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🚨Francis Gary Powers Released, U.S. Releases Spy Rudolf Abel in Exchange

Feb. 9, 1962 - Francis Gary Powers has been released by the Soviet Union in exchange for the release of Col. Rudolf Abel, the convicted Soviet spy, the White House announced at 3:20 a.m. Frederic L. Pryor, an American student held by East German authorities since August 1961, also has been released. He was turned over to American authorities in Berlin. Mr. Powers, the White House said, is in Berlin en route to the U.S. Colonel Abel was deported and has been released in Berlin. The White House announcement said that efforts to obtain Mr. Powers’ release had been under way for some time. Mr. Powers was downed in a U-2 plane while making a high-altitude reconnaissance flight over the Soviet Union in May 1960. At a Moscow trial later, he pleaded guilty to espionage charges and was sentenced to 10 years — 3 in prison and 7 in a labor camp. The U-2 incident occurred just before a Big Four summit meeting was to have taken place in Paris. After reaching Paris, Premier Khrushchev unleashed a diatribe against the U.S. and used the incident to withdraw from the summit.

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