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Real spies share the incredible stories of their greatest missions with Vanessa Kirby and Hayley Atwell.
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True Spies Teaser
Week by week, mission by mission, you’ll hear the true stories behind the world’s greatest espionage operations. You’ll meet the people who navigate this secret world. What do they know, what are their skills and what would you do in their position? This is True Spies.
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PO Box 1142
Join chief historian of the National Parks: Robert K Sutton, as he tells the story of Nazis on the Potomac, and those sworn to secrecy at Fort Hunt... From SPYSCAPE, the HQ of secrets. A Cup And Nuzzle production. Series producer: Joe Foley. Produced by Max Bower. Music by Nick Ryan.
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Operation Kronstadt
Former MI6 Officer Harry Ferguson tells the nail-biting story of an unlikely British spy in Bolshevik Russia - and the daring naval mission to bring him home. From SPYSCAPE, the HQ of secrets. A Cup And Nuzzle production. Series producer: Joe Foley. Produced by Louise Sinnerton. Music by Nick Ryan.
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The Woman Who Rescued Orwell
It's 1937. The Spanish Civil War is raging, and author George Orwell is fighting on the Socialist front. But as Orwell lives out his anti-Fascist adventure, his wife, Eileen O'Shaughnessy, is embroiled in a subtler conflict. At the headquarters of the Workers' Party of Marxist Unification in Barcelona, she's dealing with a brutal police force, Stalinist spies, and an atmosphere of political terror. And on top of all that, it's up to her to stop her husband falling into enemy hands... From SPYSCAPE, the HQ of secrets. A Cup And Nuzzle production. Series producer: Joe Foley. Produced by Louise Sinnerton. Music by Nick Ryan.
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The War on Terror, Part Two - From Khost to Compounds
Former CIA Operations Officer Aaron Brown joins Rhiannon Neads to discuss his role in two defining moments in the CIA's War on Terror. In Part 2, the aftermath of Khost informs the most dramatic operation in the history of the modern CIA. And Aaron has a seat at the table. From SPYSCAPE, the HQ of secrets. A Cup And Nuzzle production. Series producer: Joe Foley. Produced by Max Bower. Music by Nick Ryan.
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The War on Terror, Part One - From Cairo to Khost
Former CIA Operations Officer Aaron Brown joins Rhiannon Neads to discuss his role in two defining moments in the CIA's War on Terror. In Part 1, we follow Aaron's journey into the Agency's inner sanctum - and its' darkest hour. From SPYSCAPE, the HQ of secrets. A Cup And Nuzzle production. Series producer: Joe Foley. Produced by Max Bower. Music by Nick Ryan.
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Disinformation Warfare, Part 2 - America
Just how influential is the 'white noise' of information, and disinformation, emanating from Russia? In this second and final episode on the phenomenon of modern disinformation, hear from author and former Executive Director of the US Disinformation Governance Board: Nina Jankowicz. She shines a light on how small acts of manipulation, made on the other side of the world, can pit fellow Americans against themselves...
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Disinformation Warfare, Part 1 - The Troll Farm
Just how influential is the 'white noise' of information, and disinformation, emanating from Russia? In this first of two special episodes on the phenomenon of modern disinformation, Ukrainian-British journalist and author Peter Pomerantsev, reveals the evolution of the dark tactics the modern Russian state uses to cripple both neighbouring countries, and dissenters within its own borders.
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Kim Philby, Super Spy: Part 2, The Third Man
Born to the British upper-crust - devoted to the Revolution. Harold 'Kim' Philby was the ultimate Soviet superspy. For decades, Philby sold secrets to the Russians from inside the upper echelons of MI6. Inspired by an unpublished memoir recently acquired by Spyscape, we bring his fascinating story to life. In Part 2, Rhiannon Neads follows the trail of booze, bad luck and betrayal that brought Philby down. From SPYSCAPE, the HQ of secrets. A Cup And Nuzzle production. Series producer: Joe Foley. Produced by Justin Trefgarne. Music by Nick Ryan. Kim Philby voiced by Dominic Mafham.
