Putin says “Traitors always end badly” But “illegals” can end up in Playboy

“Traitors always end badly. They finish up as drunks, addicts, on the street…”
This is what Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said recently during a visit in the Ukraine. He also told reporters that he had met earlier in Moscow with the ten Russian “illegals” who had been expelled from the U.S. for being agents of the Russian government.
While Putin said the illegals would “have interesting, bright lives,” he explained that traitors never are happy after they betrayed their homelands.
That comment appeared to be aimed at Sergei Tretyakov, the subject of my book, COMRADE J, whose unexpected death was announced on this blog at the height of the illegals spy swap. 
Shortly after Putin made his “drunks, addicts, on the streets” comment, a reporter from Moscow called asking for my reaction. My gut reaction was to smile.
Of course, Putin would attack Sergei and insist that all Russians who betray the Kremlin end up as “drunks, addicts and on the streets.”  You can’t have Russia’s PM telling the truth about Sergei — that he was living happily in Florida in a spacious house with swimming pool, driving sports cars, and making trips to Las Vegas where he owned a condo on the Strip.
Nor can you expect Putin to mention the fate of Oleg Gordievsky, the former KGB Colonel who was spying for the Brits during the Cold War and was rescued by MI6 from Moscow and spirited away to London after he came under suspicion by his KGB bosses. When I interviewed Gordievsky a few years ago, he was living quite comfortably in England and I saw no signs of drug addiction or alcoholism.
So I began to wonder who, exactly, was Putin talking about  — and that is when my grin became a loud laugh.
Perhaps the reason why Putin said the lives of “traitors always end badly” is because he was describing Western spies who had fled to Moscow.
Consider one of the most famous,  English traitor Kim Philby, a member of the Cambridge Five, who was a hopeless alcoholic. As was Edward Lee Howard, the former CIA employee who betrayed the US after the agency fired him for lying about his history of petty theft and drug use. And then there was a lesser know spy, Glenn Souther, who defected to the Soviet Union, only to commit suicide. Of course, the other famous American traitors, John Walker Jr., Aldrich Ames, and Robert Hanssen, are locked up in federal prisons.
It would be foolish to suggest that every Russian who ever helped the U.S. ended up living happily ever after. Don’t forget that Aldrich Ames caused at least ten of our nation’s spies to be executed in Moscow.
But if Putin meant to suggest that Sergei was an alcoholic, drug addict or homeless when he died — well, that simply is wrong. He didn’t have any of those problems and he also was happy to be an American citizen.
Meanwhile, The Moscow Times has published an interesting theory about who tipped-off the FBI about the ten Russian illegals. You can read it here. According to the newspaper, Anna Chapman, the Russian who was identified as a femme fatale apparently has been getting offers from Playboy magazine to pose nude and also from an American porno company to make a film.
     Was this what Putin was referring to when he said that she and her fellow illegals would live “interesting and bright lives?”
About the author:

Pete Earley is the bestselling author of such books as The Hot House and Crazy. When he is not spending time with his family, he tours the globe advocating for mental health reform.

Learn more about Pete.


  1. Keglevdima says

    what a stupid remark, pete

  2. Americans are so stupid.. says

    Путин имел в виду, что предателей обычно устраняют, маскируя убийство под несчастный случай.