Friday, July 16, 2010

Russian Spies, American Children

From BBC News on the fate of the American-born children of Russian agents recently arrested and deported:

The ten agents who admitted gathering intelligence for Russia have arrived back in Moscow after being deported from the US, but what is the fate of their American-born children?

Coming home from a slumber party to discover that your parents are at the heart of an international spying scandal sounds like a plot of a summer action film.

But for one 11-year-old girl, last week it was real life.

The girl is one of six children, under the age of 18, born to the 10 Russian spies who were swiftly deported from the US yesterday, just hours after pleading guilty in court.

The youngest child is just one year old. There are also two adult children, aged 20 and 38.

Authorities remained tight-lipped on the fate of these American-born children, except to say they will be free to come and go from the US as they see fit.

The Boston Globe reported that the children of the Russians posing as Donald Heathfield and Tracey Foley - the couple who lived in Cambridge, Massachusetts - had left for Russia earlier this week.

Tim Foley, 20, is a student at George Washington University in Washington DC. His brother, 16, is at school at Boston and is still a minor under US law.

The two boys were seen in a Boston court when their parents were arraigned, but they refrained from speaking to reporters.

The spies posing as Michael Zottoli and Patricia Mills were raising a one and three-year old in their home in the Virginia suburb of Arlington, just outside of DC.

The children were initially placed in the care of social services because the FBI did not have sufficient time to conduct background checks on family friends.

The couple have since contacted friends in the US, who have arranged with relatives in Russia for the children to return there.

It's not yet clear what will happen to the 11-year-old daughter of "Richard and Cynthia Murphy", real names Vladimir and Lydia Guryev, and her seven-year-old sister.

But it's certain that their suburban American lives have been forever interrupted.

Read more here.

AC

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