Report: Expelled Russian Diplomats Were Actually Spies Tracking Defectors

Several Russian diplomats expelled from the U.S. last month were believed to be spies in the country to track Russian defectors and their families, CNN reports. In one case, the suspected spies were thought to be targeting someone involved in a CIA program that provides new identities for resettled Russians, officials told CNN. Intelligence officials reportedly feared that and other episodes were part of a wider campaign by the Kremlin to target Russians viewed as traitors back home. Washington’s decision to expel 60 Russians last month in response to the poisoning of former spy Sergei Skripal in the U.K. sparked a diplomatic feud that has yet to die down. On Wednesday, Russian officials accused the U.S. State Department of organizing a “break-in” at the shuttered Russian consulate in Seattle. The State Department said it was conducting a “walk-through inspection” of the premises to make sure it was vacated by the April 24 deadline, but Moscow claimed the move was illegal.