Russia has sent a hitman after the double agent who ratted out Anna Chapman and the other amateur spies the US caught this spring. “We know who he is, and where he is,” a high-ranking Kremlin source bragged to a Russian newspaper. “You can have no doubt—a Mercader has already been sent after him.” “Mercader” is a reference to Ramón Mercader, the man the KGB hired to assassinate Leon Trotsky.
The traitor is rumored to be Colonel Shcherbakov, a foreign intelligence service officer who headed the department controlling the sleeper agents, according to the Guardian. Shcherbakov seems to have fled Russia just days before the arrests began. Though Vladimir Putin soon after revealed that the arrests were “the result of treason,” the public admission is strange; Russia has long officially claimed that it hasn’t assassinated anyone since 1959. (Read more Russia stories.)