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Russian Spies Arrive in Vienna

The 10 Russian spies are gone, after two weeks of Cold-War-novel intrigue and a decade of covert operations in the United States. Late on Thursday night, they were sent packing on a plane back to the motherland—all 10 spy suspects pleaded guilty in federal court Thursday afternoon—and landed in Vienna around 5:15 a.m. EST after an overnight flight from New York’s LaGuardia airport. Using a gangway connected to another aircraft, they were shepherded onto a flight to Russia, where they are expected to arrive by Friday afternoon. Now, four prisoners, convicted of espionage in Russia, will be heading in the other direction after high-level negotiations led by CIA Director Leon Panetta and an order signed by President Dmitry Medvedev. Russian officials reportedly agreed immediately to the deal, one of the largest prisoner trades since the end of the Cold War.