Dec 19, 2019 - World

Canadian Supreme Court rules son of Russian spies entitled to citizenship

Canadian Supreme Court

Canadian Supreme Court. Photo: Richard Lautens/Getty Images

The Canadian Supreme Court on Thursday ruled in favor of Alexander Vavilov, the Toronto-born son of two Russian spies, and said he has the right to Canadian citizenship, the Washington Post reports.

Context: Vavilov's parents, Andrey Bezrukov and Elena Vavilova, worked for a Russian spy agency, and were arrested in the United States in 2010, per the Post. Their family's story inspired the FX series "The Americans."

  • Bezrukov and Vavilova were carrying out "deep-cover" assignments for the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service after the Cold War in the U.S., the Post writes.
  • They stole the identities of two Canadians, who died as infants, and began developing their cover stories.
  • Vavilov and his older brother Timofey claim they did not know their parents were Russian spies.

What they're saying: “The sins of parents ought not to be visited upon children without clear authorization by law,” Justice David Stratas wrote, according to the Post.

What's next: Timofey, who is also seeking citizenship, is still waiting on a ruling for his case, but the decision from his brother's will likely have a strong impact, the Post notes.

Go deeper: Russia claims American they arrested in Moscow is a spy

Go deeper