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Kim Philby, Super Spy: Part 1, Codename Sonny
Born to the British upper-crust - devoted to the Revolution. Harold 'Kim' Philby was the ultimate Soviet superspy. For decades, Philby sold secrets to the Russians from inside the upper echelons of MI6. Inspired by an unpublished memoir recently acquired by Spyscape, we bring his fascinating story to life. In Part 1, Rhiannon Neads details Philby's rise to the top - and the fateful decisions that will lead to his undoing.
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Narcotopia, Part Two - Thy Will Be Done
Nestled in the mountains of Myanmar, there's a nation that you won't find on the map. The mysterious, controversial Wa State is what journalist Patrick Winn calls a 'Narcotopia' - a country whose main source of income is the international drugs trade. In Part 2, we learn more about Saw Lu's dangerous entanglement with the US Government. Listener discretion is advised.
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Narcotopia, Part One - Agent Superstar
Nestled in the mountains of Myanmar, there's a nation that you won't find on the map. The mysterious, controversial Wa State is what journalist Patrick Winn calls a 'Narcotopia' - a country whose main source of income is the international drugs trade. In Part 1, Patrick tells the story of his journey to Wa State, and his chance meeting with one of the most powerful figures in its history, Saw Lu - a man whose vision for the isolated nation led him to the door of the US Government.
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Agent Sniper
Bigamist. Fantasist. Betrayer. Betrayed. Known only as Agent Sniper, Polish double-agent Michal Goleniewski sold secrets to the US from behind the Iron Curtain. But this complex, ambitious man was no match for his American handlers. In this episode of True Spies, author Tim Tate reveals a life full of romance, tragedy and Cold War intrigue.
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The Strike on Saddam
It's 2003, and the US is on the brink of war. Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein has been issued a warning - leave the country, or face a full American invasion. In the event of his refusal, the CIA has a plan to strike Saddam's Dora Farms compound, potentially stopping the war in its tracks. The operation is overseen by the head of the Agency's Iraq Operations Group, Luis Rueda. In this episode of True Spies, the former CIA heavyweight shares candid insights into the fevered hours and days ahead of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
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The Last Honest Man
Two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist James Risen details the life and work of Frank Church - the man who forever changed the US Intelligence Community. From humble Idaho beginnings through to his lofty Presidential ambitions, we delve into who Church really was and his tireless devotion to serving American ideals of transparency and accountability - culminating in the Church Committee. However, Church learned that you can't shine a light on the darkest corners of the FBI, CIA, and NSA without making some powerful enemies.
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The King's Secret
The Chevalièr d'Éon was an 18th-Century war hero, an indispensable spy, and a famous diplomat. But today, they're best known for their pioneering approach to gender boundaries. Historian Gary Kates pulls back the curtain on this fascinating True Spy. Hear the groundbreaking story of d'Éon's life - from undercover geopolitical manipulation in the Russian court and plotting Louis XV's French invasion of England to being recognized by both French and English courts as having the right to live as a woman.
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The Disappeared, Part 2 - Mother's Day
No one takes on the cartel and comes away unscathed. Miriam Rodriguez understood that from the start. In the second and final part of this extraordinary True Spies story, The New York Times’ Azam Ahmed picks up the story of the housekeeper who sought revenge on Mexico’s notorious Zetas. Having discovered the grim truth of what happened to her kidnapped daughter, Miriam Rodriguez makes it her life’s mission to bring down the criminals responsible for her murder, becoming increasingly adept at high-wire deep cover work in the process. She will not rest until the Zetas have been made to pay but her bold quest comes with an enormous personal price tag.
