When the U.S. government learned of Powers' disappearance over the Soviet Union, it issued a cover statement claiming a "weather plane" had crashed after its pilot had "difficulties with his oxygen equipment." What CIA officials did not realize was that the plane crashed almost fully intact, and the Soviets recovered its equipment. Powers was interrogated extensively by the KGB for months before he made a "voluntary confession" and a public apology for his part in espionage. The incident set back talks between Khrushchev and Eisenhower. On August 17, 1960, Powers was convicted of espionage against the Soviet Union and was sentenced to a total of 10 years, three years in imprisonment followed by seven years of hard labor. He was held in "Vladimirsky Central Prison", east of Moscow. The prison contains a small museum with an exhibit on Powers, who allegedly had a good rapport with Russian prisoners there.
On February 10, 1962, Powers was exchanged along with American student Frederic Pryor in a well publicised spy swap for Soviet KGB Colonel Vilyam Fisher (aka Rudolf Abel), a Soviet colonel who was caught by the FBI and put in jail for espionage, at the Glienicke Bridge in Berlin, Germany.