MOSCOW - A Russian spymaster was convicted of treason in absentia on Monday for betraying 10 US-based agents in one of Moscow's most embarrassing intelligence failures since the Cold War.
Colonel Alexander Poteyev, deputy head of the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service's "S" department that oversees "deep cover" spying operations, was sentenced to a 25-year prison term. Court materials were classified as "secret".
The judge, who was not named in the local media reports, said that Poteyev had passed details about how Moscow finances and communicates with its spies working abroad to the US Central Intelligence Agency.
The unmasking of the Russian spy ring last June, just days after President Dmitry Medvedev's Washington summit with Barack Obama, was a major embarrassment for the Kremlin which has sought to improve ties with the United States.