Background: Women are no strangers to espionage world

James Bond may be the archetypal dashing male spy of popular imagination, seducing women to unearth secrets for Queen and country, but the history of espionage features a large cast of glamorous women adept at trading their charms for information.

The scandal involving Katia Zatuliveter follows the controversy surrounding the case of Russian national Anna Chapman, who was deported from the United States in July after admitting espionage. She was arrested with nine others, but it was the glamorous 28-year-old who attracted worldwide interest and publicity following revelations of her whirlwind romance with a British former public schoolboy and subsequent life as a New York socialite.

She was later stripped of her UK citizenship, gained after her marriage to husband Alex Chapman, but awarded a medal by Russian president Dmitry Medvedev.

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Among the most notorious figures of the First World War was Dutch exotic dancer Mata Hari, who was executed as a double agent amid claims she caused the deaths of 50,000 soldiers. The neutrality of the Netherlands allowed her to travel freely and she was a courtesan to many high-ranking allied officers.

She had worked for French intelligence but was arrested after German military radio messages were intercepted describing the helpful activities of a spy identified by French intelligence agents as Mata Hari.

However, historians have questioned the extent of her activities, and many believe she was used as a scapegoat by French intelligence.

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Josephine Baker, a famous singer and dancer, was known as the Creole Goddess, the Black Pearl and the Black Venus because of her beauty, but she was also a spy during the Second World War. She worked for the French Resistance during the conflict and smuggled military secrets into Portugal from France hidden in invisible ink on her sheet music.

Ancient Egyptian queen Cleopatra has long been portrayed as someone who used her charms to influence the most powerful men in the western world. After being overthrown and exiled from Egypt, she became Caesar's mistress and persuaded him to abandon his plans to annexe her native country. Instead, he backed Cleopatra's claim to the throne, which was then restored after a six-month war.

She later married Mark Antony, who ruled Rome in the power vacuum that existed following Caesar's death. He went on to fight against Rome when the Roman Senate ordered an invasion of Egypt.