Russia's spy Chapman talks love and life on national TV

31st December 2010, Comments 0 comments

Seductive redhead spy Anna Chapman opened up to Russians in a primetime talk show on state television, describing herself as a "good shot" and even enjoying a reunion with her first love.

Dressed in a clingy green dress and high heels, Chapman gave her first ever television interview constructing an image of a provincial girl-next-door turned international mystery woman who wields a gun in men's magazine photo spreads.

"I am a very good shot, very skillful," she said, perched on a leather sofa on "Let Them Talk," a popular show on national network Channel One, which called her 'Girl of the Year'.

The interview late on Thursday alternated with footage from her home town Volgograd and laudatory comments from friends and former teachers.

Chapman landed in the spotlight when she was booted out of the United States along with nine other Russian spies this summer in an extraordinary spy swap.

While the other spies kept a low profile, she went on to pose on the cover of Maxim magazine and engaged in several publicity stunts such as sending off cosmonauts from the Baikonur cosmodrome.

"People recognize me on the street very often, but life is not that much different," she said on the show.

As usual, she offered few comments about her espionage activities or the circumstances of her discovery, which has been reported as a result of betrayal.

"It's not for me to judge, I wish for nothing negative to anyone, even a traitor. It's his problem, not mine," she said. "What happened is for the best. It's a beginning of something great and beautiful," she said.

The programme gave many glimpses into her past before she departed Russia, showing a young girl recite a poem in a Soviet school uniform, and a teenager falling off a quad bike.

Her first effort to earn, the programme said, was a pencil drawing of Leonardo DiCaprio which she bartered for food and homework favours while in an all-girls school, just after "Titanic" came out in cinemas.

The studio invited many of Chapman's classmates including her eighth grade "first love" who came with a bouquet of flowers and timidly kissed her on the cheek.

Chapman and the other spies were given awards by Medvedev but former intelligence professionals have lambasted them for their apparently shoddy spycraft in the field.

© 2010 AFP

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