Russia says it will expel a U.S. diplomat who it claims was caught disguised in a blond wig while trying to recruit a Russian agent in Moscow.
Russia's security services claimed Tuesday that Ryan Fogle, a third secretary at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow, was a CIA officer. It said Fogle was carrying special technical equipment, disguises, written instructions and a large sum of money when he was detained overnight.
The Russian Foreign Ministry said Fogle was handed back to U.S. Embassy officials, declared persona non grata and ordered to leave Russia immediately.
It was the first case of an American diplomat in Moscow publicly accused of spying in about a decade.
The CIA declined to comment on the case.
Russia's Federal Security Service has released a photograph of a letter that it claims contains instructions on spying for the United States. The FSB said the letter was found on a U.S. diplomat, who they claim is a CIA officer caught trying to recruit a member of one of Russia's special services. There was no immediate response from the U.S. State Department. This is the Associated Press' translation of the typewritten letter shown on Russian state television channels:
This is an advance from someone who is very impressed by your professionalism and who would greatly value working together with you in the future. For us, your safety is of the utmost importance, so we have chosen this route to make contact with you. And we will continue to take steps to secure your safety and keep our correspondence secret.
We are prepared to offer you $100,000 and discuss your experience, expertise and cooperation, and your payment might be far greater if you are prepared to answer some specific questions. Additionally, for long-term cooperation we offer up to $1,000,000 a year with the promise of additional bonuses for information that will help us.
To contact us again, please open a new Gmail account, which you will use only for communicating with us, in an Internet cafe or a cafe with a WiFi connection. When signing up, do not use any personal information that could be used to identify you and the new account. So do not offer any real contact information, i.e. your telephone numbers or other email addresses.
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Thank you for reading this. We eagerly await the possibility of working with you in the near future.