Vladimir Putin has revived sexpionage (corr) classes to teach spies how to obtain state secrets by seduction, a new book claims.
They include actresses, singers, dancers and teachers who have been handpicked by Putin’s intelligence experts.
The women – known as swallows’ – and their male equivalent dubbedravens’ are then taught how to seduce foreign dignitaries in order to squeeze them for information.
Russian President Vladimir Putin hopes honeytrappers will bring in state secrets (Image: AP)The tactic was honed by the KGB during the Cold War when the recruits were sent to a special sexpionage’ school in Kazan, 500 miles east of Russia’s capital Moscow.
According to new book Agents Of Influence by Mark Hollingsworth: “Young, impoverished girls were taught how to approach foreigners in clubs, hotel lobbies or even fake brothels calledmalinas’ – Russian for raspberries’ – fitted with bugging devices and cameras.
“The aim was to obtain kompromat (corr) – compromising information, recordings and photographs that could be used as leverage to persuade an intelligence officer or diplomat to spy for the KGB or reveal secrets.
“The incriminating material would be deployed at once or filed away for when the target became more powerful and influential.”
The art of seduction is viewed in Russia as a powerful spy tool (Image: Getty Images/iStockphoto)The school was thought to have closed down following the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991. But Putin, 70, who served as a KGB officer for 16 years from 1975 rising to the rank of lieutenant-colonel, is said to have revived the tactic in the Russian secret service unit that replaced it called the SVR (corr).
According to Hollingsworth swallows and ravens are still at work as Putin plots the next move in his invasion of Ukraine.
“The Cold War drew to a close not with a bang but a whimper,” the author wrote. “But none of the protagonists would have believed that a new Cold War using the same intelligence methods would return decades later.
“When former KGB officer Vladimir Putin came to power in late 1999 he swiftly installed his fellow ex-KGB comrades into all areas of Russian life.”
Anna Vasilyevna Chapman worked as a Russian intelligence agent (Image: instagram.com/anya.chapman)CIA officer-turned-author Jason Matthews based his best-selling novel Red Sparrow on graduates of the Russian sex spy school. Actress Jennifer Lawrence, 32, played one in the 2018 movie of the same name.
Matthews said over six months they were trained in being alluring’ at an academy called State School Number 4.
A typical day was watching naughty films, studying languages, learning how to dress up and instruction on how to elicit information from the target,” the ex-agent said.
It’s said they also had to disrobe and practice some of the tricks they’d learned.”
Jennifer Lawrence starred as a spy in the mystery thriller ‘Red Sparrow’ (Image: Splash News/20Th Century Fox)They included moves from the Kama Sutra and sex tips picked up by Soviet officials in naughty’ cities like Bangkok and France. They also had to learn how to pop a champagne cork and serve caviar.
Once trained they were given sexy lingerie and dispatched to the five star hotels around Moscow to await their targets.
“These men would get back to their hotels after an exhausting day at work and sitting all alone in the bar, was a comely Russian girl who spoke a little English and was a good listener,” Matthews said when the film was released.
“It’s then a short walk from the bar to the bedroom.”
Chapman was expelled from the United States in 2010 after pleading guilty to espionage (Image: instagram.com/anya.chapman)For more shocking stories from the Daily Star, make sure you sign up to one of our newsletters
Only the target did not realise the room had been bugged with cameras and audio equipment – and Russian agents were recording the tryst.
Victims were shown photos of themselves caught in the act and threatened with exposure.
If they were single they were told the girl was under-age or that she was pregnant. Their only hope of keeping their secret was to spy on their own country.
Meanwhile their swallow would be handed a new life often in a luxury city centre apartment.
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Former Kosovo president Hashim Thaci stands trial at a special court in The Hague on Monday for alleged war crimes during the 1998-99 insurgency that eventually brought independence from Serbia and made him a hero among compatriots.
Thaci was indicted in 2020 by the Kosovo Specialist Chambers on 10 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity including persecution, murder, torture and forced disappearance of people, including after fighting ended.
Thaci and three co-defendants, all former close associates in the guerrilla Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) and later in peacetime politics, have pleaded not guilty to all 10 counts.
More than 13,000 people, the majority of them members of Kosovo’s 90% ethnic Albanian majority, are believed to have died during the insurgency, when it was still a province of Serbia under then-strongman president Slobodan Milosevic.
The trial, conducted by international judges and prosecutors, will begin with opening statements by the prosecution followed by defence lawyers and a representative of Kosovo’s war Victims Council over the ensuing three days.
Thaci, 54, resigned as president shortly after his indictment and was transferred to detention in The Hague.
The four defendants are charged with participating in a “joint criminal enterprise … that carried out widespread or systematic attacks” on minority Serb civilians in Kosovo as well as Kosovo Albanian opponents of the KLA.
The trial is likely to be lengthy as prosecutors said in procedural conferences that they would need two years to present all its evidence.
Several thousand KLA veterans gathered on Sunday in Pristina to express support for Thaci and his three close associates. They chanted ‘Freedom’ and carried national flags of Kosovo and Albania, as well as flags with the KLA symbol.
The Kosovo Specialist Chambers, seated in the Netherlands and staffed by international judges and lawyers, was set up in 2015 to handle cases under Kosovo law against ex-KLA guerrillas.
Many Kosovars believe that the tribunal is biased against the KLA and interested in denigrating its record in paving the way to liberation of the ethnic-Albanian majority region from brutal Serbian rule.
“This trial is of four people accused of committing terrible crimes during (as well as) after the war, when the fighting had stopped, including against people from various ethnic groups,” Hugh Williamson, Europe and Central Asia director at Human Rights Watch, said in a statement on Friday.
“It offers a chance after so many years for the victims to learn what happened and highlights the pervasive impunity that still hangs over the Kosovo conflict.”
The court was created separately from the U.N. tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), which was also located in The Hague where it tried and convicted mainly Serbian officials for war crimes in the Croatia, Bosnia and Kosovo conflicts.
Milosevic went on trial before the ICTY but he died in 2006 before a verdict was reached.
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President Ulysses S. Grant was arrested for speeding in 1872, more than 150 years before former President Donald Trump was indicted.