Celebrity Spies

To Russia with Love
Anna Chapman is the former Russian sleeper agent who was outed as a spy in the U.S. and deported back to Russia. In the past, when a Russian spy’s cover was compromised and made public it was an embarrassment to the leadership of the mother country.

Not any more. Instead of going into hiding, Chapman has become a celebrity and darling in Prime Minister Putin’s administration. Has Mr. Putin ‘gone Berlusconi’ on us? (See here and here.)

Anyway, in addition to a gig posing half-naked in Russian Maxim magazine, the attractive 28-year-old will be the head of the Young Guard, the youth wing of the ruling United Russia party headed by Prime Minister Vladimir Putin. According to The Guardian, she’ll be assigned to work with “patriots and young business people.”

The Young Guard group is considered a fanatically pro-Putin youth organization that frequently holds street demonstrations and has been used by Putin’s United Russia party in efforts to drum up support among Russian youth.

The group fell under suspicion last month, however, when a Russian journalist who had been critical of the Kremlin was severely beaten outside his Moscow home. The journalist, Oleg Kashin, had received threats allegedly from the Young Guard, but his assailants are unknown.

Over the past 18 months there have been demonstrations calling for the ousting of Vladimir Putin’s government. See story in Time magazine.

In the meantime, enjoy Lady GaGa – The Fame:

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