During an informal press briefing in Foros, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin brought up the case of the ten Russian spies expelled by the United States.

Mr. Putin, a former KGB officer himself, said he had met with the sleeper agents after their return to Russia. Together, they "chatted about life" and sang "What Motherland begins with" (a 1968 song to the glory of anti-fascist spies), accompanied by musicians who had made the trip for the occasion.

Mr. Putin pledged to help them find jobs as civil servants at the level they have merited. He also said he knew the names of the traitors who turned them in, adding that in the world of spies traitors invariably meet a dark fate.

Some of Vladimir Putin’s partisans in the Duma are actively seeking President Dmitry Medvedev’s ouster. Among the various reasons is his alleged responsibility for certains slips related to the spy case. In violation of the Constitution, he curiously neglected to strip one of the U.S. agents of his Russian nationality on the occasion of the spy swap on 9 July.