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Report: Russian Double Agent Helped Uncover U.S. Spy Ring

A Russian newspaper reports today that a Russian spy ring in the United States was uncovered with the help of a double agent.

The "Kommersant" business daily named the double agent as Shcherbakov, saying he was a colonel with the Russian foreign intelligence service whose job was to plant civilian spies in the United States.

It said Shcherbakov, whose first name was not given, fled Russia for the United States days before the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation announced in June it had arrested members of a Russian spy ring.

The report has not been confirmed by the Russian intelligence service.

The group of 10 spies, some of whom had been working undercover for years in the United States, returned to Russia in July in a spy swap that saw Russia send four Russian convicts to the West.

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin later condemned as a traitor the source who he said had betrayed the Russian agents.

compiled from agency reports