The Outside World Anna Chapman Uncovered: The Incredible Story Of Russia’s Most Glamorous Spy Published 9 months ago on May 15, 2018 By Monica Huntington Anna Chapman’s story is as unbelievable as it is true. What started off as an innocent, fairytale-like story of love at first sight and the American dream, gradually turned into one of the most outrageous spy sagas of the 21st century. What’s even more inconceivable, though, is the fact that the Russian femme fatale is still causing controversy on the international stage, even after all that’s happened. Like something straight out of a James Bond movie, the true story of the most glamorous spy since Mata Hari is bound to make your jaw drop. Read on for an incredible story of espionage, mystery, and seduction! 1. A Diplomat’s Daughter Anna Chapman was born in 1982 as Anna Vasilyevna Kushchyenko in the Russian city of Volgograd (formerly Stalingrad). Her mother, Irina, worked as a math teacher and her father, Vasily, was a senior Russian diplomat who was deployed to Moscow’s embassy in Kenya when his daughter was young. Instagram Also known as Anya Kuschenko, Anna stayed back in Russia while her father was stationed in Nairobi. She was a star pupil and went on to study economics in Moscow. Like many university students, Anna sought to use her time off from school traveling. It was during one trip over summer break of 2001 that she would make a connection that would inevitably change the course of her future. 2. Young Love in London Craving adventure and a better glimpse of the outside world, the young woman then-known as Anna Kushchyenko, traveled to Britain. Like many young tourists, she took a liking to the London nightlife. Then, one fated night, she ended up at an underground rave party in the English capital. CBS News Exquisitely dressed in a head-turning white dress, the auburn-haired Anna caught the eye of one person in particular. “Anna was the most beautiful girl I’d ever seen in my life,” said British man Alex Chapman. “I plucked up the courage and went over to her and said ‘I’m sorry, but you’re the most gorgeous girl I’ve ever seen.’” She turned around and responded to Alex in a way he’d never expected. 3. Decoding Mysteries of the Heart “My God, so are you,” Anna replied to her admirer. The two spent the rest of the night talking. “People go on about love at first sight and until then I had thought it was a load of rubbish, but as soon as I saw Anna I knew I had to be with her,” Alex later revealed. Daily Mail Alex, who was 21 at the time, couldn’t stop thinking about the stunning girl he’d met and to his surprise, she called him the next day and said she felt the same. The two met again and spent the next two days together but then Anna had to return to Russia. They didn’t know at the time, but in a short few weeks time, they’d meet again. 4. Russian Rendezvous In the weeks after her tearful departure from London, neither Anna nor Alex could bear to be apart. However, to both of their delight, Alex had arranged to visit her in Moscow. Once reunited, the pair agreed that didn’t want to part again and that’s when Alex hatched a sudden plan. The Telegraph The couple had only known each other for weeks, but Alex asked Anna to marry him and she said YES! Neither of the young lovers told their parents and they quickly wed five months later in March 2002. The young newlyweds basked in marital bliss, but the future had secrets in store that would eventually place their relationship in the spotlight. 5. Into Africa In the summer of 2002, the newly-minted Mr. and Mrs. Chapman enjoyed a two-week honeymoon in Africa. Anna Chapman’s father had paid for the pair to travel to Egypt and Zimbabwe, where her parents were living at the time. That was when Alex first met Vasily Kushchyenko. The Daily Telegraph “He was scary,” Alex Chapman admitted and had a “huge influence” on his daughter. He added that Anna’s father was untrusting of her new husband and asked what his intentions were in Russia and why he’d chosen a Russian bride. Despite the intimidating encounter, the happy couple returned to London and had a quiet life for a few years. However, things would soon change. 6. Becoming British The couple settled into married life and Anna Chapman eventually obtained British citizenship and a passport. At first, Anna shuttled between Russian and Britain as she finished her master’s degree, but after she graduated with first-class honors she took up jobs at big investment corporation. The Telegraph With her flaming red hair and an alleged IQ of 162, Anna was the kind of person who always seemed to know where to go and what to do and during her time in London, she landed jobs at NetJets and Barclays. After a while, however, Alex Chapman said he started noticing changes about his wife. 7. Shadowy Russian Friends As long as Alex Chapman had known his wife, Anna, she had been something of a “carefree” soul who loved life and enjoyed all that it had to offer. However, a few years into their marriage, Alex noticed that the woman he’d fallen in love with was transforming before his very eyes. The Christian Science Monitor Around 2005, Anna increasingly started meeting with people she referred to as “Russian friends.” However, the shift Alex noticed in his wife’s behavior, as subtle as it may have been, made him question who these shadowy figures really were and what was really transpiring. 