Military Review

Spy exchange. The most famous cases in history

38

An exchange scene from the feature film Dead Season


The most textbook and well-known case of exchange is associated with the Glienicke Bridge, when the USSR changed the spy pilot Powers for the Soviet illegal intelligence officer Rudolf Abel, aka William Fischer. Many believe that this is the first exchange in storiesbut it is not. Spies and just foreign citizens were changed until 1962.

Interest in this topic is quite large and from time to time is fueled by new stories. One recent example is former Marine Paul Whelan, convicted of espionage in Russia. He was detained in Moscow by FSB officers at the end of 2018 and subsequently sentenced to 16 years. Whelan is currently serving a sentence in a Mordovian colony.

An American convicted in Russia for espionage can be exchanged for one of the Russians. About this in February 2021 to the journalists of RIA News told his lawyer Vladimir Zherebenkov. At the same time, the lawyer did not give any names, noting that

"Earlier, in connection with the exchange of Paul Whelan, the names of Yaroshenko and Bout serving sentences in the US surfaced, but now we are talking about some of the programmers."

According to the lawyer, the American special services will be able to start negotiations on the exchange only if there is a presidential order. Whelan's lawyer believes that some kind of command from Biden regarding the exchange has already been given.

Chang Kai-shek's son was exchanged for Zorge's replacement


In the USSR, the practice of exchanging "spies" was used already in the 1930s. Then the Soviet Union was actively helping out its intelligence officers who worked in China. The most famous case is associated with the exchange of Yakov Bronin for Jiying Jingguo. Jingguo was arrested in Sverdlovsk after the arrest in Shanghai of Yakov Bronin. Bronin from 1933 to 1935 was a resident of Soviet intelligence in China. In this post, he replaced the famous Soviet intelligence officer Richard Sorge.

Yakov Bronin was arrested by China's counterintelligence and sentenced to 15 years in prison. From 1935 to 1937, he was held in a prison in the Chinese city of Wuhan, the existence of which today is already known to every inhabitant of our planet. In 1937, Bronin was exchanged for Jiying Jingguo. It is worth noting that the latter was not an ordinary Chinese, he was the son of Marshal Chiang Kai-shek.

He moved to the USSR back in 1925. The 15-year-old son of the leader of the Kuomintang party arrived in the Soviet Union to study and built a successful career, having learned Russian and received an education, joined the Komsomol. In the USSR, he took the name Nikolai Vladimirovich Elizarov. In 1932 he moved to Sverdlovsk, where he worked at Uralmash, and was also the editor of the newspaper For Heavy Engineering. In the same place in Sverdlovsk, he married Faina Vakhreva and became the father of two children.

Spy exchange. The most famous cases in history
Jiying jingguo

It is believed that the USSR leadership decided to go for an exchange only after an unsuccessful attempt to free the Soviet resident during special operations. Then it was decided to go the other way. The son of Marshal Chiang Kai-shek was arrested in Sverdlovsk. This was followed by an offer, which Chiang Kai-shek could not refuse, and in March 1937, the marshal's son was exchanged for the Soviet intelligence officer Yakov Bronin.

It is worth noting that both in life everything worked out quite well. Yakov Bronin, returning to the USSR, did not fall into the millstones of the Great Terror, which engulfed his immediate superior, Yan Berzin, and hundreds of high-ranking Soviet intelligence officers. At the same time, in 1949 he was still repressed, but rehabilitated in 1955. A native of the city of Tukums, he lived a long life, Yakov Bronin died in 1984.

At the same time, Jiying Jingguo served as President of the Republic of China (Taiwan) from 1978 to 1988, having managed to be re-elected for a second term. Under his rule, martial law was abolished in the country, a course towards democratic construction was taken, and the country's economy was developing rapidly. Moreover, Faina Vakhreva (Jiang Fanliang), orphaned at an early age and raised in Sverdlovsk, was the first lady of the Republic of China.

