NEW YORK (CBS) Even though the Russian spy ring that included Anna Chapman failed to do much of anything other than get caught, the Kremlin has bestowed the country's highest honor on the agents who were deported from the United States nearly three months ago.
The Kremlin said President Dmitry Medvedev, in a closed ceremony Monday, presented each of the ten spies who worked undercover for years and never acquired any real secrets with Russia's highest honors, reports The New York Daily News.
The spies infiltrated suburban communities and lived normal lives in cities such as Montclair, N.J. and Yonkers, N.Y., as well as suburbs of Washington and Boston.
Although they dedicated time to their double lives playing the part of Russian spy and American nobody, no one ever came close to anyone with secret information, says The New York Daily News.
Their spy ring was dissembled in July, and the 10 agents were deported from the United States as part of the countries' biggest spy swap since the Cold War, reports the Interfax news agency.
When the spies returned to Russia, they were greeted with a heroes' welcome and continue to be held in high regard.
The most famous of the spies is fiery red-head Anna Chapman, who unlike her fellow spies, has chosen to embrace her new found popularity posing for various magazines and making public appearances.
The Russian spy ring members were charged and pled guilty in July to conspiring to act as secret agents.
Complete coverage of Anna Chapman on Crimesider.