Monday, 28 March 2011

Anna Chapman

Anna Chapman was one of ten people the Americans accused of espionage for Russia last summer. New York prosecutors claimed Russia's External Intelligence Service (SVR) had ordered the ten to infiltrate policy making circles and gather information, which is a general description of the work of the "sleeper" spy. All ten pleaded guilty to "conspiracy to act as an unregistered agent of a foreign country". Clearly a plea bargain had been struck to facilitate a spy swap. This left us all wondering whether the ten sleepers had been activated or not. The BBC's Moscow correspondent Steve Rosenberg has finally managed to interview Ms Chapman during a break in her weekly show Secrets of the World for Russian channel Ren TV (title link). It was the exact opposite of an interrogation: Ms Chapman was strongly backlit, her face in shadow, and Steve Rosenberg had the light in his eyes. I've had to tweak brightness, contrast and gamma settings to clarify her face in this video still. Conclusion? She epitomizes the art of the social climber. She's beautiful, charming, ambitious, articulate, has a head for business and knows how to milk a situation. In fact she reminds me of Kate Middleton. You don't suppose .... No. Wisely Ms Chapman doesn't reveal whether she was a spy or not. I suspect she enjoyed her social climbing too much to worry about gathering useful information for her spy master.


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