Anna Chapman

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For other people with the same name, see Anne Chapman (disambiguation).
Anna Chapman
Анна Чапман
Anna Chapman mug shot.jpg
Chapman's 2010 mugshot
Born Anna Vasil’yevna Kushchyenko
(1982-02-23) 23 February 1982 (age 34)
Volgograd, Russian SFSR, Soviet Union
Residence Moscow, Russia
Other names Anna Kushchenko
Anya Kuschenko
Anya Chapman
Citizenship Russian
British (revoked)[1]
Occupation Entrepreneur, television host, and agent of the Russian Federation
Known for Involvement with Russian Illegals Program
Criminal charge Conspiracy to act as an unlawful agent of a foreign government[2]
Spouse(s) Alex Chapman (m. 2002–2006; divorced)[3]
Parent(s) Irina Kushchyenko
Vasiliy Kushchyenko

Anna Vasil'yevna Chapman (Russian: А́нна Васи́льевна Ча́пман; born Anna Vasil’yevna Kushchyenko Russian: А́нна Васи́льевна Кущенко; 23 February 1982) is a Russian national who also gained British citizenship by marriage. She was residing in New York City when she was arrested, along with nine other Russians, on 27 June 2010, on suspicion of working for the Illegals Program spy ring under the Russian Federation's external intelligence agency, the SVR (Sluzhba Vneshney Razvedki).[2][4][5]

Chapman pleaded guilty to a charge of conspiracy to act as an agent of a foreign government without notifying the U.S. Attorney General. She and the other Russians were deported to Russia on 8 July 2010, as part of a prisoner swap. Learning that Chapman had wanted to return to the United Kingdom, the government revoked her British citizenship and excluded her from the country.

Since her return to Russia, Chapman has worked in a variety of fields, including for the government as head of a youth council, a couple of times as a catwalk model in Russian fashion shows, and running a TV series. Her notoriety and attractiveness garnered her celebrity status.

Early life[edit]

Chapman was born Anna Vasil’yevna Kushchyenko in Volgograd, according to U.S. authorities.[6] Her father was employed in the Soviet embassy in Nairobi, Kenya.[7] According to Chapman's British ex-husband Alex Chapman, her father, Vasily Kushchenko, was a senior KGB official.[8] The family's home is located in south-west Ramenki, a once-elite district for KGB officials, mid-ranking diplomats, and army officers.[9] According to Komsomolskaya Pravda, Kushchyenko occupies a senior position at the ministry known by its Russian initials MID (foreign affairs). According to her ex-husband, Anna Chapman Kushchyenko earned a master's degree in economics with first class honours from Moscow University.[10] According to other sources, she got her degree from Peoples' Friendship University of Russia.[11][12]

London: 2001–2006[edit]

Anna Kushchyenko met Alex Chapman at a London Docklands rave party in 2001. They married shortly thereafter in Moscow,[3] and she gained British citizenship, as well as her native Russian one, and a British passport.[13]

In 2003 or 2004, Anna Chapman moved to London where she worked at NetJets, Barclays, and allegedly at a few other companies for brief periods.[14]

New York: 2009–2010[edit]

In 2009 Anna Chapman moved to New York, taking up residence at 20 Exchange Place, one block from Wall Street in Manhattan.[15][16] Her LinkedIn social networking site profile identified her as CEO of PropertyFinder LLC, a website selling real estate internationally.[16][17] Her husband Alex has stated that Anna told him the enterprise was continually in debt for the first couple of years. Suddenly in 2009, she had as many as 50 employees and a successful business.[3]

She is reported to have been dating Michel Bittan, a prominent New York restaurant owner.[18] She later described her time in the United States with the Charles Dickens quote, "it was the best of times, it was the worst of times".[19][20]

After Anna was arrested in New York on charges of spying, Alex hired media publicist Max Clifford, and sold her story to The Daily Telegraph.[3][21][22] She pleaded guilty to conspiracy to act as an agent of a foreign government without notifying the U.S. Attorney General. In 2010 she was deported to Russia as part of a prisoner exchange between the United States and Russia.

