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Russia's 'sexy spy' appears at Medvedev forum

by Staff Writers
Moscow (AFP) Dec 14, 2010
Russia's glamorous former spy Anna Chapman made a surprise appearance Tuesday at a technical modernisation forum attended by President Dmitry Medvedev and the country's young elite.

An AFP correspondent saw the 28-year-old former sleeper agent appear at the prestigious function outside Moscow wearing a classic black business dress and an official accreditation badge around her neck.

The website said that organisers had invited Chapman to the Skolkovo function "to use her wealth of experience in modernising the country."

Chapman and nine other Russia spies were expelled from the United States this summer in a historic swap that deeply embarrassed the Russian intelligence service and sparked worries over relations with the United States.

But Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin -- himself a former agent -- rallied to the group's defence by meeting and even singing with them on their arrival and promising them all important work in their homeland.

Chapman has since been hired as a representative of a little-known asset management firm called FondsServiceBank.

She has also been the only one of the spies to have been prominent in public since her return, posing in a raunchy photo-shoot for Russia's Maxim magazine and even surfacing at a space launch at the Baikonur cosmodrome.

The Kommersant business daily reported Monday that another member of the gang, Andrei Bezrukov, who was in Boston under the alias Donald Howard Heathfield, has been hired as an executive adviser by Russia's state-run oil giant Rosneft.

Tuesday's forum took place at the Skolkovo innovation centre touted by Medvedev as Russia's answer to the United States' Silicon Valley.

The centre was visited this year by the heads of Google and other US computing giants seeking suitable investment projects.

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Veteran US Diplomat Richard Holbrooke Dies
Veteran US diplomat Richard Holbrooke dies
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