Russian Spy Stopped From Infiltrating the ICC, Dutch Intelligence Says

It has all the elements of a spy thriller: An accused Russian spy has created an identity as a Brazilian. The creation of an elaborate cover story. And what Dutch authorities say appears to be a foiled plot to gain access to the International Criminal Court as it investigates Russian war crimes.

Those details emerged this week in a true case in which Dutch officials said 36-year-old Sergey Vladimirovich Cherkasov spent years building his identity as a Brazilian citizen, polishing his background so that he I did an internship at the International Criminal Court in The Hague. before Dutch officials blew his cover.

According to Dutch intelligence, Cherkasov posed as a Brazilian named Viktor Muller Ferreira and accepted a court internship using a detailed story that concealed his ties to Russia’s military intelligence agency. , GRU.

Mr Cherkasov was expected to start working at the court, but was denied entry to the Netherlands at Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport in April after the AIVD, the Dutch intelligence agency, issued advice from immigration officials. Intelligence officials said in a statement on Thursday. Officials did not say how they identified him as a spy.

The International Criminal Court is Investigate potential war criminals Russia during its invasion of Ukraine, as well as the 2008 Russo-Georgian war.

“If this person has the opportunity to actually work at the ICC, he can gather information, possibly discover sources (or recruit them) and possibly gain access to digital systems, The Dutch intelligence agency said in a statement. GRU was blamed for Cyber ​​attack about the US and Ukraine.

Dutch intelligence agency publish a document it says Mr. Cherkasov may have written in 2010, posing a cover story that includes specifics of Mr. Ferreira’s background, including the high school he attended and how many born at school; health information about one’s aunt; he has a crush on a teacher; and how much he paid for an apartment in Brasilia.

It is difficult to tell what is true from such cover stories, because they are often a mixture of true and false information, including personal observations that are hard to disprove, Dutch intelligence reports. know.

The document blacks out the names of the institutions and other details, though he appears to be connected to Johns Hopkins University.

Eugene Finkel, a Ukraine-born associate professor at Johns Hopkins University, wrote on Twitter that Mr. Cherkasov used to study in his class and that he wrote him a letter of recommendation: “A powerful letter, in fact. Yes I. I wrote a letter of recommendation for a GRU officer. I will never get over this fact.” Mr Finkel declined a request for comment.

The International Criminal Court said it was “thankful to the Netherlands for this important operation and for exposing security threats in general”.

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