The most famous exchange in history


The most famous spy exchange in history took place, perhaps, on February 10, 1962, and the bridge on which the exchange took place has forever gone down in history as a spy bridge. On this winter day, on the Glienicke Bridge in Germany, exactly in the middle of which the border between West Berlin and the GDR was then exchanged, the American spy pilot Powers was exchanged for the illegal Soviet intelligence officer Abel.


Rudolph Abel (real name William Genrikhovich Fischer)

This event aroused great interest already in those years and was widely covered in the press. In the Soviet Union, based on these events, the feature film Dead Season was shot in 1968, while Rudolf Abel himself took part in the creation of the picture. And not so long ago, in 2015, another picture based on this story was released. This time, the film, which was called "Spy Bridge", was filmed in the United States by director Steven Spielberg.

As we already understood, cases of exchange of spies and prisoners between countries existed before, but it was in 1962 that the story received really wide publicity, the events were covered in the media. Moreover, the exchange itself was agreed at the highest level with the direct participation of the highest political circles of the USSR and the USA.

It should be said here that the Soviet Union was lucky with the American pilot, first of all, with the fact that he survived after his U-2 reconnaissance aircraft was shot down in the sky over the Sverdlovsk region. By that time, the illegal Soviet intelligence agent Rudolf Abel had been arrested. In the United States, Abel worked as an illegal intelligence agent since 1948. In June 1957, he was arrested, after which the court sentenced him to 35 years in prison.

Francis Gary Powers, whose plane was shot down over the USSR during a reconnaissance flight on May 1, 1960, became a figure that Washington was ready to exchange for Abel. Also included in the exchange deal was US economics student Frederick Pryor, who was arrested in August 1961 for espionage in East Berlin.

After returning to the USSR, Rudolf Abel underwent a course of treatment, rested and returned to work, training illegal intelligence officers. In addition to working in the central intelligence apparatus, William Fisher painted landscapes in his spare time. The famous scout died on November 15, 1971 from lung cancer.


Francis Gary Powers

Francis Gary Powers, returning to the United States, received a rather cold welcome. He was accused of not destroying secret equipment on the plane and not committing suicide, although he was issued a special poisoned needle by the CIA. Ultimately, the Senate Arms Committee dropped all charges against him. Powers continued his service until 1970 in aviation, but no longer dealt with intelligence, in particular, he was a test pilot of the Lockheed company. Died at the age of 47 on August 1, 1977 in Los Angeles in a plane crash. At that time Paeurs was already a civil aviation pilot, on the day of his death he was piloting a helicopter of the radio and television news agency KNBC.

The most massive exchange in history


The Gliniki Bridge was used more than once for exchange between the two superpowers during the Cold War. For example, two years after the most famous exchange, the British Greville Wynn was exchanged for the Soviet agent Konon Molodoy. At the same time, it was he, and not Abel, who became the prototype of the protagonist of the Russian film "Dead Season". On the same bridge, but already in 1985, the largest spy exchange in history took place.

On June 11, 1985, 23 CIA agents, who at that time were in the prisons of the GDR and Poland, went to the West over this bridge, some for quite a long time. In turn, the USSR received four Eastern Bloc agents, among whom was the famous Polish agent Marian Zakharski.

Negotiations on this massive exchange, which ultimately ended well, have been going on for eight years. At the same time, they began with a discussion of the release of a person who was not among those who received freedom that day. It was about the Soviet human rights activist Anatoly Sharansky.


The same Glinik Bridge, view from Berlin

As a result, Natan Sharansky was exchanged on February 11, 1986 after numerous demonstrations around the world, as well as a personal petition of the largest politicians in the United States and Europe. The reason for the failure of the exchange in 1985 was that Moscow demanded that the US government acknowledge that the Russian dissident, who was sentenced to 1978 years in prison in July 13, was spying for the CIA. At the same time, US President Jimmy Carter refused to trade a human rights defender for a spy.