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The Disappeared, Part 1 - Parlor Games
In this two-part True Spies story, The New York Times’ Azam Ahmed tells the unbelievable tale of Miriam Rodriguez, a 56 year-old housekeeper turned rogue agent and thorn in the side of one of Mexico’s most feared gangs. In Part One, we meet Miriam as her world is turned upside down by news of her daughter’s kidnapping. Soon, she embarks on a quest for answers and for vengeance. It will bring her face to face with The Zetas - a powerful and dangerous criminal organization who terrorize Miriam’s native San Fernando with impunity. But in this grieving mother of three, they may have found their match.
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Diamond Hands
During the cryptocurrency boom of the 2010s, those who held their assets made huge fortunes. Among them was James Zhong - a young man who'd amassed an unbelievable virtual treasure trove. But he'd come across his fortune illegitimately by executing an audacious one-man heist against the most notorious black market on the Dark Web. Sophia Di Martino joins IRS criminal investigation agent Tyler Hatcher, whose digital detective work recovered millions in ill-gotten Bitcoin for the US government.
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The Silk Road Bust
The Silk Road was one of the most notorious black markets on the Internet. Run by the notorious, anonymous Dread Pirate Roberts, this online bazaar allowed its users to trade cryptocurrency for illegal drugs, items and services. But, buried beneath layers of digital proxies, the Silk Road was almost impenetrable to law enforcement. Almost. Sophia Di Martino joins former FBI Special Agent Chris Tarbell to tell the story of how a combination of cyber-savvy and old-school detective work brought down the biggest name on the Dark Web.
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Ten Episodes Not To Miss
Ready to unlock the secrets of the spying game? Here's a quick intro to our True Spies series.
Howard Hunt Unleashed, Part 1: The CIA & Animal Farm
In this special two-part True Spies miniseries, Daisy Ridley presents a dramatized encounter with Everette Howard Hunt Jr, based on our own historical research and Hunt's own writings. In Part 1, Hunt explains his role in one of the CIA's most unusual PsyOps - the backing of 1954's animated version of George Orwell's Animal Farm.
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HAVANA SYNDROME SPECIAL
Debilitating neurological symptoms have affected US officials worldwide. Former CIA officer Marc Polymeropoulos has been suffering since 2017 - he joins Russia expert and former CIA Station Chief John Sipher, and Dr. James Giordano to analyze Havana Syndrome.
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GRAY SUIT & THE GHOST
Eric O’Neill describes the hunt for the infamous FBI mole Robert Hanssen, who he was tasked with catching. Eric needs to get Hanssen into a hire car so his own car can be searched for evidence of his betrayal... but the hire car isn’t there and Hanssen is getting suspicious. What would you do in O'Neill's position?
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THE ILLEGAL
'Jack Barsky' was a New York computer programmer for a well-known insurance firm. In real life, he was Albrecht Dittrich, a highly-trained Soviet sleeper agent dropped behind enemy lines in 1970s America. When the KGB recalled him to Europe, Barsky had a difficult choice to make: Should he leave his wife and 18-month-old baby behind or betray his country?
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INSIDE NAMBLA
Bob Hamer had a colorful career as an undercover FBI agent but nothing prepared him for infiltrating Nambla, the North American Man/Boy Love Association. If he was going to put the pedophiles behind bars, Bob would have to hide his hatred and disdain - even if it ripped at the very fabric of his being. (Warning: This episode contains graphic details.)
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WHITE TRAITOR
Sue Dobson was a white woman who wanted to spy for the African National Congress - making her a minority within a minority in apartheid-era South Africa. Dobson spent seven months training in the USSR to learn her tradecraft. Now she wasn’t just a traitor, she was a turncoat with the training to kill.
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PSYCHIC SPIES
Dr. Edwin May is an unusual scientist, a physicist who researches psychic phenomena. For decades he worked with psychics who believed they could ‘foresee’ events like potential terrorist attacks, which raised an interesting question: If you can see the future, are you condemned to experience it?
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THE SOCIOPATHIC SPY
Working as a lawyer is one path to success, but Jim Lawler wanted adventure. He ditched his job in Texas and joined the CIA. On his first tour abroad, Jim had to recruit a spy working for a hostile government knowing she’d be killed if her cover was blown. That’s when Jim realized he was born with the type of sociopathic personality that would ensure success.
