Putin promises 'bright life' to Russian spies

Last Updated 25 July 2010, 10:51 IST

Putin blamed 'betrayal' as the cause of busting Russian spy ring in the US and pledged to provide 'decent' jobs to the failed spies swapped under a deal between the two countries.

"I am sure they will work in decent places, I am sure they will have an interesting and bright life," Putin told reporters during his visit to Ukraine.

Putin, himself a former KGB spy in East Germany, for the first time disclosed to his pool reporters that he had met with the 10 deported agents including 'hot' spy Anna Chapman and sang 'patriotic songs' with them, NTV reported.

"We talked about life. We sang but not with a karaoke box. We sang to live music and we sang 'Where the Motherland Begins' and other such songs," Putin said replying to journalists yesterday.

Putin declared that he knew all the betrayers by name and any further action against them was the matter for the secret services, which 'live under their own laws'.
"This was a result of betrayal. They (traitors) always end up in a gutter, taking to drink or drugs," he said.

Obviously on the basis of his own personal experience as KGB agent in Germany he said the life of a spy was very tough.

"Imagine - they have to master a foreign language as your own mother tounge, think and speak in it, fulfil tasks in the interests of their motherland for many years without counting on diplomatic immunity," Putin said in his televised comments.

He confirmed that the agents cover had been blown as a result of treachery and he knew the names of all the traitors.

"There is nothing much to comment on there. I have already said that it was a result of treachery, and traitors always end up badly either from abuse of alcohol or drugs, somewhere in the gutter. One has recently ended up almost like this. And I don't understand what it was all about," Putin was quoted as saying.

When asked whether he would disclose names of the traitors, he said, "This is an incorrect question. It cannot be solved at a press conference. They live by their own laws, and all special services are well aware of these laws."

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

However, Putin did not give any details about his encounter with 28-year-old Anna Chapman nor he confirmed where and when did he meet the spies.

(Published 25 July 2010, 10:51 IST)

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