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In memoir, spy expressed regrets

London – It began with youthful idealism and ended in bitter regret.

Anthony Blunt – English gentleman, art adviser to Queen Elizabeth II and Soviet spy – felt the decision to give British secrets to the Kremlin was “the biggest mistake of my life.”

Blunt wrote of his remorse in a 30,000-word memoir completed shortly before his death in 1983 and released today by the British Library. It was given to the library in 1984 on condition it not be made public for 25 years.

Blunt was the infamous “fourth man” in a ring of upper-class Britons who spied for the Soviet Union.

Biden backs Ukraine, Georgia

Tbilisi, Georgia – U.S. Vice President Joe Biden on Wednesday pledged support for efforts by Ukraine and Georgia to break free of Russia’s orbit, saying Washington would not recognize Kremlin claims to an exclusive sphere of influence over former Soviet states.

Biden’s assurances in visits to both countries bluntly addressed the most volatile issue dividing Russia and the West.

“As we reset the relationship with Russia, we reaffirm our commitment to an independent Ukraine, and we recognize no sphere of influence or no ability of any other nation to veto the choices an independent nation makes,” Biden declared in Kiev, Ukraine’s capital.

Body of missing activist found

Moscow – A Russian human rights activist has been found dead in a sand pit weeks after he went missing, according to police and a colleague who said Wednesday that he suspects the prisoners’ rights advocate was murdered.

The news of Andrei Kulagin’s death came a week after the abduction and killing of Natalya Estemirova, a well-respected human rights activist and critic of the Kremlin-backed leader of Russia’s war-scarred Chechnya region. Her killing sparked international outrage and underscored the dangers faced by Russians who challenge authorities.

Kulagin was head of the Karelia regional branch of the rights organization Spravedlivost, which means Justice.

He was last seen alive on May 14 leaving his home after receiving a phone call from somebody who wanted to meet with him, the organization’s director, Andrei Stolbunov, said in a statement on its Web site.


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