Russian spies took lakeside reunion holiday: report

27th November 2010, Comments 0 comments

The 10 Russian spies expelled by the United States in the biggest post-Cold War spy scandal took a top-secret reunion holiday by Siberia's spectacular Lake Baikal, a report said on Saturday.

The 10 "sleeper spies", including the glamorous Anna Chapman, spent three days in September at a lakeside resort on Lake Baikal, the Tvoi Den and its sister news site reported.

There was no immediate confirmation of the report and it was not clear who had organised the vacation.

Since their return to Moscow, the spies have reportedly undergone a lengthy debriefing by their Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) employers and have also been given awards by President Dmitry Medvedev.

Tvoi Den published a picture of the spies together outside the resort which, if authentic, would be the first time they have been photographed together after their expulsion from the United States.

A girl resembling Anna Chapman is clearly visible in the picture, her hair in a pony tail and hands in her pockets. Chapman has been the only one of the spies to have been prominent since her return, posing in a raunchy photo-shoot for Russia's Maxim magazine.

Tvoi Den quoted sources at the resort as saying no-one knew at the time who the guests were although staff were told they were VIPs.

The group of 10 spies, many of whom had been working for years undercover in the United States as sleeper agents, returned to Russia in July in a sensational spy swap that saw Moscow send four Russian convicts to the West.

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, who himself served as a KGB agent in the ex-East Germany, revealed he met and even sang patriotic Soviet songs with the spies after their deportation.

© 2010 AFP

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