The biggest spy swap since the Cold War involving Russian sleeper agents sent to the U.S. in order to make valuable connections and pass sensitive information off to Moscow, was uncovered last June, leading to the arrest and deportation of 10 undercover Russian agents, the most notable of whom was Anna Chapman, 29, a former lingerie model posing as a New York real estate agent.

On Monday the FBI released video footage of Chapman and other agents' crimes in action, many of which took place under everyone's nose, in such locales as coffee shops and subway stations.

The undercover agents were called illegals because they took civilian jobs instead of operating within embassies, according to the UK's Daily Mail. The code name for their clandestine activity was Operation Ghost Stories, a reference to the spy ring's ability to blend into civilian middle-class American society.

The new material released, which includes videos, photographs and hundreds of pages of documents, shows members of the spy ring often subtly exchanging packages of information and money to each other in passing. One such video shows Chapman talking with another agent in a coffee shop and showing him information on her computer. Other footage shows agents digging in the ground for packages and payoffs that had been "dead dropped," their location indicated by such things as an empty bottle turned upside-down and stuck in the soil.


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After Chapman's deportation as part of an exchange deal between the U.S. and Russian governments, she became a media sensation in her home country, later working as a model, a celebrity spokesperson for a bank in Moscow, and a youth leader for the head pro-Kremlin party in Russia.

Watch a video of some of the agents' secret exchanges here:


  • A Grinshpan
    A Grinshpan on

    Crazy! And so exciting. Hollywood's all over this for sure

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