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Meet Mikhail Semenko, The Ironic, Fun-Loving (Accused) Spy

by ARLnow.com June 30, 2010 at 7:37 am 5,750 16 Comments

Gawker has grabbed a bunch of Facebook photos of Mikhail Semenko, the Arlington travel agent who’s accused of being a secret agent for Russia.

As it turns out, Semenko is a fan of parties, ironic t-shirts and Bill Clinton masks. He has just over 400 Facebook friends, although that number is steadily decreasing as his former friends dissociate themselves from him.

The Wall Street Journal didn’t stop at Facebook. It accessed Semenko’s page on a Russian social networking website.

In 2008 a friend of Semenko said on the site, apparently as a joke, “Hi to our valiant spy deep behind the nasty Americans’ lines. Remember the teachings of Mao: destroy the filthy imperialist economy from within!!”

Photo via Gawker.

  • Catalina

    All I can say is wow…

  • MB

    Having read some of the indictments, I’m thinking there’s going to be a movie made from this, and I’m pretty sure it’s going to be a comedy.

    • Marty

      I hope it’s a better movie than “Burn After Reading”!

      • MB

        Not a hard bar to clear, I’m afraid.

        • Mike


  • Lou

    Which one of the guys in that photo is he?

    • The one with the “CCCP” shirt, of course.

  • darren

    I would love to see a history of cold war spying in Arlington… My neighbors tell tales of the “Berlin” building, the condo at 1515 S. Arl Ridge Rd, which if you believe the chatter, was a favored outpost of the Soviets due to its proximity to the Pentagon.

    • Lou

      The best story I know was Nicholas Shadrin, who defected from the Soviet Navy and lived in McLean, just across the border from Arlington at Nottingham Street. I grew up just a couple blocks from his house. We always knew he was the “Russian Defector – Agent Guy” as kids (this was back in the mid-70’s). His wife ran a dental business out of their house. They went on a vacation to Austria, he told his wife he was going out to get a paper, and was never seen again.

  • Darwin

    I’m glad we caught these guys, America ia safer for it. They don’t always just steal defense secrets, every year spies steal billions of dollars worth of economic secrets that damages our economy.

    • MB

      If you read through the indicting docs, the only thing these guys were stealing were their paychecks. A hilariously ineffective bunch. Echoes of the terrorist! mastermind! sleeper cells! of the past decade that turned out to be a bunch of morons with paintguns and anger management issues.

      • John Antonelli

        How did you get indictment docs? Remember these guys were part of a spy network. Since it obvious this fella likes guys, he should be quite happy with his accommodations for the next few years. Travel agent hah, well he’s going on an interesting vacation.

  • Let’s not forget, folks, that we have spies in Russia too (no spoiler there), and all is fair in love and war — the only drama is whether ours get caught or theirs get caught.

  • charlie

    as for 1515 Arlington Ridge Road it was actually owned by East Germany.

    • John Antonelli

      No one mentioned Aldrich Ames, an Arlington resident and CIA turncoat who not only lived in Arlington but did dead drops here.


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