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Anna Vasil'evna Chapman (Russian: А́нна Васи́льевна Ча́пман; born February 23, 1982) is a Russian national, who, while living in New York, United States, was arrested along with nine others on June 27, 2010, on suspicion of working for an Illegals Program spy ring under the Russian Federation’s external intelligence agency, the SVR (Sluzhba Vneshney Razvedki).[5],[2] Chapman pleaded guilty to a charge of conspiracy to act as an agent of a foreign government without notifying the U.S. Attorney General, and was deported back to Russia on July 8, 2010, as part of the 2010 Russia–United States prisoner swap.

Biography Edit

Nuvola apps kview.svg External images
Searchtool.svg School years of Anna Kushchenko (in the center)

Born Anna Vasil'evna Kushchenko in Volgograd, according to U.S. authorities,[6] her father was employed in the Russian embassy in Nairobi, Kenya. According to her British ex-husband, her father, Vasily Kushchenko, was also a senior KGB official, although this is unsubstantiated.[7] She attended an elite boarding school and earned a masters degree in economics from the Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia in Moscow.

London: 2001–2006Edit

Chapman moved to London in January 2000, working at NetJets, Barclays Bank, and allegedly at a few other companies for brief periods.[7]

In 2001, at an underground rave party in London’s Docklands, she met Alex Chapman, then twenty-one, the son of a British business executive. The couple married shortly thereafter in Moscow, and as a result she gained dual Russian–British citizenship, and a British passport.[8] After Anna was arrested in New York, Alex engaged media publicist Max Clifford, and sold his story to The Daily Telegraph newspaper, which included semi-nude photographs and lurid tales of Anna’s sexual prowess.[4],[9],[10]

By 2003–2004, Alex stated that Anna had become distant, falling in with a group of “secretive, well-connected Russian friends.”[7] During this period, he has said that she would often go out with other Russians without inviting him along because they would only be speaking Russian. He has also stated that she seemed to have more access to money during this period, and often spoke of meeting influential people.[4] By 2005, the marriage had fallen apart, and they divorced. Anna went back to Russia in 2006, but according to Alex they remained in contact.[4]

New York: 2006–2010Edit

After her return to Russia in 2006, her ex-husband stated that she began seeing a rich American man, and moved to New York, where she started a real-estate business. She took up residence at 20 Exchange Place, one block from Wall Street in Manhattan’s Financial District.[11],[12] Alex has stated that Anna continuously told him the enterprise was in the red for the first couple of years, and then suddenly in 2009, she had as many as fifty employees and a successful business.[4] Anna's LinkedIn social networking site profile identified her as CEO of PropertyFinder LLC, a Web site selling real estate internationally.[12][13]

Alex commented that their contact was less frequent in the subsequent year, and Anna was arrested on June 27, 2010. Anna is reported to have been dating Michel Bittan, a prominent New York restaurant owner, at the time of her arrest.[14] She later described her time in the United States with the Charles Dickens quote, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.”[15],[16]

Illegals Program and arrest Edit

The nature of Chapman’s work with the Illegals Program is unclear to the public. Aside from her admission, and subsequent deportation, no concrete details have been provided of any spying activities. She is one of only two of the Russians arrested who did not use an assumed name.[17]

Arrest Edit

Anna Chapman mug shot

Mug shot taken by U.S. Marshals of Anna Chapman, June 2010

Officials claimed Chapman worked with a network of others, until an undercover FBI agent attempted to draw her into a trap at a Manhattan coffee shop.[18] The FBI agent offered Chapman a fake passport at Starbucks, with the instructions to forward it to another spy. He asked “Are you ready for this step?” to which Chapman unequivocally replied, “Shit, of course,” and accepted the passport.[19],[20] However, after making a series of phone calls to her father, Vasily Kushchenko, in Moscow, Chapman ended up heeding her father’s advice and handed the passport in at a local police station, but was arrested shortly thereafter.[21],[20]

International exchange Edit

After being formally charged, Chapman and nine other detainees became part of a spy swap deal between the United States and Russia, the first of its kind in twenty-four years. The ten Russian agents returned to Russia via a chartered jet that landed at Vienna International Airport, where the swap occurred on the morning of July 8.[3] The Russian jet returned to Moscow’s Domodedovo International Airport, where after landing the ten spies were kept away from local and international press.

