MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian spy Anna Chapman posed in the Russian version of Maxim magazine in the most provocative photographs yet to appear of the secret agent who was deported from the United States in July.
A photograph on www.maximonline.ru 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,” wrote Maxim.
Nine other spies were deported from the United States with her.
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 their arrests in the United States.
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev awarded the group of spies the country’s highest state honors on Monday.
The photographs and an interview with Chapman will be in the next issue of Maxim, which has included Chapman in its list of Russia’s 100 sexiest women.
The 10 Russians, accused of being sleeper agents, were swapped with four imprisoned Russians who were accused of having traded secrets with the West.
Writing by Thomas Grove, Editing by Steve Addison