Colonel Rudolph Abel, the Soviet master spy reported dead in Moscow on Monday (November 15), headed his country's espionage network in the United States for nine years before his betrayal and arrest in 1957.
Colonel Rudolph Abel, the Soviet master spy reported dead in Moscow on Monday (November 15), headed his country's espionage network in the United States for nine years before his betrayal and arrest in 1957. He was sentenced to 30 years imprisonment, but within five years the U.S. exchanged him for U2 spy-pilot Gary Powers--imprisoned in the Soviet Union after his aircraft was shot down during a flight over Soviet territory. This film, compiled from the VISNEWS library, shows Abel being taken to court in New York in 1957, and Powers being flown home from West Berlin Airport in 1962 after his release.
SYNOPSIS: New York, 1957....and a court sentences Soviet master spy Rudolph Abel to 30 years imprisonment for espionage activities in the United States. In Moscow on Monday, Colonel Abel was reported dead. He had been ill from lung cancer for the past six months. Before his dramatic arrest and trial, Abel headed the Soviet spy network in the U.S. for nine years....until betrayed by a fellow spy.
Abel died in his home country only because the Soviet Union and the United States agreed to exchange him for Gary Powers -- a U.S. spy-pilot shot down over Soviet territory in his U2 military aircraft in 1960. He was sentenced by a Moscow court to 10 years in prison, but was released in West Berlin in 1962 to be flown home after prolonged exchange negotiations by the two powers. Abel, who was 68 when he died, was awarded the Order of Lenin -- the highest civilian Soviet award -- on his return to Moscow. Powers is today living quietly in the United States.