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Son Of Russian Spies Regains Canadian Citizenship After Long Struggle


Tracey Ann Foley, also known as Russian spy Elena Vavilova, the mother of Alexander Vavilov (FBI photo)

The son of Russian spies has regained his Canadian citizenship after a lengthy struggle under a Canadian court decision released on June 23.

It is the latest twist in a spy saga that has spanned continents. Alexander Vavilov, 23, was born as Alexander Foley to Donald Heathfield and Tracey Ann Foley, who were among 10 Russian spies expelled from the United States in 2011.

The couple had been living in Toronto when Vavilov was born in 1994 but left for France the following year, before eventually landing in the United States.

Vavilov's life unravelled in 2010 when, as a teenager, he saw armed FBI agents arrest his parents at their Boston area home.

Heathfield and Foley would admit to being Andrei Bezrukov and Elena Vavilova, working for Russia's spy agency. According to an affidavit, the young Vavilov did not know his parents were Russian agents.

Nonetheless, he would be forced to finish high school in Russia.

In 2014, the Canadian government stripped Vavilov of his citizenship, arguing that he was ineligible for citizenship because his parents worked for a foreign government.

But after a lengthy court battle, a Canadian appeals court rejected this position and restored his citizenship.

Based on reporting by AFP and Canadian Press
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