"The Russian Government will be inclined to celebrate their service, award them with medals and then they'll quietly go back into their lives," said Burds. "They will use this, in other words, sort of a recruitment poster rather than a reason for embarrassment."
Of the four Russians accused of spying for the CIA, one is Igor Sutyagin, a nuclear arms scientist who continued to maintain his innocence and was described as depressed because now he will not have a chance to prove his innocence.
Before their guilty pleas, the 10 spies met with Russian diplomats to discuss the life they'd have when they returned to Russia, according to their attorneys.
In the case of Vicky Pelaez, believed to be the only spy not born in Russia, her attorney told the court that she has been given special assurances from the Russian government that she would be given free housing in Russia, a monthly stipend of $2000 for life, visas with her children, and an all-expense paid trip for her children to travel to Russia.
It's been 24 years since the last publicized spy swap between the U.S. and Russia, carried out on a bridge between then East and West Berlin.
"Many of these have been done in secret, but this one has created a lot of publicity and everyone just wants this to go away now," said former CIA Russian analyst Mark Stout.
Richard Esposito, Anna Schecter, Angela M. Hill, Avni Patel, Joseph Rhee, Shimon Prokupecz, Nadia Sussman, Dan Lieberman and Liz Day contributed to this report.