What's the right word to describe an act of making a citizen of one country (by either paying him or, perhaps, setting him up in some way) start getting and sharing some important info about his own country?

For example,

The FBI forces finally ______________(ed) the Russian scientist Ivanov in 1957. So, starting from 1957 he's been sending all important information about Russian militaries to the White House.

(or something like that)


The conventional term is turn, but it does not imply compulsion, as your term "make" does; it may involve payment or principled persuasion as well as blackmail.

And just by the way: the FBI is a domestic agency; it may recruit Russians within the US but would not ordinarily run or recruit agents abroad. That's the job of the CIA.

The CIA turned the Russian scientist Ivanov in 1957.

  • Turn, as used in the sentence doesn’t convey the meaning. Could be negative or positive. Turned Ivanov what? – user29952 Sep 3 '18 at 13:01
  • @user070221 I suggest that within the context of espionage, turn means to cause to change sides regardless of negative or positive interpretations. – Ronald Sole Sep 3 '18 at 13:04
  • @RonaldSole - OP clearly refers to a negative, evil intent: “making a citizen of one country (by either paying him or, perhaps, setting him up in some way) – user29952 Sep 3 '18 at 13:09
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    @user070221 As Ronald Sole says, in this context simple transitive turn is quite common and means approximately "induce to change allegiance and provide information". Negative/positive is determined by which side you're on! – StoneyB on hiatus Sep 3 '18 at 13:14
  • @StoneyB - I disagree, whatever side you are on, we are in any case talking about corruption. One side may benefit, while the other side may lose..but it is not a positive in itself. – user29952 Sep 3 '18 at 13:18

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