8. Russian Friends Their relationship started in a whirlwind of passion and love, but things between Alex and Anna were headed toward upheaval. Anna, who had never been materialistic before, was now going to lavish events and going on about the powerful and influential people she was meeting. Vanity Fair “It was like someone having a midlife crisis, but in their 20s,” Alex Chapman recalled. “She would arrange to go out but when I said I would join her she told me not to bother because they would all be speaking Russian. She was adamant I wasn’t to meet them.” Their rift would further grow, though, as her behavior became more peculiar. 9. Increasingly Secretive In Alex Chapman’s eyes, his wife had become “increasingly secretive” and “increasingly distant.” She had been transformed into someone who rubbed shoulders with high society types had access to a lot of money. According to Alex, her behavior had become “erratic.” Yahoo.com “There was such a dramatic change in the way she thought and the way she went about things, I felt I hardly knew her anymore,” Alex said of Anna. In between the film premiers and secretive meetings with influential people, it seemed that something unusual was brewing. 10. Marital Mission Impossible Anna and Alex had grown apart and by 2006 their marriage was fizzling. The young couple had only been married for about four years but they knew they had reached a breaking point. Painfully, the pair eventually agreed that the best step would be to divorce. Pinterest At that point, Anna delivered some more news: said she was returning to Russia for good. Before Anna and Alex had gone their own ways, however, she had revealed something to Alex about her father that seemed to prove that his gut instincts about his imposing father-in-law had been right all along. 11. Family Secrets During their time together, Alex had observed that Anna “would do anything for her dad.” Therefore, it was all the more shocking when Anna had confided to him that her domineering dad used to be a top agent in the notorious Soviet spy agency, the KGB. The Guardian With questions looming, Anna hopped on the plane back to Russia and all but disappeared. The next three years following Anna Chapman’s return to Russia were steeped in mystery and to this day, there is little information about that period in her life. Without warning, however, she would soon pop up again in a place no one EVER expected. 12. Back On The Grid After years of radio silence, Anna Chapman emerged in New York. Her move was all the more curious as Anna had always boasted that she didn’t like America. “She didn’t like their accents and would always imitate them when American TV shows were on,” her ex-husband remembered. New York Post Far from her plans to stay in Russia, it appeared that Anna had set her sights on making it big in the U.S. For those who had previously known her, they couldn’t figure out what had led to this new direction and where it was leading. No one knew then, but she would eventually find fame across the Atlantic in a way no one expected. 13. The New York High Life Ravishing redhead Anna Chapman had kept her married name and rented a swanky apartment a block away from the Big Apple’s bustling financial district on Wall Street. According to her Linkedin profile, she was now identifying as the head of an online, international real estate business. Sky News Anna became a regular on the nightlife scene, frequenting the hottest restaurants and clubs where she mixed with elite businessmen and high society types. Additionally, she was reportedly dating New Jersey tycoon Michel Bittan, who apparently shared her love for the high life. But soon, her fast-paced lifestyle would be turned upside down. 14. An Enchanting Enigma While those in the jet-setting circles she ran in were impressed by her designer clothes and air of confidence, there was someone from her past who couldn’t quite put the pieces together. As it turns out, Anna Chapman had apparently stayed in touch with her ex-husband, Alex. Politico She had told him that after a slow start to her real estate venture, business began booming practically overnight and she soon had 50 clients. On the surface it appeared that Anna Chapman had simply found success and was living a lavish lifestyle, but the truth wasn’t as it seemed. Without warning, the unsuspecting Anna’s life was about to change. 