Russian Spies: Your comments

Artist's impression of five of the 10 arrested Russian spy suspects in a New York courtroom

Ten alleged members of a Russian spy-ring have been charged in the US with acting as foreign agents.

Here BBC News website readers from Russia, the United States and around the world have been giving their reaction to the story.

Russia plays down US spy arrests


All of these comments are taken from the BBC Russian Service's forum, 'how will this affect the "reset" of the Russian-US relationship?'

I don't think this will affect the Russian-US relationship in any way. The "reset" of the relationship between the two superpowers is a much more significant thing than petty espionage by Russia. And, if you look at the US attentively, you will see that they are not innocent as far as spying is concerned either.

Stas, Novorossiysk

Spying is the job of special services. "Reset" is a job of politicians. Both can work in parallel, without compromising each other's work. Russia will probably respond tit-for-tat and then everyone will quickly forget the incident.

Naivny, Moscow

I don't think that the arrest of the Russian spies should be taken that seriously. Espionage is a normal activity for a state which believes itself to be surrounded by "enemies". These "spies" were obviously amateurs, we do not have professional ones and so no-one need to be afraid.

Boris Shein, Sochi

I don't understand why in our times anyone would need spies at all. For the money that is paid to them it is possible to employ good analysts who could dig up the same information online without taking any major risks. This whole scandal sounds to me like out-of-date spin aimed at scoring points in the talks on Russia's accession to the World Trade Organisation and so on. To summarize, I am not convinced at all.

Konstantin , Kaluga

Russia has no chance of improving its relationship with the West. The Russian authorities have shown signs of weakness in their foreign policy recently and as a result there are spy scandals. Russia would be better off if it pursued its own interests at all costs, like China. For example, it could sell the S-400 [air defence system] to Iran.

Vitaly , Toliatti

Countries have always spied on each other and will continue to do so. As for this specific incident, what I find suspicious is the large number of "spies". This looks like a staged act, rather than a result of long-term operation. Why didn't they do this during the Russian president's visit? Now, as the genre dictates, we await similar spying allegations from the Russian side.

Vladimir , Smolensk

The USSR is no longer, but Soviet-style spying has stayed on.

Oleg Petrov, Russia

I think this is a hoax by forces that do not want Russia and the US to have a constructive relationship. This is targeted at average people, to make them believe that all things Russian are inherently suspicious and dangerous.

Sergey Kovalsky, Moscow

US President Barack Obamaand and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev enjoy a hamburger lunch US President Barack Obama and and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev enjoy a hamburger lunch


I am wary of Russia. The only thing to keep the world from spiralling into fear and doubt once more is for more co-operation and transparency between both governments. It would be nice not to have foreign operatives digging for classified information. It ruins trust. Of course, this goes for every country.

Mike, Seattle, Washington

This is a brutally rude wake-up call for the United States. Russia is no friend. Strategic partner looking to work out differences? Maybe. This is similar to US relations with China - distrust and suspicion are rife between the two countries, despite official and unofficial expressions of mutual friendship and co-operation from both countries.

Daniel Yoon , Washington, DC


Russia still has to become used to the fact that it is no longer a superpower in the league of the US, or perhaps even China. It also has to shake off the structures and trappings of the USSR. Russia still has to earn the trust of other nations and not use its gas, oil and minerals as political weapons.

Colin McCulloch, Sonning

I'd be amazed if the CIA didn't have similar agents operating in Russia, China and even the UK. Gathering intelligence in order to gain a strategic advantage over potential rivals is what intelligence agencies do.

Colin, Liverpool

It is still a by-product of the international state system that valuable technology and economic intelligence (such as the developments of the next generation of nuclear power or advance details of the technical specs for high-speed rail contracts) can lead to targetting over the long term. This should not detract from common initiatives in Afghanistan and even Russia joining Nato, as ultimately all states try to gain that advantage at some point if you take the long view.

James Ware, Uxbridge

It seems rather odd that the US has gone so public on this, particularly if the governments of the two countries apparently want to build a closer relationship. Spy captures are usually kept quiet and the respective governments negotiate trades, do they not?

Picard, Stevenage

In this internet day and age I'm surprised the Russians still feel the need to spy. What data is still secret? With five minutes of searching online I could find out most classified information anyway.

Mike Zealey, London

The home where "Richard Murphy" and "Cynthia Murphy" were arrested Sunday is pictured in Montclaire, New Jersey, The home where "Richard Murphy" and "Cynthia Murphy" were arrested


It feels like it's the Cold War all over again. It's ridiculous that these two nations who have been at peace for almost two decades, still find the urge to dig up dirt on the other. Shouldn't they be working together on matters that really affect us?

Marwan Ez Al Arab , Cairo, Egypt

It's strange that after "multi-year investigations" these people have been arrested a few days after the meeting between Obama and Medvedev. I hope that Obama will not be influenced by this secret operation that seems to come more from inside the US than from Russia.

Diego, Italy

No-one should be surprised at this development. When one considers the nature of the world economy, many other countries are doing the same - you should see how many spies the Chinese have in our country.

Al. M. , Casablanca, Morocco

It is not a surprise move by the Russians. Even the US, I believe has spies in Russia. These acts will reduce the level of trust between these two big nations.

Mavuto Kambochola , Mwanza, Malawi

Everything should be done to correct whatever discord arises from this. The relative peace now is better than the Cold War era.

Chima Anyaoha , Kaduna, Nigeria

The contents of this story have the potential to negatively affect US-Russian relations in the short term. In reality, this should not cause any problem in the relations between the two countries, simply because espionage is part of our daily lives. It's even conducted against friendly allies.

Mandla , Pretoria, South Africa

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