Revocation of UK citizenshipEdit

According to a statement from her U.S. lawyer Robert Baum and media reports, Chapman wished to move to the United Kingdom.[22] As a result, the Home Office investigated the use of special powers by the British Home Secretary to deprive Chapman of her British citizenship,[23],[24] only used against six people since their introduction in 2002, in part to make it easier to deport radical Muslim cleric Abu Hamza al Masri.[8] The Home Office issued legal papers revoking her citizenship on July 13, 2010.[1] Steps are also being taken to exclude Chapman, meaning she could not travel to the United Kingdom.[8] After her deportation to Russia, Baum reiterated that his client had wished to stay in the United States; he also said that she was “particularly upset” by the revocation of her UK citizenship and exclusion from the country.[25],[26]

Media coverage and popular reactionEdit

After her arrest by the FBI for her involvement with the Illegals Program, Chapman gained overnight minor celebrity status while under custody.[6],[27] She was dubbed the “flame-haired beauty,” “femme fatale,” the “modern day Bond girl,” and the “stunning SoHo spy,” by the media.[28],[29],[30] Photos of Chapman taken from her Facebook profile proliferated the Web, and a dozen or more videos of her appeared on YouTube.[31]

Magazines and blogs detailed her fashion style and dress sense, while her action figure dolls graced the tabloids.[32],[33],[34],[35] Chapman was described by local media in New York as a regular of exclusive bars and restaurants.[32],[33],[29] U.S. Vice President Joe Biden appearing on NBC’s “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno,” when asked by Leno, “Do we have any spies that hot?” the Vice President replied in a mock serious tone, “Let me be clear. It was not my idea to send her back.”[36]

On July 20, 2010, The Guardian newspaper reported Moscow press reports that Chapman’s Facebook page had the words “This is an absolute lie” next to a story by the tabloid New York Post[37] that itself claimed unnamed sources told them that Chapman was shopping for a US$250,000 media deal using an associate of hers and a Swiss bank account to avoid her profits being seized by the U.S. government. While her plea deal requires her to forgo any proceeds from such a deal, her attorney Robert Baum noted that she is not prohibited from telling her story and that it would be difficult for American authorities to enforce the terms of her plea deal now that she is in Russia.[38]

According to the July 20, 2010, issue of Komsomolskaya Pravda (Russia’s mass-circulation tabloid) report, Anna Chapman stopped responding to phone calls when the paper was trying to negotiate the $25.000 interview deal with her (the date was not specified).[39] Vivid Video offered her a starring role in a porn film, which they would film in Russia, an offer that Chapman refused.[40]

