cover, but he resigned in June and fled to America, days before the spies were arrested and just three days before President Dmitry Medvedev’s official visit to the U.S.

“This was product of treason and traitors always end badly,” the newspaper quoted Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin as saying when he got word of the arrests.

The newspaper also noted that there is no doubt that the Russian Government knew the name of the traitor, but it was not disclosed by unknown reasons.

“We know who he is and where he is. He betrayed us for money or for other reasons, but you can be sure that a Mercader (in reference to Ramon Mercader, a Soviet agent who assassinated Leon Trotsky in Mexico City) has already been sent after his steps,” a top Russian official told Kommersant.

According to research conducted by the newspaper, Shcherbakov’s daughter had been living in America for years. “It’s strange that nobody has worried about the fact that a person in that office had family abroad,” a secret service agent told the newspaper.

Ten Russian agents were arrested in the U.S. and sent back home in June, in the biggest spy swap since the Cold War, after several years of investigation by the FBI, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, and the Counterespionage Section and the Office of Intelligence within the Justice Department’s National Security Division.

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