It has all the weather of an espionage thriller: An accused Russian spy who concocted an identification as a Brazilian. The creation of an elaborate cowl story. And what Dutch authorities stated seemed to be a foiled plot to achieve entry to the Worldwide Felony Courtroom because it investigates Russian struggle crimes.
These particulars emerged this week in a real-life case by which Dutch officers stated 36-year-old Sergey Vladimirovich Cherkasov spent years constructing an identification as a Brazilian citizen, sharpening a résumé that received him an internship on the Worldwide Felony Courtroom in The Hague earlier than Dutch officers blew his cowl.
In accordance with Dutch intelligence, Mr. Cherkasov pretended to be a Brazilian named Viktor Muller Ferreira, and received an internship on the courtroom utilizing an in depth cowl story that hid his ties to the Russian navy intelligence company, the G.R.U.
Mr. Cherkasov was attributable to begin working on the courtroom, however was denied entry to the Netherlands at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport in April after the AIVD, the Dutch intelligence company, tipped off immigration officers. He was despatched again to Brazil and declared an “undesirable alien,” intelligence officers stated in a press release Thursday. Officers didn’t say how they recognized him as a spy.
The Worldwide Felony Courtroom is investigating potential struggle crimes by Russia in its invasion of Ukraine, in addition to the Russian-Georgian struggle in 2008.
“If this individual had gotten the possibility to essentially work on the I.C.C., he might have gathered data, might have noticed sources (or recruited them) and will have gained entry to the digital programs,” the Dutch intelligence service stated in a press release. The G.R.U. has been blamed for cyberattacks on the U.S. and Ukraine.
The Dutch intelligence company printed a doc that it stated Mr. Cherkasov in all probability wrote in 2010, laying out a canopy story that included particular particulars concerning the purported background of Mr. Ferreira, together with which highschool he attended and what number of college students had been on the college; well being details about his aunt; a crush he had on a instructor; and the way a lot lease he paid for an house in Brasilia.
It may be laborious to know what’s true from such cowl tales, as a result of they’re usually a mix of true and false data, together with private observations which might be laborious to disprove, Dutch intelligence stated.
The doc blacks out the names of establishments and different particulars, although he appeared to have a connection to Johns Hopkins College.
Eugene Finkel, a Ukraine-born affiliate professor at Johns Hopkins College, wrote on Twitter that Mr. Cherkasov had been in his class and that he had written him a advice letter: “A robust one, in actual fact. Sure, me. I wrote a reference letter for a GRU officer. I’ll by no means recover from this truth.” Mr. Finkel declined a request for remark.
Johns Hopkins, in a press release, stated it had “confirmed that an individual of this title graduated from our establishment in 2020” and was monitoring developments however had “no additional data to share at the moment.”
The Worldwide Felony Courtroom stated that it was “very grateful to the Netherlands for this essential operation and extra typically for exposing safety threats.”