In the television show “The Americans,” two deep-cover Soviet spies live as a married couple raising a family in the DC suburbs. This fictional story is based on a real Russian program called “The Illegals,” launched during the Cold War. In 2010, 10 spies from that program, who were living in America, were arrested. U.S. authorities swapped them for four spies held by the Russians. One was named Gennady Vasilenko. He had spied for the Soviets in Washington in the late 1970s and early 1980s. An American CIA agent, Jack Platt, had been tasked with getting close to Vasilenko. The CIA wanted to turn him and get him to work for the Americans. Platt failed to turn the Russian, but the two spies became lifelong friends.
How a Russian spy and American spy worked on opposite sides of the Cold War, but became best friends
- Eric Dezenhall - Dezenhall Resources