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Russian spy poses for Maxim magazine

Russian spy Anna Chapman posed in the Russian version of Maxim magazine in the most provocative photographs yet to appear of the secret agent deported by the United States.
/ Source: TODAY news services

Russian spy Anna Chapman posed in the Russian version of Maxim magazine in the most provocative photographs yet to appear of the secret agent the United States deported earlier this year.

A photograph on Maxim's Russia website shows red-haired Chapman dressed in nylon and lace and posing with a handgun.

"Anna Chapman has done more to excite Russian patriotism than the Russian soccer team," the site says. The photographs and an interview with Chapman will be in the next issue of Maxim, which has included the sexy spy on its list of Russia's 100 sexiest women.

The United States deported Chapman and nine other spies in June.

The Kremlin has seized on the Cold War aspects of the case to try to boost the prestige of its intelligence services and avert what has widely been seen as a major disgrace for Russia's Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR), a successor to the KGB.

Although celebrated by the Kremlin and Russian media, the Russian spy ring was reported to have failed to secure any major intelligence before the arrests in the United States.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev awarded the group of spies the country's highest state honors on Monday.

Anna Chapman rockets to fameChapman, whose glamorous pictures posted on social networking web site Facebook made her a media sensation, is the only one of the 10 spies to have made public appearances.

She posed in a racy photoshoot for a Russian magazine in August and appeared at the launch of a Russian space craft earlier this month as part of her new job as advisor to a bank that helps finance the space industry.

FondServisBank said it had hired Chapman to bring innovation to its information technologies. It did not escape Russians' attention that the initials of the bank, FSB, are the same as Russia's main spy agency.

The United States swapped the 10 Russians, accused of being sleeper agents in suburban America, with four imprisoned Russians who were accused of having traded secrets with the West.

Starting in the 1990s, from Virginia to Boston to Seattle, the agents attended elite Ivy League schools to meet future power brokers, obtained influential jobs, married, had children and bought homes in upscale areas.

Court documents released in the United States described how the Russian agents hobnobbed with academics and assembled data on high-end Manhattan real estate but did not accuse them of actually passing classified information to Moscow.

The spies received a hero's welcome in Russia, with Prime Minister Vladimir Putin — himself a KGB agent in East Germany during the Soviet era — leading them in a patriotic singalong in July.