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The building of the US Embassy at 8 Bolshoi Devyatinsky Lane. Photo: Sergei Petrov\TASS via Getty Images

A Russian national employed by the U.S. State Department, and through her position worked with the U.S. Secret Service, has been accused of being a Russian spy working in the U.S. embassy in Moscow undetected for about 10 years.

The details: According to the Guardian who broke the story, the Russian national had triggered warnings of U.S. intelligence in 2016 during a standard State Department security sweep when they found she regularly had "unauthorized meetings with members of the FSB, Russia’s principal security agency," which prompted State to revoke her security clearance. U.S. security agencies say she did not have access to classified information.

Why it matters: Most of the Russian nationals working for the U.S. in Russia report back to the FSB — Russia's primary security agency — but this particular employee was allegedly providing more information to Russians than was known to U.S. intelligence.

A State Department spokesperson told Axios, "As a general matter, we are aware that U.S. government employees, by virtue of their employment with the U.S. government, may be targeted by foreign intelligence services... When we identify an employee in violation of security directives, we take appropriate action at the appropriate time."

The U.S. Secret Service has not yet returned Axios' request for comment.

Go deeper

The week the Trump show ended

Data: NewsWhip; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Donald Trump was eclipsed in media attention last week by President Biden for the first time since Trump took office, according to viewership data on the internet, on social media and on cable news.

Why it matters: After Trump crowded out nearly every other news figure and topic for five years, momentum of the new administration took hold last week and the former president retreated, partly by choice and partly by being forced off the big platforms.

Pay TV's bleak post-pandemic outlook

Data: eMarketer; Chart: Axios Visuals

The pandemic has taken a huge toll on the Pay-TV industry, and with the near-term future of live sports in question, there are no signs of it getting better in 2021.

Why it matters: The fraught Pay-TV landscape is forcing some smaller, niche cable channels out of business altogether.

1 hour ago - World

Biden sets his sights on China

Photo illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios. Photo: Frederic J. Brown/Getty Images  

The new administration's first few moves and statements on China suggest that President Biden may continue some of the Trump era's most assertive policies.

Why it matters: China's severe domestic repression, its dramatic rise as a technological superpower, and its increasingly aggressive actions around the globe mean that the world expects the American president to take action.