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ME AND THE MULLAH
Shawnee Delaney was a key part of the US team hunting Osama bin Laden in the wake of 9/11. One of her contacts was a Mullah with close ties to al-Qaeda but how could she win his trust? There was a language barrier and the Mullah refused to accept money for intelligence. This was shaping up to be Shawnee’s most challenging assignment yet.
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THE IRISHMAN
Sean Hartnett grew up in Ireland during the 'Troubles'. His family was Republican so they were shocked when Hartnett talked about joining the British Armed Forces. In fact, Hartnett went a step further. He joined the British Army’s most secretive covert counterterrorist unit in Northern Ireland, Joint Communications Unit Northern Ireland aka ‘The Det’.
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And, if you're into covert operations and intelligence gathering, check out these episodes:
EPISODE 71
RISE AND KILL FIRST
Ronen Bergman is an investigative journalist specializing in the dark arts of espionage and Mossad. In the early ‘80s, he stumbled on the scoop of a lifetime involving PLO chairman Yasser Arafat.
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TEAM ALPHA PART 1: THE TIP OF THE SPEAR
October 17, 2001. The dust of 9/11 has barely settled. America and the world are reeling. In Afghanistan, eight CIA officers - a crack team of linguists, tribal experts, and paramilitaries - are the first Americans to infiltrate Taliban territory after the attacks. Their mission is to ensure that al-Qaeda does not strike again.
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EPISODE 87
STALIN'S ROMEO SPY
As a young Soviet journalist, Emil Draitser stumbled on a story that changed his life. He was summoned by Dmitri Bystrolyotov to hear the deep secret that he was a ‘Stasi Romeo’ spying on Germany for Moscow, taking advantage of vulnerable women to steal state secrets. It was a fascinating tale, but it could also land Draitser in prison.
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ALDRICH AMES PART 1: THE ULTIMATE DOUBLE AGENT - SELLING SECRETS
The CIA is only as strong as the weakest link. And in the waning years of the Cold War, weak links were in ready supply. A number of trusted Agency officers were caught selling secrets to the Russian regime. And the most notorious traitor? Aldrich Hazen Ames.
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EPISODE 43
PUTIN'S PALACE?
Former Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny released a film in 2021 that sent shockwaves through the country. Part exposé, part-psychological portrait, his investigation claimed to reveal a culture of corruption within the Kremlin - with President Putin at its heart. The Kremlin and Putin deny everything.
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LISTEN TO ALL TRUE SPIES EPISODES Find us on Apple Podcasts
See all episodes here
Spy Sisters
See all episodes here
CIA Secrets
See all episodes here
FBI Secrets
See all episodes here
Russian Secrets
True Russian Spy Missions - Teaser
Peek behind an Iron Curtain of secrecy with hosts Hayley Atwell and Vanessa Kirby, as they enter a world of KGB sleeper agents, FSB defectors, and American infiltrators in this curated selection of True Spies stories. If you’d like to dig deeper into the world of secrets, and test your own secret intelligence skills, head over to spyscape.com for articles, games, experiences, puzzles and videos. A Cup & Nuzzle production. Series producers: Gemma Newby, Joe Foley. Music: Nick Ryan.
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Episode 1
THE ILLEGAL | KGB
Jack Barsky was a New York computer programmer for a well-known insurance firm. In real life, he was Albrecht Dittrich, a highly-trained Soviet sleeper agent dropped behind enemy lines in 1970s America. When the KGB recalled him to Europe, Barsky had a difficult choice to make: Should he leave his wife and 18-month-old baby behind or betray his country?
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Episode 2
THE BILLION-DOLLAR SPY | CIA
Hayley Atwell tells the story of how Soviet engineer Adolph Tolkachev became one of the Cold War's most prolific turncoats. For nearly a decade, CIA Operations Officer David Rolph was tasked with keeping the information flowing, right under the nose of the KGB. What would YOU do in David's position?
