US & Canada

FBI cracks 'Russian spy ring'

Eric Holder Image copyright AFP
Image caption Holder said the US would use "every tool at our disposal to identify and hold accountable foreign agents"

The FBI has charged three men it says were spying for Russia and trying to recruit sources in New York City.

US prosecutors say Evgeny Buryakov, 39, was part of an alleged spy ring that included two others in the US on official business.

The other two named defendants, Igor Sporyshev and Victor Podobnyy, no longer reside in the US.

Mr Buryakov, who worked at Russian bank in Manhattan, is scheduled to appear in court later on Monday.

He is accused of attempting to gain intelligence about potential United States sanctions against Russian banks and the US efforts to develop alternative energy resources.

Mr Buryakov also allegedly recruited Americans to spy for Russia, including several people "employed by major companies" and "several young women with ties to a major university in New York".

Mr Sporyshev and Mr Podobnyy, who held official positions as representatives of the Russian government in the US, were accused of working with Mr Buryakov since 2012 in passing on information and developing other recruits.

The investigation was an offshoot of a 2010 case that ended with the arrest and deportation of 10 "deep cover" agents in a spy swap with Russia.

In a statement, Attorney General Eric Holder said the charges "demonstrate our firm commitment to combating attempts by covert agents to illegally gather intelligence and recruit spies within the United States".

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