Who Won the Spy Swap?

I’m not sure anybody has “won” the spy swap, but here goes some unnamed sources talking to the Financial Times:

“The ones the west has acquired are much more valuable than the ones sent back to Russia,” said a former senior figure in western intelligence services.

Intelligence experts said of the three Russians going to the west, the most significant was Alexander Zaporozhsky. A decorated former KGB officer, he gave the CIA information on as many as 20 Russian intelligence assets in the US, possibly including Mr Hanssen and Mr Ames, according to the Russian press. The second most important is Sergei Skripal, a former colonel of Russia’s military intelligence branch, the GRU. Russian media said he had exposed dozens of Russian officers working for British intelligence.

“The overwhelming impression you get with this swap is that the Russians wanted to close down the US spy-ring story,” said a leading western intelligence expert.

“The US spy ring was a clownish outfit that did not get within a country mile of acquiring any secrets. The Kremlin wanted out.”