Russia: 2010–present[edit]

In late December 2010 Chapman was appointed to the public council of Young Guard of United Russia.[23][24] According to the organization, she would "be engaged in educating young people".[25][26]

On 21 January 2011, Chapman began hosting a weekly TV show in Russia called Secrets of the World for REN TV.[4][27] In June 2011, Anna was appointed as editor of Venture Business News magazine, according to Bloomberg News.[28][29]

Chapman testified to the closed trial in absentia of Col. Alexander Poteyev, an ex-KGB soldier, which took place in Moscow in May and June 2011.[30] Chapman testified that it only Poteyev could have provided the U.S. authorities with the information that led to her arrest in 2010;[31] she also alleged that she was arrested shortly after an undercover U.S. agent contacted her using a code that only Poteyev and her personal handler could know.[31]

Chapman wrote a column for Komsomolskaya Pravda. In October 2011, she was accused of plagiarizing material on Alexander Pushkin from a book by Kremlin spin-doctor Oleg Matveychev.[32] The Guardian reported that this incident added to general negative opinions of her in certain sections of Russian society; it said that in September 2011, she had been "heckled during a speech on leadership at St Petersburg University". Students had, it said, displayed signs stating: "Chapman, get out of the university!", and "The Kremlin and the porn studio are in the other direction!"[32]

Chapman's foundation supported the second International Conference "The Genetics of Aging and Longevity" in Moscow. Top world scientists on aging presented papers, including researchers who developed mice that lived more than twice as long as regular mice, and extended the lives of nematodes more than 10 times; others who study animals that do not age, and develop innovative anti-aging drugs.[33]

In 2012, FBI counter-intelligence chief Frank Figliuzzi said that Chapman almost caught a senior member of U.S. President Barack Obama's cabinet in a honey trap operation. This was reported as a primary motive behind the government's action to round up the ten-person spy ring in which she was a member. The plan reportedly would have involved Chapman seducing her target before extracting information from him or her.[34] Subsequent reporting suggested that these initial reports were sensational misinterpretation. Officials from the US Department of Justice claimed that the FBI's concern was that another of the alleged spies, Cynthia Murphy, "had been in contact with a fundraiser and 'personal friend' of Hillary Clinton".[35]

In September 2015, Russian online magazine Starhit reported that Chapman had given birth to her first son; the identity of the child's father was not revealed.[36]

Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh: 2013–present[edit]

Chapman had been sighted in the breakaway region of Nagorno Karabakh in August 2013. She arrived with a group of Russian officials to discuss issues with the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic to resolve their conflict with Azerbaijan over the territory. She reportedly was also working on her TV show series, Mysteries of the World. Her visit caused an outcry in Azerbaijan; its foreign ministry declared that Chapman and the other Russian visitors would be classified as personae-non-gratae in Azerbaijan.[37]

Chapman later visited Tsitsernakaberd, a memorial in Armenia dedicated to the victims of the Armenian Genocide. She said in an interview that her visit to Armenia taught her the importance of family relationships, and that her best friends were Armenians. She said that she was impressed by the family values expressed in Armenian society, saying that Russian society lacked that, and she was learning a lot from Armenia.[38]

Illegals Program and arrest[edit]

Main article: Illegals Program

Chapman is one of only two of the Illegals Program Russians arrested in June 2010 who did not use an assumed name.[4][39]


Officials claimed Chapman worked with a network of others, until an undercover FBI agent attempted to draw her into a trap at a Manhattan coffee shop.[4][40] The FBI agent offered Chapman a fake passport at Starbucks, with the instructions to forward it to another spy. He asked, "are you ready for this step?", to which Chapman replied, "Of course". She accepted the passport.[41][42] But, after making a series of phone calls to her father Vasily Kushchenko in Moscow, Chapman took his advice and handed the passport in at a local police station. She was arrested shortly after.[4][42][43]

International exchange[edit]

After being formally charged, Chapman and nine other detainees became part of a spy swap deal between the United States and Russia, the biggest of its kind since 1986.[44] The ten Russian agents returned to Russia via a chartered jet that landed at Vienna International Airport in Austria, where the swap occurred on the morning of 8 July 2010.[45] The Russian jet returned to Moscow's Domodedovo airport where, after landing, the ten spies were kept away from local and international press.