15. Diplomatic Diligence One unassuming day in the summer of 2012, Anna Chapman received a call from someone who identified himself as a Russian consular official named “Roman.” He summoned her to a meeting at a Manhattan coffee shop, where she was to identify him by a predetermined code phrase. The Independent “Excuse me, but haven’t we met in California last summer,” he was to ask her in Russian and to which she would respond: “No, I think it was the Hamptons.” On June 26, 2010, the two met and identified each other with a password exchange, but the course of events that ensued would lead to an extraordinarily shocking discovery. 16. Tricky Task Dressed in unassuming jeans and a t-shirt, Anna showed up to the meeting donning oversized sunglasses that concealed much of her face. It was then that “Roman” gave her what he said was a fake passport to deliver to an alleged spy in a particular location the following day. Wikimedia Anna took the passport but, something about the meeting didn’t sit right with her. After leaving the cafe, she promptly went to buy a cell phone that couldn’t be traced to her and placed an anxious call to Moscow. Little did she know, that call would follow would change her fate forever. 17. Father Russia After meeting the alleged Russian official, Anna thought something was fishy and made a secret call to none other than her father – Russian diplomat and ex-KGB agent Vasily Kushchyenko. He didn’t hesitate to advise his daughter to hand the passport over to police. South China Morning Post Heeding her father’s instruction, Anna Chapman headed to the police station and turned the passport over to American authorities. And although the mysterious Roman figure had instructed her to, she never showed up to the staged meeting the next day. Nonetheless, it was too late. Someone had been watching her and now had everything they needed. 18. Undercover Entrapment Much to her bewilderment, the flaming redhead soon found herself in handcuffs. Mere hours after Anna Chapman had left the police station the FBI arrested her and exposed her as an undercover Russian spy operating in America, proving her ex-husband’s gut instict was right yet again. Once her arrest was made public, a media frenzy ensued. NY Post Chapman instantly became a huge sensation as her picture was splashed across newspaper covers. Details of her deep-cover mission on behalf of Russia were also exposed. Just how the FBI caught the fetching secret agent, though, sounds just like a James Bond movie plotline. 19. Cracking The Case As it turns out, the FBI had been on Anna Chapman’s tail for quite some time. The FBI had been monitoring her all along and had secretly detected her engaging in clandestine operations. Without her knowing, Chapman’s cover had been compromised on more than one occasion. Daily Mail The FBI reported that it once tracked her sending secret signals to a Russian diplomat from inside a bookstore in New York. What ultimately blew her cover though, was the encounter with “Roman,” who was actually an undercover FBI agent working in an elaborate sting operation. What the FBI discovered, though, was that she wasn’t alone. 20. Russia’s Most Glamorous Spy With her beauty, red carpet lifestyle and scintillating spy story, Anna Chapman quickly became known as Russia’s “most glamorous secret agent.” However, she hadn’t been working alone. As it turned out, Chapman was only one of a ring of 10 Russian “sleeper” agents busted that summer. PRI.org The future seemed bleak as the glamorous spy was held in American custody. Like other undercover foreign agents who had been caught, it was possible that she’d face decades in jail if not a life sentence without parole. Chapman least of all could have expected what was to come. 21. A Historic Ruling Anna Chapman was front and center as the star of the biggest Russian spy saga in years. But it seemed that neither her looks nor her wits could help as she awaited her judgment in solitary confinement. Although after a just few weeks, an opportunity presented itself. ABC Incredibly, Anna Chapman was given the opportunity to accept a deal that would see her avoid a lengthy trial period and possibly harsh sentencing if she confessed. Jumping on the opportunity, Chapman pled guilty to conspiracy only to experience another shocking development. 