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Episode 3
N IS FOR NOVICHOK | Investigation
Vanessa Kirby gets Christo Grozev, a modern Sherlock Holmes, to share the secrets of how he solved one of the most notorious assassination attempts of the 21st century - the poisoning of retired Russian double-agent Sergei Skripal, hospitalized by a mysterious nerve agent on British soil. Would YOU have the skills to do the same?
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Episode 4
The NUCLEAR SUPERHIGHWAY | CIA
Undercover CIA agent James Olson takes Vanessa Kirby on a nail-biting mission behind the Iron Curtain. In the late 1970s, James was tasked with tapping an underground communications line between Moscow and a top-secret nuclear weapons facility. Under constant surveillance from the KGB, he would need to use a combination of traditional spycraft and hi-tech gadgetry to intercept this priceless intel without risking a diplomatic catastrophe. Could YOU evade detection?
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Episode 5
THE MONEY SPY | FSB
How do you flee your country and join the other side? A former Russian intelligence agent gives Vanessa Kirby a rare masterclass in international tradecraft. Janosh Neumann fled Moscow armed only with his wits, a suitcase and the names of Russia's most influential money launderers, to begin a dangerous journey to the other side.
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EPISODE 6
PUTIN'S PALACE? | Investigation
Former Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny released a film in 2021 that sent shockwaves through the country. Part exposé, part-psychological portrait, his investigation claimed to reveal a culture of corruption within the Kremlin - with President Putin at its heart. The Kremlin and Putin deny everything.
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EPISODE 7
NEW RUSSIA, NEW RULES | CIA
It's 1993, and Russia is tearing itself apart. A violent coup is threatening to derail Boris Yeltsin's fragile post-Soviet government. Rolf Mowatt-Larssen, deputy chief of station for the CIA in Moscow, is caught in the crossfire. To get out alive, he'll need to lean on an unlikely new ally - Russian Intelligence. Vanessa Kirby tells his story.
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EPISODE 8
RUSSIA'S MOST WANTED | Investigation
Bill Browder’s fund made billions in the wake of the Soviet Union's collapse. But in the new Russia, the cost of doing business could be counted in more than cash. When Bill caught wind of major financial corruption in the country, he decided to act - making powerful enemies in the process. Vanessa Kirby unravels a story of money, power and terrible sacrifice.
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EPISODE 9
STALIN'S ROMEO SPY | Historical
In the fall of 1973, journalist Emil Draitser met an aging Soviet super-spy. His name was Dmitri Bystrolyotov, and for him, sex and secrets went hand-in-hand. At the time, Emil could scarcely believe what he heard - much less publish it. Thirty years later, long after the collapse of the USSR, Dmitri's story could finally be told. Vanessa Kirby enters a world of seduction, secrets, and lies between the wars. Could YOU mix business and pleasure?
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EPISODE 10
THE ACE OF SPIES | Historical
Who was Britain's Ace of Spies? Nobody really knows but the name he used was Sidney Reilly - and nobody did it better in the early 20th century. Reilly reckoned with oil barons, his personal pride, and the rise of Communism during his decades on the edge.
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EPISODE 10
THE ACE OF SPIES | Historical
EPISODE 9
STALIN'S ROMEO SPY | Historical
EPISODE 8
RUSSIA'S MOST WANTED | Investigation
EPISODE 7
NEW RUSSIA, NEW RULES | CIA
EPISODE 6
PUTIN'S PALACE? | Investigation
Episode 5
THE MONEY SPY | FSB
Episode 4
The NUCLEAR SUPERHIGHWAY | CIA
Episode 3
N IS FOR NOVICHOK | Investigation
Episode 2
THE BILLION-DOLLAR SPY | CIA
Episode 1
THE ILLEGAL | KGB
True Russian Spy Missions - Teaser

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