Moscow: Two weeks after 10 Russian spies flew back from the US to Moscow, the buzz of interest around the ring’s most photogenic member, the feisty redhead Anna Chapman, shows no signs of receding.
While Chapman remains in an unknown location since her arrival in Moscow, reportedly being debriefed, she has apparently found time to write enigmatic Facebook updates and negotiate with journalists on her first interview.
Spy pie: Anna Chapman. AP
Chapman has dominated coverage of the spy scandal, despite her apparently minor role, thanks to salacious revelations by her British ex-husband and to seductive photographs that she posted on social networking sites.
Russian tabloids call her “Agent 90-60-90” based on her hourglass figure, while the Washington Post called her the “hot one” in a jokey opinion piece.
Chapman has not been seen in public since after arrival on 9 July, when the 10 convicted “foreign agents” were whisked away from a Moscow airport in vans with smoked windows after a dramatic exchange deal.
But just hours later, followers of her page on the Facebook social networking site read an opaque message. “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times,” she wrote, quoting Charles Dickens’ “A Tale of Two Cities.”
Chapman was an avid user of Facebook before her arrest, and her lack of security settings allowed journalists to pore over all her photographs and messages.
Her page has -- surprisingly -- been regularly updated ever since, with Chapman gaining dozens of new “friends,” many of them journalists.
On 14 July, she switched to an inspiring quote from Eleanor Roosevelt: “You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself ‘I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.´”
Many wrote messages of support. Chapman responded with a “like” approval to a message from a woman named Cordelia, who wrote on Tuesday: “I miss you here in the Big Apple.”
A man named Jeffrey praised her as “beautiful and delicious,” while a man named Kevin mused on her “stunning green eyes.”
It is not clear whether Chapman has Internet access and is updating the page herself. Several other Facebook pages in her name have mushroomed, including a less than credible one which lists her employer as the “KGB.”
So far, Chapman has not given any interviews, and her Facebook page angrily denied a report in the New York Post on Monday that Chapman was “secretly shopping” for a $250,000 interview deal, citing unnamed sources.