22. From America Without Love Anna Chapman and the rest of the captured Russian spy ring were soon deported from America, with one ways tickets back to Moscow. In the meantime, Russia released four double agents (including Sergei Skripal) who were destined for the U.S. and Britain. CNN Anna Chapman and the other nine members of the Russian spy ring touched down in Vienna before their transfer to Mother Russia in what turned out to be the biggest spy swap since the end of the Cold War. Anxiously awaiting her arrival, Anna Chapman had no idea what would become of her. 23. Persona Non-Grata Anna Chapman had become something of a celebrity after her cover was blown. Still, she was now considered a persona non-grata in the U.S. and her star-quality status wouldn’t necessarily protect her from the Kremlin spymasters if they so chose. BBC Nonetheless, with her face plastered on outlets around the world, it would be hard to live the rest of her life under the radar. While it remained unclear whether she would try to hide under the veil of anonymity or not, she had no idea what was waiting for her back in Moscow. 24. The Spies Who Came Back As it turned out, the captured spies were greeted at home by none other than Russian President Vladimir Putin. A former KGB agent himself, Putin celebrated the returning comrades. Far from being treated as criminals, the uncovered agents were hailed as heroes in a grand ceremony full of fanfare and patriotic music. Hurriyet Daily News Anna Chapman quickly became a national icon, yet she was initially kept away from the local and international press. While all of the outed secret agents quickly adapted to their new lives, what would soon become of her was truly unexpected. 25. On Her Majesty’s Secret Service Blacklist After her arrest in the U.S., Anna Chapman had apparently wanted to return to her former country of residence – Britain. However, the former spy found that the U.K. had revoked her citizenship and wouldn’t allow her to enter the country. Washington Times In spite of everything, the media couldn’t get enough of the beautiful former foreign agent. Chapman had to adjust to living with her new-found fame, but what she would do with her new position in the spotlight would make her even more intriguing and controversial. 26. Real-Life Bond Girl Anna Chapman’s signature form-flattering threads and flirtatious nature were among the many attributes that made her the perfect fit for a real-life Bond Girl. During one of her many media appearances in Russia, Chapman hinted that her secret weapon had been the art of seduction. The Sun Chapman was said to be “an expert at using her femininity to get information.” And once asked which nationality was the easiest to lure into a honey trap, she answered: “Seduction, like love and friendship, are the same everywhere.” Apparently seeking to utilize her feminine wiles, the Kremlin once allegedly ordered her to seduce a VERY high-profile figure. 27. The Enticing Honey Trap Anna Chapman became a household name regarded as a real-life embodiment of romanticized notions of secret agents. And while it can’t be verified, reports alleged that she was once instructed to seduce American whistleblower Edward Snowden as part of a plan to keep him in Russia after his high-profile leaking of classified information. Daily Mail She apparently took the instructions to “engage” the asset quite literally and, although they only met in person once, she created mass media buzz when her Twitter account featured a post asking Snowden to marry her. The odd reaction of both parties thereafter raised further eyebrows and spurred murmurings as to whether Chapman was still a government operative. 28. Curious Behavior Then 31-years-old at the time, Anna Chapman never publicly commented on the proposal tweet. Meanwhile, Edward Snowden apparently wasn’t sure if the proposal was real. Either way, he was reportedly (and rightly) concerned about being linked to a known spy. The Telegraph The bizarre incident remained shrouded in mystery and only became more perplexing when Chapman walked out of a live TV interview after she was asked about the proposal. Snowden wasn’t the only high-profile person of interest whom the sexy secret agent reportedly tried to seduce, though; there was someone higher up in the U.S. government in her sights. 29. Fetching Femme Fatale It’s easy to see why men (and women, for that matter) would have fought for their chance to be with Anna Chapman. And that was all apparently part of her cloak-and-dagger plans to get close to influential people like academics, business moguls and politicians. The Mirror At least one former senior FBI official said the real reason Anna Chapman was arrested was close to seducing a member of Barack Obama’s cabinet into a honeypot ploy. “We were becoming very concerned,” he said. Despite her arrest, however, Chapman simply couldn’t get enough of having the power to influence. And why stop at the American affairs when she could take on the Russian theater? 