Revocation of UK citizenship[edit]

According to a statement from her U.S. lawyer Robert Baum and media reports, Chapman had wanted to move to the UK.[46] The Home Office exercised the special powers by the British Home Secretary to revoke Chapman's British citizenship to prevent her return to the UK. This was done under section 40 of the British Nationality Act 1981,[47] introduced as part of the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002 and Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006. This power has been used only used against a dozen people since its introduction.[13][48] The Home Office issued legal papers revoking her citizenship on 13 July 2010.[1] Steps were taken to exclude Chapman, meaning she could not travel to the UK.[13] After Chapman's departure to Russia, Baum reiterated that his client had wished to stay in the UK; he also said that she was "particularly upset" by the revocation of her UK citizenship and exclusion from the country.[49][50]

Media coverage and popular reaction[edit]

After her arrest by the FBI for her part in the Illegals Program, Chapman gained celebrity status. Photos of Chapman taken from her Facebook profile appeared on the web, and several videos of her were uploaded to YouTube.[51] Her affiliation with the Russian Federation led at least one media outlet to refer to her as "the Red under the bed."[52]

Magazines and blogs detailed Chapman's fashion style and dress sense, while tabloids displayed her action figure dolls.[21][53][54][55] Chapman was described by local media in New York as "stunning" and a regular of exclusive bars and restaurants.[53][54][56] U.S. Vice-President Joe Biden, when jokingly asked by Jay Leno on NBC's The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, "Do we have any spies that hot?", replied in a mock serious tone, "Let me be clear. It was not my idea to send her back."[57]

In October 2010, Chapman posed on the cover of Russian version of Maxim magazine in Agent Provocateur lingerie. The magazine included Chapman in its list of "Russia's 100 sexiest women."[58][59]

According to the news agency Interfax, effective 1 October 2010, Chapman was then employed as an adviser on investment and innovation issues to the President of FundserviceBank, a Moscow bank that handles payments on behalf of state- and private-sector enterprises in the Russian aerospace industry.[60]

In April 2011, Chapman took part as a catwalk (runway) model for Moscow Fashion Week at the Shiyan & Rudkovskaya show.[61] In June 2012, Chapman modelled on the runway for Antalya at the Dosso Dossi.[62]

