An entry in Wikipedia notes that the Vilyam Fisher, the nom de guerre of the KGB agent operating as an illegal (i.e. without diplomatic cover, and thus immunity) who was traded for Powers, was a nonentity that the Soviets nonetheless accepted in exchange for Powers, pretty much for the same reason that we did the trade - for employee morale:
It suited the KGB, for the sake of its own reputation, to portray "Abel's" nine years of being an undetected agent in the U.S., as a triumph by a dedicated NKVD member. The myth of the master spy Rudolf Abel replaced the reality of Fisher's illegal residency. The party hierarchy was well aware that Fisher had achieved nothing of real significance. During his eight years as an illegal resident he appears not to have recruited, or even identified, a single potential agent.
I remember reading about Abel’s post-exchange fate. He was given a chair at KGB headquarters. Not even a desk...a chair. And he wasn’t assigned anything of consequence.
When a friend crossed Abel’s path in Moscow after his return, and asked what he was doing now, Abel lamentably replied “I’m a museum exhibit”.