In July 2010, Alex Chapman admitted he was not surprised about her arrest. He stated that when they married she was a “carefree, bohemian” individual. “Anna was an extremely passionate, caring and loving woman. She is also extremely intelligent—she has an IQ of 162 and it showed, because she was able to juggle so many things at once and make them a success.”[4] He later sold semi-nude pictures of Anna with sex toys.[41] Anna has received the most press of the alleged spies. Her husband said “Anya was great in bed and she knew exactly what to do,” and that “the sex was great and she had this incredible body.” It was also reported that “the randy Russian had a penchant for whips and nipple clamps.”[7]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 "Russian spy UK citizenship revoked". Press Association. July 13, 2010. Archived from the original on 2010-07-26. http://web.archive.org/web/20100726134825/http://www.google.com/hostednews/ukpress/article/ALeqM5gvRA_OXBSfzAmhTY4v07W17y_2Vg. Retrieved 2010-07-13. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Suspected Russian spies charged in US". BBC News. June 29, 2010. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/world/us_and_canada/10442223.stm. Retrieved 2010-07-13. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 "‘Russian spies’ deported; some kids to stay". Yahoo! News. 2010-07-08. http://news.yahoo.com/video/us-15749625/20781789. Retrieved 2010-07-10. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 Gordon Rayner and Andy Bloxham (July 02, 2010). "‘Russia spy’ Anna Chapman’s husband: I thought I knew her". The Daily Telegraph. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/russia/7866824/Russia-spy-Anna-Chapmans-husband-I-thought-I-knew-her.html. Retrieved 2010-07-13. 
  5. "10 alleged Russian secret agents arrested in US". Associated Press. June 28, 2010. Archived from the original on 2010-07-02. http://web.archive.org/web/20100702034104/http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5j_Fmz__pKb-YmXtA5fSYdbz6ptRAD9GKG7LG1. Retrieved 2010-07-13. 
  6. 6.0 6.1 Abcarian, Robin; Baum, Geraldine (June 30, 2010). "Sultry red-head sensationalizes spy story". Los Angeles Times. http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-femme-fatale-20100701,0,3628706.story. Retrieved 2010-07-13. 
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 Lukas I. Alpert (July 05, 2010). "Russian spy babe’s hot affair: Anna Chapman was kinky and ‘great in bed,’ says ex husband Alex". NY Daily News. http://www.nydailynews.com/ny_local/2010/07/05/2010-07-05_kinky_spy_anna_was_great_in_bed_sez_her_ex_sizzling_days_of_whips__clamps.html. Retrieved 2010-07-13.  (Archived by WebCite at http://www.webcitation.org/5s71zcqev).
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 "Russian spy Anna Chapman is stripped of UK citizenship". BBC News. July 13, 2010. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/10620352.stm. Retrieved 2010-07-13. 
  9. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/07/03/anna-chapmans-ex-husband_n_634747.html The Huffington Post. Retrieved 17 Jul 2010.
  10. Briton speaks about Russian spy suspect wife. BBC News (July 2, 2010).{{#if: July 18, 2010 | Retrieved on July 18, 2010]]{{#if: | , [[wikipedia:{{{accessyear}}} }}. }}
  11. Olivier O’Mahony (2010-07-09). "Anna: le visage d’ange du nouveau KGB [Anna: the angel face of the new KGB]" (in French). Paris Match. http://www.parismatch.com/Actu-Match/Monde/Actu/Anna-le-visage-d-ange-du-nouveau-KGB-198799/. Retrieved 2010-07-30. "Elle avait jeté son dévolu sur la tour résidentielle la plus haute de Manhattan. Le 20 Exchange Place. Cinquante-neuf étages sur 226 mètres de haut, construits en 1931 pour abriter le siège de la City Bank-Farmers Trust Company, ancêtre de Citigroup. Récemment reconverti en appartements, ce bijou d’Art déco a servi de décor à une scène de « Wall Street », le film d’Oliver Stone. Son hall d’entrée, aux plafonds voûtés recouverts de fresques, ressemble à la nef vertigineuse d’une ­cathédrale façon ­Gotham City. Situé en plein quartier ­financier de New York, l’endroit est idéal pour qui veut conquérir l’Amérique." 
  12. 12.0 12.1 Cristian Salazar and Tom Hays (June 30, 2010). "Anna Chapman dubbed femme fatale of Russian spy case". The Christian Science Monitor. http://www.csmonitor.com/From-the-news-wires/2010/0630/Anna-Chapman-dubbed-femme-fatale-of-Russian-spy-case?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+feeds%2Ftop+%28Christian+Science+Monitor+. Retrieved 2010-07-13. 
  13. http://www.scribd.com/doc/33836446/NYC-Rentals-Business-Pitch retrieved 16 July 2010
  14. Veronika Belenkaya, Sandra Ifraimova and Alison Gendar (July 01, 2010). "Accused Russian spy Anna Chapman was dating 60-year-old divorced dad Michel Bittan, friends say". NY Daily News. http://www.nydailynews.com/news/ny_crime/2010/07/01/2010-07-01_russian_spy_ring_moscow_minx_anna_chapman_knew_how_to_work_it.html. Retrieved 2010-07-13. 
  15. https://archive.is/20120728161355/www.cbsnews.com/8301-504083_162-20010387-504083.html CBS News. Retrieved 20 July 2010.
  16. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/worldnews/article-1294450/Anna-Chapman-resurfaces-Facebook-quoting-Dickens-spying-ordeal.html Daily Mail. Retrieved 13 July 2010.