On 3 July 2013 Chapman garnered media attention when, via Twitter, she asked American Edward Snowden to marry her.[63][64]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Russian spy UK citizenship revoked". Press Association. 13 July 2010. Archived from the original on 26 July 2010. Retrieved 13 July 2010. 
  2. ^ a b "Suspected Russian spies charged in US". BBC News. 29 June 2010. Archived from the original on 2 July 2010. Retrieved 13 July 2010. 
  3. ^ a b c d Gordon Rayner and Andy Bloxham (2 July 2010). "'Russia spy' Anna Chapman's husband: I thought I knew her". The Daily Telegraph. London. Archived from the original on 5 July 2010. Retrieved 13 July 2010. 
  4. ^ a b c d e "The Russian Spy Ring of 2010, The Use of Ciphers and Radio Messages". The NSRIC. Retrieved 31 January 2015. 
  5. ^ "10 alleged Russian secret agents arrested in US". Associated Press. 28 June 2010. Archived from the original on 2 July 2010. Retrieved 13 July 2010. 
  6. ^ Abcarian, Robin; Baum, Geraldine (30 June 2010). "Sultry red-head sensationalizes spy story". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on 5 July 2010. Retrieved 13 July 2010. 
  7. ^ Osborn, Andrew. "Anna Chapman's father may have had 'serious Kremlin connections'", The Daily Telegraph, 10 July 2010
  8. ^ Lukas I. Alpert (5 July 2010). "Russian spy babe's hot affair: Anna Chapman was kinky and 'great in bed,' says ex husband Alex". Daily News. New York. Archived from the original on 8 July 2010. Retrieved 13 July 2010. 
  9. ^ Tom Parfitt. "Russian spy ring: Anna Chapman's father still works at foreign ministry". the Guardian. 
  10. ^ Rayner, Gordon; Bloxham, Andy (2 July 2010). "'Russia spy' Anna Chapman's husband: I thought I knew her". The Daily Telegraph. London. 
  11. ^ Naumchik Alyona. "Анна Чапман – дочь экс-посла в Кении.". LifeNews. Retrieved 1 October 2011. 
  12. ^ "Anna Chapman". Retrieved 1 October 2011. 
  13. ^ a b c "Russian spy Anna Chapman is stripped of UK citizenship". BBC News. 13 July 2010. Archived from the original on 13 July 2010. Retrieved 13 July 2010. 
  14. ^ Weaver, Matthew and Ward, Luke."Anna Chapman: Barclays reveals alleged spy was London employee", The Guardian, 30 June 2010
  15. ^ Olivier O’Mahony (9 July 2010). "Anna: le visage d'ange du nouveau KGB" [Anna: the angel face of the new KGB]. Paris Match (in French). Archived from the original on 12 August 2010. Retrieved 30 July 2010. Elle avait jeté son dévolu sur la tour résidentielle la plus haute de Manhattan. Le 20 Exchange Place. Cinquante-neuf étages sur 226 mètres de haut, construits en 1931 pour abriter le siège de la City Bank-Farmers Trust Company, ancêtre de Citigroup. Récemment reconverti en appartements, ce bijou d’Art déco a servi de décor à une scène de « Wall Street », le film d’Oliver Stone. Son hall d’entrée, aux plafonds voûtés recouverts de fresques, ressemble à la nef vertigineuse d’une cathédrale façon Gotham City. Situé en plein quartier financier de New York, l’endroit est idéal pour qui veut conquérir l’Amérique. 
  16. ^ a b Cristian Salazar and Tom Hays (30 June 2010). "Anna Chapman dubbed femme fatale of Russian spy case". The Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved 13 July 2010. 
  17. ^ "Retrieved 16 July 2010". 18 January 2006. Retrieved 31 October 2011. [unreliable source?]
  18. ^ Veronika Belenkaya, Sandra Ifraimova and Alison Gendar (1 July 2010). "Accused Russian spy Anna Chapman was dating 60-year-old divorced dad Michel Bittan, friends say". Daily News. New York. Archived from the original on 10 July 2010. Retrieved 13 July 2010. 
  19. ^ "Retrieved 20 July 2010". CBS News. Archived from the original on 20 February 2011. Retrieved 31 October 2011. 
  20. ^ Mail Foreign Service (13 July 2010). "Anna Chapman resurfaces on Facebook quoting Dickens to describe her spying ordeal". Daily Mail. London. Retrieved 31 October 2011. 
  21. ^ a b Retrieved 17 July 2010
  22. ^ "Briton speaks about Russian spy suspect wife". BBC News. 2 July 2010. Archived from the original on 17 July 2010. Retrieved 18 July 2010. 
  23. ^ [1] Archived 24 December 2010 at the Wayback Machine.
  24. ^ "Russia spy Anna Chapman given pro-Kremlin youth role", BBC News (22 December 2010)
  25. ^ (Ukrainian) Шпигунка-невдаха Анна Чапман займеться політикою, Ukrinform (22 December 2010)
  26. ^ "Russian spy Anna Chapman gets TV hosting gig – CTV News". Retrieved 31 October 2011. 
  27. ^ Walker, Shaun (23 January 2011). "And now, viewers, it's the Anna Chapman Show". The Independent. London. 
  28. ^ Jim Kavanagh, 10 June 2011, "Beauty and the geek: Russian femme fatale pushing investment in tech", CNN News blog
  29. ^ Henry Meyer, Ilya Arkhipov and Lyubov Pronina, 7 June 2011, "Russian Spy Chapman Lures Investment Into Venture Capital", Bloomberg
  30. ^ Osborn, Andrew (18 November 2010). "Ex-KGB soldier named as double agent who exposed Anna Chapman spy ring". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 31 October 2011. 
