Spy Ring: Why Moscow Admit the Suspects Were Russian? - Yahoo! News

Quote(After U.S. authorities announced on Monday that they had unmasked an intricate network of alleged Russian spies, most of whom were operating under false identities, Moscow conspicuously distanced itself from the suspects. The accused - with vanilla names like "Richard Murphy" and "Cynthia Mills" - "were not Russian diplomats or even Russian citizens," pro-Kremlin lawmaker Nikolai Kovalyov told the Interfax news agency on Tuesday. According to news agency RIA-Novosti, Russian Senator Alexander Torshin said the suspects were U.S. citizens, ergo the case should not affect bilateral relations. But just hours after the officials' comments were published on Tuesday, Moscow took an unusual step: it claimed the accused sleeper agents as Russian citizens.)

It was interesting reading the rant by Putin over how unfair it was for the US police to object to harmless Russian subjects going about their business.
One wonders whether he would have been so sanguine had this happened in Russia with US citizens?
Somehow I doubt it.

Quote(In a curt statement released on Tuesday, the Russian Foreign Ministry admitted that the 11 suspected spies were in fact "Russian citizens who ended up on U.S. territory at different times." The suspects, the ministry said, "did not commit any acts aimed against the interests of the United States. We assume that they will be treated normally in their detention facilities, and that U.S. authorities will guarantee them access to Russian consular officials and lawyers." The statement gave no further details about the suspects, but it was enough to blow any cover the suspects had hoped to maintain. The family of one of the accused, Spanish-language journalist Vicky Pelaez, has insisted in media interviews that Pelaez's only connection to Russia is her love of Tchaikovsky. But when asked by TIME whether all the alleged operatives were Russian citizens, a duty officer at the ministry's press office replied, "All of them." (See pictures of notorious Russian spies throughout history.)

Naturally these folk were just over here in US on extended vacations!!

Quote(The Russian government should be praised for claiming the suspects in this latest spy scandal, says Alexander Golts, a respected independent defense and security analyst. "In one way or another, they were acting on behalf of Russia, and Russia took responsibility for them," he says. "Up until [the admission], it was pretty cynical of Russian officials to reject them." Given the negligible intelligence the alleged network appeared to have gathered, the suspects might have been better off openly declaring their presence to U.S. authorities. "Any talk of real espionage in this case is ridiculous," Golts says. "If they had just registered as lobbyists, they would have been just fine.")

Which begs the question ' Why did they not do just that'.
As usual it is left to each person to decide what is true.