The Russian-American spy affair is a mix of genres bordering on reality show, Bond flick and soap opera. The tale of the beautiful Chapman, letters written in invisible ink, money buried in the ground, exposure and finally exchange — a happy ending…

The dizzying speed with which Moscow and Washington agreed on the exchange may be part of a script written by someone long ago. And it may just as well have its deep motivation in the Kremlin’s wish to smooth out the case as quickly as possible, and the fact that the FBI cannot wish for further investigation to illuminate its own counterespionage techniques.

Not even cephalopod Paul [an octopus in a German aquarium with a strong record at predicting World Cup matches] would be able to guess whether the start mechanism was an attempt by the FBI to compromise Obama’s “reset” policy, or whether the exposure of the group of ten agents was a message of the FSB [Russian Federal Security Service] (to Putin) to calm down.

The opinion that the busted ten are just a fraction of the Russian “illegals” working in the USA is, of course, common. Former MI5 chief Stella Rimington says that in Britain, too, “the Russian intelligence community represents a grave danger for economic and security interests.”*

Over the objection that the performance of these sleeper agents did not cause any threat, one way or another we arrive at Putin, with whose rise to power, according to most analysts, comes a revitalization of KGB practices from the Cold War era.

A report of the Czech BIS [Security Information Service] that claims Russian services “are increasing their activities, especially in economics,” and at the same time “are bordering on hostility towards the interests of the Czech Republic” bring us back to Slovakia, where this Putin Ten should serve as an appeal that the new chief of the SIS [Slovak Information Service] should not be a secretary of the SDKÚ [Slovak Democratic Christian Union] (with an account in London), but a man who has in his head a basic geostrategic clear picture. All the more since, if anyone has noticed, we lost a thousand-kilometer buffer zone in January and we border with the Putin empire at Užhorod [Slovak-Ukrainian border town].

Dame Stella said she believed Russia still possesses “a very large and well-resourced intelligence community” which remains a threat to British economic and security interests.

*Editor's Note: This quotation, accurately translated, could not be verified.