  31. ^ a b "Alexander Poteyev, Russian Intelligence Officer, Convicted of Betraying U.S. Spy Ring Including Anna Chapman". Huffington Post. 27 June 2011. Retrieved 31 October 2011. 
  32. ^ a b "Russian spy Anna Chapman embroiled in plagiarism row", The Guardian. Retrieved 2 November 2011
  33. ^ «The Genetics of Aging and Longevity»
  34. ^ Gayle, Damien (3 April 2012). "Russian agent Anna Chapman 'came close to catching top Obama official in a honey trap,' FBI counter intelligence chief claims". Daily Mail. London. 
  35. ^ Ryan, Jason; Thomas, Pierre; Ross, Brian (3 April 2012). "Russian Fem Spy Spooked US, But It Wasn't Anna Chapman". ABC News. Retrieved 7 February 2016. 
  36. ^ "Russian secret agent Anna Chapman gives birth to her first child". Mail Online. 17 September 2015. 
  37. ^ "Anna Chapman's New Mission: Karabakh". EurasiaNet. 28 August 2013. Retrieved 29 August 2013. 
  38. ^ "Anna Chapman: Armenians taught me to appreciate importance of family relationship". 29 August 2013. Retrieved 29 August 2013. 
  39. ^ Daniel Bates (29 June 2010). "Red-headed femme fatale among 11 'Russian deep cover agents' accused of Cold War-style plot to spy on America". Daily Mail. London. Archived from the original on 3 July 2010. Retrieved 13 July 2010. 
  40. ^ Edecio Martinez (30 June 2010). "Who is the Russian 'Femme Fatale'?". CBS News. Archived from the original on 3 July 2010. Retrieved 13 July 2010. 
  41. ^ Amit Kachhia-Patel (27 June 2010). "Sealed complaint: Violation of 18 U.S.C. § 371" (PDF). BBC News. Archived (PDF) from the original on 5 July 2010. Retrieved 18 July 2010. 
  42. ^ a b Veronika Belenkaya, Robert Sgobbo and Alison Gendar (29 June 2010). "Friends shocked Anna Chapman, accused Russian spy, threw away life of luxury". Daily News. New York. Archived from the original on 4 July 2010. Retrieved 13 July 2010. 
  43. ^ Sheridan, Michael (12 July 2010). "Anna Chapman's nervous call to father triggered Russian spy arrests: report". Daily News. New York. Archived from the original on 15 July 2010. Retrieved 17 July 2010. 
  44. ^ Weiser, Benjamin (12 November 2010). "New York Times, 9 July 2010, "Russian Spy Ring 2010"". The New York Times. Retrieved 31 October 2011. 
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  46. ^ Brian Ross, Anna Schecter and Megan Chuchmach (8 July 2010). "Accused Russian Spy Stunner Anna Chapman to Fly Home Today, Her Attorney Says". ABC News. Archived from the original on 11 July 2010. Retrieved 13 July 2010. 
  47. ^ Spilius, Alex; Gammell, Caroline; Gardham, Duncan (9 July 2010). "Home Office to stop Russian spy Anna Chapman from returning to UK". The Telegraph. London. 
  48. ^ Cobain, Ian (15 August 2011). "Home Office stripping more dual-nationality Britons of citizenship". The Guardian. London. 
  49. ^ "Lawyer: Russian Spy Unhappy England Rejected Her". Associated Press. 21 July 2010. Retrieved 24 July 2010. [dead link]
  50. ^ "It's Enough to Make a Redhead Blue: Russian Spy Upset Over Being Bounced by Britain". Fox News Channel. Associated Press. 21 July 2010. Archived from the original on 24 July 2010. Retrieved 24 July 2010. 
  51. ^ Stein, Jeff (29 June 2010). "Retrieved 18 July 2010". The Washington Post. Retrieved 31 October 2011. 
  52. ^ "Spy swap Russian: I'll go home but only if it's safe". Evening Standard. London. 18 August 2010. 
  53. ^ a b "Anna Chapman is a sexy Russian spy". FHM. Retrieved 9 July 2013. 
  54. ^ a b "Inspired by Anna Chapman: What to Wear if You're a Sexy Russian Spy". Retrieved 9 July 2013. 
  55. ^ "Accused Russian Spy Anna Chapman Action Figures Up for Sale". Fox News. 23 July 2010. Retrieved 9 July 2013. 
  56. ^ "The SoHo Spy: Stunning Anna Chapman Accused in Russian Spy Ring". ABC News. 29 June 2010. Retrieved 9 July 2013. 
  57. ^ "Biden jokes about 'hot' Russian spy with Jay Leno". BBC. 10 July 2010. Retrieved 9 July 2013. 
  58. ^ "Russia's "sexy spy" in provocative photoshoot". Reuters. 19 October 2010. Archived from the original on 22 October 2010. Retrieved 19 October 2010. 
  59. ^ "Russian spy Anna Chapman blows her cover for men's magazine". 19 October 2010. Archived from the original on 20 October 2010. Retrieved 19 October 2010. 
  60. ^ "Фондсервисбанк" подтвердил, что устроил Анну Чапман "советником президента по инвестициям и инновациям" dateline 11 October 2010 12:42.
  61. ^ Stewart, Will (5 April 2011). "The spy who loves it: Anna Chapman makes her fashion debut in Moscow (holding a gun to a model's head)". Daily Mail. London. Archived from the original on 9 April 2011. Retrieved 5 April 2011. 
  62. ^ "Antalya'da Kızıl Ajan Rüzgarı". 9 June 2012. 
  63. ^ Kolyandr, Alexander (4 July 2013). "Edward Snowden's Secret (Agent) Admirer: Spy Anna Chapman". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 31 July 2013. 
  64. ^ Anna on Twitter: "Snowden, will you marry me?", 2013-07-03, archived from the original on 2016-04-07, retrieved 2016-05-04 

External links[edit]