  17. Daniel Bates (June 29, 2010). "Red-headed femme fatale among 11 'Russian deep cover agents' accused of Cold War-style plot to spy on America". Mail Online. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/worldnews/article-1290475/Anna-Chapman-11-Russian-spies-accused-Cold-War-style-plot-US.html. Retrieved 2010-07-13. 
  18. Edecio Martinez (June 30, 2010). "Who is the Russian “Femme Fatale”?". CBS News. Archived from the original on 2013-01-10. https://archive.is/yk7qK. Retrieved 2010-07-13. 
  19. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/shared/bsp/hi/pdfs/28_06_10_us_spies_complaint_1.pdf BBC News. Retrieved 18 July 2010.
  20. 20.0 20.1 Veronika Belenkaya, Robert Sgobbo and Alison Gendar (June 29, 2010). "Friends shocked Anna Chapman, accused Russian spy, threw away life of luxury". New York Daily News. http://www.nydailynews.com/news/ny_crime/2010/06/30/2010-06-30_russian_stunner_loves_living_it_up_in_city.html. Retrieved 2010-07-13. 
  21. http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/2010/07/12/2010-07-12_anna_chapmans_nervous_call_to_father_triggered_spy_arrests_report.html New York Daily News Retrieved 18 July 2010.
  22. Brian Ross, Anna Schecter and Megan Chuchmach (July 8, 2010). "Accused Russian Spy Stunner Anna Chapman to Fly Home Today, Her Attorney Says". ABC News. http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/accused-russian-spy-stunner-anna-chapman-fly-home/story?id=11116194. Retrieved 2010-07-13. 
  23. "Spies swapped in Vienna are flown to Russia and the US". BBC News. July 08, 2010. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/world/us_and_canada/10580301.stm. Retrieved 2010-07-13. 
  24. Adam Arnold and Tom Bonnett (July 10, 2010). "Spy’s UK Citizenship Under Consideration". Sky News Online. http://news.sky.com/skynews/Home/World-News/Russian-Spies-Anna-Chapmans-British-Citizenship-Reconsidered/Article/201007215661852?lpos=World_News_Top_Stories_Header_2&lid=ARTICLE_15661852_Russian_Spies%3A_Anna_Chapmans_British_Citizenship_Reconsidered. Retrieved 2010-07-13. 
  25. "Lawyer: Russian Spy Unhappy England Rejected Her". Associated Press. July 21, 2010. http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2010/07/21/ap/national/main6700028.shtml. Retrieved July 24, 2010. 
  26. "It’s Enough to Make a Redhead Blue: Russian Spy Upset Over Being Bounced by Britain". Associated Press. July 21, 2010. http://www.foxnews.com/us/2010/07/21/lawyer-red-haired-russian-spy-says-client-disappointed-england-revoked/. Retrieved July 24, 2010. 
  27. Michael Wilson (July 8, 2010). "She Had Us at Privyet". The New York Times. http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/07/08/she-had-us-at-privyet/. Retrieved 2010-07-10. 
  28. “ ‘Russian femme fatale’ spy Anna Chapman becomes US tabloid darling.” News24, 30 June 2010, <http://www.news24.com/World/News/Flame-haired-beauty-in-spy-ring-20100630> Retrieved 8 Jul 2010.
  29. 29.0 29.1 http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/russian-spy-ring-anna-chapman-accused-regular-nyc/story?id=11044883 ABC News. Retrieved 28 Jul 2010.
  30. http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/world/americas/a-modern-day-bond-girl/article1623799/ The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 18 July 2010.
  31. http://blog.washingtonpost.com/spy-talk/2010/06/accused_russian_spy_is_an_inte.html The Washington Post. Retrieved 18 July 2010.
  32. 32.0 32.1 http://www.fhm.com/girls/anna-chapman-is-a-sexy-russian-spy-20100630 FHM. Retrieved 18 July 2010.
  33. 33.0 33.1 http://thestir.cafemom.com/beauty_style/106298/inspired_by_anna_chapman_what CafeMom. Retrieved 18 July 2010.
  34. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/07/03/anna-chapmans-ex-husband_n_634747.html The Huffington Post. Retrieved 17 Jul 2010.
  35. http://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/2010/07/23/accused-russian-spy-anna-chapman-action-figures-sale/ Fox News. Retrieved 30 Jul 2010.
  36. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/10586484 BBC News. Retrieved 18 July 2010.
  37. Parfitt, Tom (20 July 2010). "Russian agent Anna Chapman denies seeking $250,000 to sell her story". The Guardian. http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/jul/20/anna-chapman-russian-spy-story-sale-denial. Retrieved 29 July 2010. 
  38. "Russian spy Anna Chapman wants $250K to tell her story". New York Post. 2010-07-19. http://www.nypost.com/p/pagesix/red_anna_eyes_swiss_payoff_HY61v3mTrTPvaYToJTWMcN. Retrieved 2010-07-19. 
  39. Анна Чапман согласилась поговорить с «Комсомолкой» за $25 000 Komsomolskaya Pravda, July 20, 2010.
  40. https://archive.is/20131015003909/www.cbsnews.com/8301-504083_162-20011206-504083.html CBS News.
  41. Schecter, Anna. “Accused Russian Spy Angry Over Sex Photos; Says Ex-Husband is Telling Lies.” ABC News. 7 July 2010. URL: http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/russian-spy-ring-anna-chapman-husband-lying/story?id=11103320. Accessed: 19 Aug. 2010 (Archived by WebCite at http://www.webcitation.org/5s70lV7ut).

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