From Sumerians to Skripal: Famous spies who made history

From Sumerians to Skripal: Famous spies who made history

The case of poisoning Russian spy Sergei Skripal and her daughter in Great Britain has shaken European chancellery halls – slamming London with Moscow – and is expected to be discussed again in Brussels.

But spy wars are as old as the world, as Americans call spy as “the world’s second oldest craft.” The first episode of spies belongs to the Sumerians in ancient Egypt, around 4,000 years before Christ. Agents and informants have played a very important role in Antiquity.

In the period between the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, the Venetian Republic was the most organized in the establishment of the intelligence section.

Legendary became spies of France between the Revolution and the Kingdom of Napoleon with Joseph Fouché as a mythical figure. But it was England that created the largest and most efficient espionage network around the world.

From Sumerians to Skripal: Famous spies who made history

After the Second World War, the British Mi6, the American CIA, the Soviet KGB (now FSB), and the Israeli Mossad are among the most powerful and active secret services.

Bridge of Spies

During the Cold War, the Glienicke bridge linking East Berlin with the West was named the “Spy Bridge”. This, a title that was also recently written by Steven Spilberg in the famous film with Tom Hanks.

While the most famous exchanges on that bridge were Colonel Rudolf Abe. The famous Russian spy, who was exchanged with Gary Powers, a U2 spy plane pilot who crashed on Russian territory.

From Sumerians to Skripal: Famous spies who made history

In 1885, 23 CIA agents were released in exchange for Polish spy. Marian Zacharsk and three other KGB spies arrested in the West.

The latest exchange took place in 1986. Russian dissident Anatoly Sharanskij and three American spies exchanged with Karl Koerche and four KGB agents.

In 2010, Sergei Skripal and four Russians convicted of double-spiying were exchanged in Vienna, another known spying-out town with 10 Russian soldiers caught in the US.

The most famous among them was Anna Chapman, arrested in the US for espionage.

Ater returning to Russia, Chapman became a celebrity, TV presenter and model. But what made her even more sensational was the love affair with Edward Snowden. Snowden is a former CIA agent who gave the Russians the biggest secrets of the US government.


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