When Dutch security services stopped a suspected Russian spy, they found a note with a “remember list” for the cover story. Now the Russian was sentenced to 15 years in prison.
Read the entire note on four pages at the bottom of the box!
In April of this year, Brazilian Victor Muller-Ferreira was arrested and deported when he arrived in Schiphol, the Netherlands.
The Dutch Intelligence and Security Service (AIVD) believes that his real name is Sergei Vladimirovich Cherkasov, a Russian spy in the GRU intelligence service.
– After being returned to Brazil, Cherkasov was arrested. AIVD spokesperson Edmund Maschert told VG he was sentenced to 15 years in prison.
According to Brazilian media, Cherkasov was convicted of identity fraud in July this year.
AIVD confirms that it was able to expose Cherkasov after international cooperation.
We cannot comment on the services we cooperate with, but in general we can say that AIVD is cooperating more and more with other services to prevent espionage, says Messchaert.
– Do you cooperate with Norway?
We never comment on who we’re collaborating with, or on what.
Insight into criminal proceedings against Russia
The situation in the Netherlands has many similarities With the case of espionage in Norway.
Cherkasov was in the Netherlands to start a training position at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague.
This position could give him important insight into criminal proceedings against Russia for war crimes in Georgia and Ukraine. At worst, he would be in a position to influence parts of the process.
When AIVD revealed the case in June, it caused quite a stir due to “illegitimate”Spies who live, under false names and false identities, as ordinary citizens. They seldom pose a major threat to national security – and they are seldom undetected.
But one of the most amazing things about this case is the note that Cherkasov had.
Long history of tires
– I’m Victor Muller Ferreira. She was born on October 4, 1989 in Brazil, Rio de Janeiro, in Niteroi.
Thus begins Cherkasov’s remark.
The note was originally written in Portuguese, but contains several typos. Dutch authorities have translated it into English and Dutch.
The names and place names of third parties are defamed.
The note contains the name, date of birth, and the nationality of the parents and grandparents.
My father lives these days in Brazil. The note says that when he was 15, he discovered that his biological mother had died in childbirth.
Mother, grandmother, grandfather and grandmother died – the cause of death for all of them was mentioned in the note.
Mueller’s childhood is described as difficult – and he lived in poverty. The father left the mother and son and moved abroad. When his mother fell ill, the two moved in with his aunt.
You can read the entire note here:
Mixes facts and memories
The memo contains many details such as titles and the alternation between “memories” and “factual information”.
Like the aunt Mueller was in love with:
I remember my aunt as a little woman, with gray hair, gentle eyes, and soft hands.
His childhood memories of the bridge and that’s why he doesn’t eat fish:
– Since my childhood I have vivid memories of the President Costa e Silva Bridge. I love watching the cars cross the bridge from Niteroi to Rio.
But Mueller hated the smell of fish on the bridge.
The note describes his school education, with the addresses of the schools (sladdet) he attended and various teachers. But also how much rent the aunt and mother paid in different places.
Expires in 2010
Mueller’s first job at an auto repair shop – with an angry and violent boss – is also described.
As a teenager, according to the memo, Muller lived with other teens, worked and commuted.
– Despite my pain and financial problems, I continued to study at school, according to the memo.
She says he has a bachelor’s degree and is looking for his father to ask for money for his education. Mueller and his father are now connected online.
The note ends in 2010, when Mueller moved to Brasilia. He mentions the restaurant – which has “the best bean stew in town” – and a night club – “the only one playing trans music”.
Language and nationality are also mentioned several times: the aunt does not speak Portuguese, so Muller learns Spanish words. In 2010, Mueller will “restore” his Brazilian citizenship, without further explanation.
Mueller takes charge
Bellingcat Track digital traces of the real Cherkasov, a Russian ghetto in Kaliningrad.
Between 2005 and 2008, when Cherkasov was in his twenties, he traveled several times between Kaliningrad and Moscow under his name.
When Cherkasov was studying at Trinity College Dublin in 2015, he traveled several times under his name.
But Mueller actually appeared in 2014, according to Bellingcat, when he began his studies in Dublin.
Muller is said to have been in the travel business in Brazil before studying in Dublin.
After studying in Dublin, Cherkasov’s paths stopped. But Mueller will start his studies at the famous Johns Hopkins University in the United States from 2018 to 2020.
He ran the US Politics blog on geopolitics. He had profiles on Twitter and Facebook, with information matching the cover story and photos of him.
But in April 2022, when he arrived in Schiphol in the Netherlands, he was arrested.
Dutch authorities are working with the FBI and are investigating Cherkasov, who was “returned” to Brazil in April.
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