The largest spy exchange in history took place at noon on June 11, 1985. The Americans brought four former intelligence officers to the bridge in a Chevrolet van. Among them were:

- Polish intelligence officer Marian Zakharski, who was sentenced to life imprisonment in 1981 for his activities in establishing plans for the US armed forces;

- Peña Kostadinov, former Trade Attaché at the Bulgarian Embassy in Washington, DC, arrested by the FBI in 1983 while receiving confidential government documents;

- physicist from the GDR Alfred Zee, who transmitted secret information about the US Navy to East Berlin and was arrested in 1983 at a conference in Boston;

- the fourth participant in the exchange was Alisa Michelson, a citizen of the GDR, as well as a KGB courier, the woman was detained in 1984 at the Kennedy Airport in New York.

From the Soviet side, a bus arrived at the bridge with 25 passengers, two of them decided to stay in the GDR, and 23 people crossed the bridge to the West. Among the transferred prisoners, in addition to citizens of the GDR, there were also six Poles and one Austrian. Many of them at that time had many years or life sentences for espionage.

Anna Chapman. Instead of an epilogue


History does not stand still, and the spy exchange process has not stopped, even though the Cold War has ended. Relatively recently, in 2010, another mass exchange of persons took place, which the United States and Russia accused of intelligence activities. The exchange took place at the Vienna airport, and the whole story was called the "Spy Scandal".

In June 2010, 10 illegal Russian intelligence officers were detained in the United States at once: Anna Chapman, Richard and Cynthia Murphy, Juan Lazaro and Vikki Pelaez, Michael Zotolli and Patricia Mills, Mikhail Semenko, Donald Hatfield and Tracy Foley.


Anna Chapman, photo instagram.com/anya.chapman

The most famous among them was Anna Chapman, who, after her arrest, turned into a media personality in Russia. The media almost immediately labeled the girl as a sex symbol. At the same time, after returning to Russia, Chapman launched a career in television, starting a collaboration with the Ren TV channel, on which she still broadcasts the Chapman Mystery.

In exchange for the agents detained in the United States, whom the Foreign Intelligence Service Colonel Alexander Poteev surrendered to the United States, Russia extradited four prisoners who were already serving their sentences in our country. They were accused of espionage on the United States and Great Britain: former SVR and GRU officers Alexander Zaporozhsky and Sergei Skripal, former deputy head of the security service of the NTV Plus television company Gennady Vasilenko and former head of the US and Canada Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences Igor Sutyagin. As we know, the story of one of them - Sergei Skripal, in fact, cannot end until now.
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  1. svp67
    svp67 24 February 2021 05: 39
    +7
    "They changed the bully to Luis Carvalan ..." During the Soviet era, not only intelligence officers were changed ...
    1. Vladimir_2U
      Vladimir_2U 24 February 2021 06: 24
      +4
      Quote: svp67
      Changed the bully to Luis Carvalan

      Many were confused with Corvalol. laughing
      1. svp67
        svp67 24 February 2021 06: 33
        +2
        Quote: Vladimir_2U
        Many were confused with Corvalol.

        Like a Bully with a Neurophysiologist and Writer
        1. 3x3zsave
          3x3zsave 24 February 2021 07: 05
          +10
          Bukovsky's literary work is as dubious as his scientific work. The well-known quatrain belongs to the pen of another "fighter against the regime" V. Delone.
          1. Korsar4
            Korsar4 24 February 2021 07: 38
            +7
            Probably one of the examples of unwinding a figure.
            And what is the social circle: Bakatin, Nemtsov, etc.
          2. Catfish
            Catfish 24 February 2021 08: 14
            +10
            Hello Anton, smile
            As far as I remember, to our Soviet people, all these Shiranskys and Bukovskys were so light that it would be indecent to say aloud. laughing
            And about Powers, one retiree from the Office told me that he was pretty much “shod” with us, he was taken to factories, collective farms, theaters, almost to apartments, so that the image of an enemy in his brain was pretty dim. Therefore, the court was more like a well-directed performance.
            And the US President, by the way, awarded him the "Congress Medal", probably because he did not ask Nikita for political asylum and did not stay in the Union to build communism. wink
            1. Richard
              Richard 24 February 2021 22: 28
              +4
              As far as I remember, to our Soviet people, all these Shiranskys and Bukovskys were so light that it is indecent to say out loud

      2. Krasnodar
        Krasnodar 24 February 2021 09: 27
        +10
        Quote: Vladimir_2U
        Quote: svp67
        Changed the bully to Luis Carvalan

        Many were confused with Corvalol. laughing

        “I don’t know who Chilya is, but if Louise is not immediately released from the Carnival, I won’t go to work tomorrow” (c)
        1. Catfish
          Catfish 24 February 2021 09: 40
          +6
          "I do not know who he is, this damned Junta, but if he does not let Luis leave the carnival ..." further in the text. laughing One of the options for folk art.

