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The GW Hatchet


The GW Hatchet

Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet

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Former student was groomed to become Russian spy

A former student whose parents were convicted of being Russian spies was being coached to follow their path.

Tim Foley, who was enrolled in the Elliott School of International Affairs until spring 2011, was on his way to being a U.S.-raised agent for a Russian spy ring, the Wall Street Journal reported Thursday. He had known about his parents’ double lives and had agreed to join them well before their arrest.

While he left the country that summer and was placed on a leave of absence in the fall of 2010, the former student was enrolled at GW until spring 2011, University spokeswoman Candace Smith said. Tim Foley’s parents made a donation of up to $499 to the University in 2009.

The son of spies under the names Donald Heathfield and Tracey Lee Ann Foley, two of the 10 individuals arrested in 2010, Tim Foley allegedly stood up, saluted “Mother Russia” and agreed to begin his training there.

Since his parents’ arrest, Tim Foley has attempted to regain entry to the U.S., but has been unsuccessful due to “unspecified obstacles”, according to the Journal. Tim Foley was not born in the U.S., but Americanized and English-fluent children could be seen as valuable and more smoothly pass through background checks.

His parents, Andrey Bezrukov and Elena Vavilova, lived as a married couple in Cambridge, Mass. under their assumed names. Their second child was 16 at the time of their arrest and attended high school at the private International School of Boston.

Peter Krupp, his father’s lawyer, told the Journal accounts that Tim Foley knew of the spy operations were “crap,” as it would be too risky for his parents to reveal their secret lives to even their own son. The spy ring, called the SVR, took over for the KGB.

The former student’s friends told The Hatchet at the time of his parents’ arrest that they doubted he knew of their double lives.

Only one of the group of agents’ children was permitted to remain in the U.S. after officials determined he was not a threat.

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