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Russian spy posed as a Brazilian intern to infiltrate war crimes court, Dutch say

The Netherlands says it has stopped a Russian spy posing as a Brazilian intern from infiltrating the International Criminal Court, which is investigating war crimes in Ukraine.

The Russian, identified as Sergey Vladimirovich Cherkasov, 36, flew to the Netherlands in April using an elaborate deep cover story that he had built up over the past 12 years.

But Dutch authorities said they saw through his fake identity as 33-year-old Brazilian citizen named Viktor Muller Ferreira, and unmasked him as an agent of Moscow’s GRU military intelligence.

Cherkasov was put on the next flight back to Brazil, where police say he was arrested for identity fraud.

The Dutch say Cherkasov could have accessed “highly valuable” intelligence on the ICC’s probe into war crimes in Ukraine or even influenced criminal proceedings at the Hague-based tribunal.

The head of the Dutch General Intelligence and Security Service, or AIVD, says it is “very rare” to catch a Russian agent “of this caliber.”

“The GRU has spent years creating this fake identity. It’s an enormous effort,” Erik Akerboom is quoted as saying by the Dutch ANP news agency.

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