          Hi Albert. hi
          1. Krasnodar
            Krasnodar 24 February 2021 09: 43
            +3
            Greetings, Constantine! hi
            I remember the words of my grandmother about Chile when in the 80s they showed protesters in Santiago against Pinochet:
            “Under Allende, the Protestants were thin. Now plump. But they still protest! " laughing
            1. Catfish
              Catfish 24 February 2021 10: 00
              +8
              A good film "The Centaurs" was made about Chile, the director was Zhalyakevichus, Allende was played by Banionis, and Pinochet - Lebedev, if I haven't seen it, I advise you to see, the masters did it, now they can't, neither here, nor with "them."



              1. Krasnodar
                Krasnodar 24 February 2021 10: 56
                +2
                I watched a cool scene of a search of a Chilean woman))
                1. Catfish
                  Catfish 24 February 2021 11: 15
                  +2
                  He also had a film on Lat. America - "That sweet word is freedom."
                  I'm not even talking about the absolutely flashy "Nobody Wanted to Die".
                  1. Krasnodar
                    Krasnodar 24 February 2021 11: 28
                    +3
                    I don’t remember these films, but the themes were very popular during the Soviet Union. The USSR was active in the region to create a "continent of freedom" south of the United States
                    1. Catfish
                      Catfish 24 February 2021 11: 40
                      +4
                      "Nobody Wanted to Die" makes sense to watch. Lithuania at the very end of the war, or the first post-war years, the forest brothers and internecine massacres. It lasted longer there than in the rest of the Baltics.
                      "I am a soldier, mom, when I can not shoot, I do not shoot" - The words of the main character of the film.


                      1. Krasnodar
                        Krasnodar 24 February 2021 12: 05
                        +2
                        I remember something from childhood
                      2. Catfish
                        Catfish 24 February 2021 13: 41
                        +1
                        Gold is in Cannes, but that's not even the point, I have seen it twenty times already, and, of course, I will see it again.
                    2. Moskovit
                      Moskovit 24 February 2021 14: 28
                      +5
                      The film is tough. But the elderly Lithuanians say so and it was approximately. Brother to brother. Mercilessly. They killed. Robbed. They knocked on each other. They took revenge for their relatives. No matter what the current authorities say, the majority of those killed by the forest brothers are Lithuanians themselves.
                    3. Catfish
                      Catfish 24 February 2021 15: 25
                      +2
                      I know, relatives lived in Vilnius, their house, my uncle finished the war as an elder of SMERSH, so from the late forties they took me there for the summer, then he went there himself.
          2. Fitter65
            Fitter65 24 February 2021 12: 16
            +4
            Quote: Sea Cat
            the masters did, now they cannot do that, neither with us, nor with "them".