30. Unexpected International Affairs Anna Chapman has reportedly become a multi-millionaire with all of her business ventures. These include running a fashion boutique, financial consultancy and posing for glamorous photoshoots (like her tongue-in-cheek gig for Maxim in which she posed in covert agent couture). babysharkminorityreport.wordpress.com In between all of those not-so-classified activities, Chapman still seems to have time to engage in international diplomacy and politics. Now 36, Chapman is still active and back to her head-turning ways, but in a way you might not expect. 31. Once Covert Now Overt Anna Chapman is now making international headlines for her head-turning social media presence. As a former spy, people have questioned the reasoning for her opinionated posts. Those include a controversial post on her popular Instagram page in which she expressed her support of Donald Trump. Daily Mail Earlier in 2018, she encouraged the mighty Russian military to strike iconic British targets if current geopolitical conflicts lead to a third World War. She’s also gained attention for her less-than-supportive remarks about double agent Sergei Skripal after he was found poisoned in London. In light of all of her outspoken online activity, rumors have swirled about her loyalties, intentions and her family. 32. Guarded Loyalties Loyalties can be hard to gage as a secret agent, but luckily for Anna Chapman, she always had a dependable group of people she could count on. Her mother has denied that her daughter did any undercover wrongdoing and her friends have staunchly defended her. Interestingly, Chapman’s father has remained mum. The Today Show As for Chapman’s ex-husband Alex, mystery prevailed for years. Alex Chapman disclosed a lot about his former wife in interviews and to the British secret service. Although he didn’t seem surprised to discover that Anna was a spy, the world was shocked when his untimely death due to “natural causes” was reported in early 2018. But that wasn’t the only astounding thing about her family life that emerged in recent years. 33. Former Femme Fatale Despite her prominent public presence, Anna Chapman is fairly hush-hush about her private life. Still, some new details have trickled through the cracks that have spurred more mystery. In September 2015, Chapman gave birth to her first child – a son. Instagram The baby was born in Moscow, but apart from that piece of information not a lot is know about the boy. The identity of the child’s father has also not been revealed, but fans haven’t stopped trying to find any indication for her VERY visible activities as of late. 34. Red-Hot Commodity Far from quietly slipping into oblivion under a new identity or facing the likes of jail time, Anna Chapman has landed a fairly prominent position that you wouldn’t expect for an outed spy. Upon her return to Russia, Anna was appointed a high role in a Russian youth political movement. YouTube With her seat on the Young Guard of United Russia (the youth wing of Vladimir Putin’s party), Chapman would “be engaged in educating young people.” But that wasn’t her only not-so-undercover role back in Russia. Her other career ventures in the years to come literally provided a closer look at her uncovered assets. 35. A Turned Agent Instead of engaging in covert affairs and seductive plots, Anna Chapman turned to seducing the camera. As far as it’s known, Chapman wasn’t reprimanded after her capture in the U.S. and instead, her mysterious background only added to her media and pop culture fame in the years after her arrest. Instagram For an active spy, it can be dangerous if you’re appearance is known, but once Anna Chapman returned to Russia she actually made a career of being seen. She ended up launching a successful modeling career, became the host of a weekly TV program and became a social media star. But it’s possible that Chapman’s high-profile reputation and power will only grow from here. 36. Remaining on the Radar With all of her post-espionage engagements, it seems that Anna Chapman will remain on the radar and this isn’t the last that we’ll see of her. While we may never discover the truth about parts of her past, her ability to navigate the most sensitive subjects might help her down the line. Sputnik International Although no one can ever really know what’s going on behind the scenes with Anna Chapman, Russian murmurings indicate that she might run for public office. With her clever ways and popular following, there’s no doubt the woman once known as “The Red Under the Bed” has many more missions ahead of her. If you liked this story, don’t forget to SHARE it with friends! Sources: The Sun, The Telegraph, The BBC UP NEXT Gunsmoke: Top Facts Behind The Longest-Lived Show on Television... 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