A mere 63.7 miles from the White House stands an alleged Russian spy compound in Maryland. The 45-acre compound was reportedly purchased in 1972 by the then-Soviet Union as a vacation retreat. On Friday, the building was closed as part of President Obama’s retaliation for alleged hacking of the emails of the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman, which were then publicized by Wikileaks.
The Obama administration implemented some punishments against Russia for their suspected role in a cyber attack that is said to have attempted to alter the 2016 presidential election that included expelling 35 Russian operatives from the U.S., imposing sanctions on the FSB and GRU, two Russian intelligence agencies, and closing two properties including the one in Maryland and one in Long Island, New York.
Less than an hour’s drive from the NSA headquarters is the alleged spy compound on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. The White House said the facility had been used to gather intelligence.
The property, which is said to be worth $8 million, was transferred from the Soviet government to the Russian Federation in 1995. Washington Life took a tour inside the compund back in 2007, which you can see here, and it is seemingly a normal mansion.
The estate was once owned by John J. Raskob, a former executive at DuPont and General Motors.
“All Americans should be alarmed by Russia’s actions,” Obama said in a statement. “Such activities have consequences.”
A spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin told the Associated Press that Moscow regrets the new U.S. sanctions, but said he would not deport U.S. diplomats in retaliation.
“We won’t create problems for American diplomats,” Putin said in a statement. Putin said he would “plan further steps for restoring the Russian-American relationship based on the policies enacted by the administration of President Donald Trump.”
President-elect Donald Trump also released a statement which said, “It’s time for our country to move on to bigger and better things. Nevertheless, in the interest of our country and its great people, I will meet with leaders on the intelligence community next week in order to be updated on the facts of this situation.”
So apparently the U.S. government was cool with a Russian “spy base” a mere 60 miles from the nation’s capital for 44 years, but leak some emails and that’s the reason to shutter its doors. Got it.