Alleged Russian Spy Tried to Infiltrate International Criminal Court, Dutch Authorities Say

Dutch authorities said on June 16 that a Russian spy attempted to infiltrate the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague by posing as a Brazilian intern.

According to the Dutch General Intelligence and Security Service (AIVD), the man is a suspected operative of Russia’s GRU military intelligence service who used the name Viktor Muller Ferreira to pretend to be a 33-year-old Brazilian in an attempt to gain access to the ICC, which is currently investigating allegations of Russian war crimes in Ukraine.

The man’s real name is Sergey Vladimirovich Cherkasov, AIVD said.

The alleged spy had successfully applied to be an intern at the ICC, but he was deemed a “potentially very high” threat upon arrival in the Netherlands.

“An officer of this kind is better known as an ‘illegal’: an intelligence officer who received a long and extensive training. Because of their alias identity, illegals are difficult to discover. For that reason they often remain undetected, allowing them to carry out intelligence activities. Because they present themselves as foreigners, they have access to information that would be inaccessible to a Russian national,” AIVD said in a statement.

AIVD did not say how they identified Cherkasov as a spy.

Dutch authorities sent the alleged spy back to Brazil, where he has been detained.

“He is subject to criminal action for fifteen uses of false documents and remains in custody awaiting the sentence of the first degree,” the Brazilian police said.

AIVD released a four-page document that described Cherkasov’s cover story, including basic facts and details about his fictional life and family.

The document, believed to be written by Cherkasov himself around 2010, also included his fictional childhood, his schooling, and anecdotes.


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