            They definitely won't be able to ...
            1. Catfish
              Catfish 24 February 2021 13: 42
              +2
              Unfortunately ...
          3. Okolotochny
            Okolotochny 24 February 2021 14: 55
            +4
            There is also "It is raining in Santiago" - by the way, it was the code phrase for the beginning of the putsch.
            1. Catfish
              Catfish 24 February 2021 15: 30
              +2
              Good afternoon, Alexey hi .
              But I have not seen this film. Who shot it, what actors?
              And Pinochet shamelessly ripped off the code phrase from Franco, about the fact that "Above all Spain, a cloudless sky."
              1. Okolotochny
                Okolotochny 26 February 2021 12: 17
                +3
                Kind. It was an international project, stars were also filmed.
          4. napalm
            napalm 25 February 2021 18: 27
            +1
            Yes, both the film and the story were good. In short, it is raining in Santiago.
      3. Yuri Tverdokhleb
        Yuri Tverdokhleb 24 February 2021 10: 07
        +1
        Uv.Konstantin, maybe not in essence, but most of us do not understand in the bustle of what wealth Russian speakers have. Never and nowhere in the world will there be such talents as Pushkin, Nekrasov, Tolstoy, Lermontov, Tvardovsky. So that all of us to help the carvalol with the carnival.
        1. Catfish
          Catfish 24 February 2021 11: 45
          +3
          "There is a Russian word in the world, well, how can you not know it ..." (c)
          I will not continue, and so a lot of warnings. smile
          1. Richard
            Richard 24 February 2021 22: 24
            +5
            Can you imagine what new colors the story "Mu-Mu" by Ivan Sergeevich Turgenev would have played if everything ended like this: smile
            1. Catfish
              Catfish 24 February 2021 22: 34
              +1
              Yes, in this situation, both female dogs were lucky. laughing
  2. Fitter65
    Fitter65 24 February 2021 12: 15
    +4
    Quote: Vladimir_2U
    Quote: svp67
    Changed the bully to Luis Carvalan

    Many were confused with Corvalol. laughing

    In those days, people did not confuse anything, even in the absence of the Internet.
  • Destiny
    Destiny 24 February 2021 06: 39
    +13
    An interesting story about interesting facts in the life of an interesting bridge, thank you .. And I watched "Spy Bridge" with "Dead Season" - I liked our film more.
  • north 2
    north 2 24 February 2021 07: 25
    +12
    From the article, we understood that such exchanges not only brought salvation of Soviet intelligence officers personally, but by exchanging arrested foreign communist leaders for Western spies caught in the USSR, the USSR also had geopolitical benefits. As a state that does not abandon its own people. And this is one of the elements of the state's image, for which both friends and enemies respect.
    I wonder if there will be an article in VO, and we will explain how our scouts, our allies and our enemies felt when the Gorbachevs-Shevardnadzskaya-Yakovlevskaya-Yeltsin-Kozyrevskaya gang surrendered hundreds of our intelligence officers and residents abroad to the West. After such actions, did our allies feel, for example, in the GDR, Vietnam, Yugoslavia, Cuba? Everyone knows what the fate was with our rescued intelligence officers under Stalin and under Brezhnev. Isn't it time to get up the courage and write articles and create films about abandoned, betrayed and betrayed under Gorbachev and Yeltsin ...
  • The leader of the Redskins
    The leader of the Redskins 24 February 2021 08: 40
    +6
    I liked the article. I had never heard of Chiang Kai Shi's son. Thanks to the author.
  • Professor
    Professor 24 February 2021 10: 16
    +6
    Here's more about exchanges:
    https://www.rbc.ru/photoreport/22/04/2016/571a0cb89a7947385ae8a395

    Shchiransky, of course, was not a spy. And here is a video with his exchange:
    https://openuni.io/course/2/lesson/3/material/200/
  • moreman78
    moreman78 24 February 2021 17: 10
    +2
    Quote: Leader of the Redskins
    I liked the article. I had never heard of Chiang Kai Shi's son. Thanks to the author.

    They even showed a documentary about him - I don't remember what it's called.
  • sifgame
    sifgame 24 February 2021 20: 36
    +1
    The exchange of an ordinary pilot for an illegal, and even of such a level, here the Americans have made a bargain, of course.
  • Radikal
    Radikal 24 February 2021 21: 36
    +5
    For whom is this opus useful information? winked Why publish a notoriously useless article. The author knows something about all this ....?
  • Radikal
    Radikal 24 February 2021 21: 40
    +6
    Quote: Professor
    Here's more about exchanges:
    https://www.rbc.ru/photoreport/22/04/2016/571a0cb89a7947385ae8a395

    Shchiransky, of course, was not a spy. And here is a video with his exchange:
    https://openuni.io/course/2/lesson/3/material/200/

    The pepper is clear - he was the most important Moishe, he is the Elusive Joe, who flunked the USSR! hi wassat
    Sholem, Dottore Professor! wassat hi