Putin may have flooded Britain and the United States with an army of glamorous spies – who are honing their skills in “seduction schools” in Russia, a former spy claims.
“Hundreds” of so-called “madams” are now believed to be running spy rings in several UK cities, even though they appear to lead normal lives, ex-spy Philip Ingram has said.
Among the most notorious glamorous spies of all time was fiery-haired Anna Chapman, who worked as a sleeper agent for Russia in the United States.
She is famous for posing in black silk stockings and gloves while brandishing a gun on the cover of men’s magazine Maxim after being revealed in 2010.
The redhead was followed by the “jeweler” bombshell Maria Adela Kuhfeldt Riverawho was revealed last year to be a GRU agent working for Russia.
She had been romantically involved with high-ranking American and allied NATO officers in Naples, Italy, before being identified as Olga Kolobova.
It comes as “shy” beautician Vania Gaberova, 29, was revealed as one of five Bulgarian nationals accused of spying for Russia.
The glamorous eyelash extension expert ran the Pretty Woman salon in Acton, west London, and her neighbors remembered her as “demure” and “normal”.
There is no indication that Gaberova or anyone else accused received so-called seduction training.
But Mr. Ingram said many spies are analyzed to see if they are “willing to go a little further for Mother Russia.”
He told The Sun: “The Russians have a school for this, where they put people through a certain level of training.
“They will teach them the art of seduction as part of their broader intelligence training.
“The job is to travel to parties and high-profile events and get into people’s inner circles.
“They have madams who will run networks in different cities in Europe.”
Of the Cold War tactic, he said spies would “sneak up” on middle-aged men or women in bars, restaurants and clubs in an attempt to blackmail officials for money. secrets.
“The Russians will use all possible mechanisms to obtain Kompromat over individuals,” he added.
Police dismantled the alleged Russian spy ring last month in the west London suburbs and the seaside town of Great Yarmouth, Norfolk.
West Londoners have now spoken out about how Vanya was an unlikely candidate to spy for the Kremlin.
The manager of the Portuguese restaurant Villamoura – opposite Gaberova’s Pretty Woman boutique – said: “She was very shy, discreet, she seemed normal.
“I wouldn’t have suspected her of being a spy, but if I was, she was a good spy. I’d known her for two or three years and I didn’t expect this.”
He revealed Gaberova would visit the restaurant for coffees and teas as well as “cheese and chorizo sandwiches”.
The brunette would have lived a quiet life in the West London with his partner, an anonymous decorator and “big guy”.
Vanya won awards at the Grand Balkan Lash and Brow Championship in 2019 for her classic lashes and 2/3D volume.
Photos posted on social media show her posing with a trophy and certificate.
A trophy was displayed in her west London beauty salon, which she ran before her arrest in February.
She was arrested along with three men and another woman following a joint investigation by the Met Police and MI5.
Gaberova and her boyfriend Ivan Stoyanov, of Greenford, London Westwere released on bail.
TO BLUSH WITH LOVE
Vanya was arrested along with three men and another woman following a joint investigation by the Met Police and MI5.
But they were arrested by counter-terrorism police in February after their cover story was exposed – and have been in custody ever since.
A woman living across the street from the couple said they had installed “big” security cameras outside their home.
She said: “We were worried they were pointing at our house, but of course we now suspect he was pointing at the road.”
“Before, they would bring a van in quite late at night, between midnight and 1 a.m., and they would load it.
“We thought they were just making deliveries. We never spoke to them and they never spoke to us.”
The neighbor added that a number of people were coming in and out of the property while the couple lived there.
Bulgarian Nationals Ivanova and Dzhambazov were accused of holding British, Bulgarian, French, Italian, Spanish, Croatian, Slovenian, Greek and Czech passports with “improper intent”.
All three are expected to be tried at the Old Bailey in London in January.
They have spent the last decade in the UK leading seemingly normal lives – hiding in plain sight.
Former neighbors of the couple said they brought pies and cakes as gifts.
Dzhambazov reportedly worked as a hospital driver, while Ivanova worked as a laboratory assistant in the private sector.
The two men also ran a Bulgarian community organisation, which introduces Bulgarians to the “culture and norms of British society”.
The couple also reportedly worked for electoral commissions in London, which help Bulgarian nationals living abroad vote in elections.
Redhead model Anna Chapman, 36, was arrested in the US as part of the top secret Illegals programme, a network of Russian sleeper agents spying on the FBI.
Dubbed Russia’s “most glamorous secret agent”, she was one of ten Russian spies exchanged for a poisoned MI6 agent. Sergei Skripal in July 2010.
She was part of a group of spies who attempted to blend into American society with the apparent goal of getting closer to the powerful and learning secrets.
Chapman taunted the West by appearing on the cover of Russia’s Maxim is a Secret Agent in Lingerie, Armed with a Pistol, just months after his release.
Born in Volograd, Anna’s ties to the West began at the age of 19, when she was an economics student at Moscow University.
Chapman, born Anna Kushchenko but retaining her married name, traveled to London during her summer vacation.
It was then that she met public schoolboy Alex Chapman, whom she married in 2002, at an underground rave party in London’s Docklands.
Speaking to the Daily Telegraph in 2010 – four years after their divorce – Alex described the meeting as love at first sight.
Alex Chapman was just 36 when he died two years ago and was last listed as living in Bournemouth, Dorset, it has been reported.
As well as being an Instagram celebrity (she has over 100,000 followers), Chapman is now largely a TV presenter and model.
In her social media post, flooded with sensual shots, she says she works as a presenter for REN TV, one of Russia’s largest private channels.
She reportedly gave birth to her first child – a son – at a private clinic in Moscow in April 2016, but did not reveal the identity of the father.
Anna has already been ordered by the Kremlin to seduce whistleblower Edward Snowden as part of a ruse to keep him in Moscow after his high-profile defection.
During an interview for Maxim’s Bond girl issue, Chapman hinted that her secret weapon was her ability to seduce the opposite sex.
When asked if Russians, British or Americans are the easiest to seduce, she replies: “Seduction, like love and friendship, is the same everywhere. »