Famed American spy, Robert Hanssen, who was best known for his services to Russia while stationed in Washington, has died at the age of 79 in Florence prison, Colorado.
According to the U.S network, CNN, the Federal Bureau of Prisons in a statement released yesterday, confirmed: “On Monday, June 5th, 2023, at around 6:55 AM, inmate Robert Hanssen was found unresponsive in Florence prison. Staff immediately took action to resuscitate him, calling medical emergency services to the site. However, emergency services later pronounced him dead.”
Hanssen served as an agent for the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) since 1976 before affiliating himself with the Soviet intelligence (KGB) from 1985 to 1991. Thereafter, he worked with Russian intelligence (SVR) from 1999 to 2001. He provided both agencies with a wealth of documents and sensitive information that his authorities allowed him to access, including the names of Russian operatives working as spies for the United States, leading to several executions in Russia.
The case of Hanssen was brought to light by a former Russian intelligence officer who presented documents to the FBI exposing his betrayal, leading to his arrest. Since 2002, he has been serving a life sentence while the defected Russian officer was granted the right to live in the United States.
Hanssen received an estimated total of 1.4 million dollars, along with diamonds, in exchange for the information he provided to the Soviet Union and Russia.
Upon his arrest in 2001, Hanssen confessed to American investigators, saying, “I believe I could have been a damaging spy, but I did not want to become a damaging spy. I just wanted to get a little money.”
The former agent apologized for his actions during his sentencing, stating, “I am ashamed of that. I have ripped apart the trust of many. Worst of all, I have hurt my wife and children severely. I have hurt many people.”
Hanssen’s case shook the American intelligence community, revealing significant flaws in how the FBI and other agencies identify and select individuals who have access to the nation’s secrets.