For over a decade, he was often called Viktor Muller Ferreira, a Brazilian pupil with a eager curiosity in worldwide affairs and a love of dancing.
However final yr, as he flew to the Netherlands to begin an internship on the Worldwide Felony Courtroom in The Hague, Dutch authorities refused him entry to the nation and accused him of being a Russian spy.
He was no Brazilian pupil, they mentioned, however actually Sergey Vladimirovich Cherkasov, a 36-year-old Russian officer working undercover with the GRU, Russia’s navy intelligence company.
The alleged Russian spy is now again in Brazil, the place he’s serving a 15-year jail sentence for doc fraud associated to his faux id. Authorities in the US have pushed to have him extradited, noting that he studied in Washington at Johns Hopkins College Faculty of Superior Worldwide Research.
However he might also be utilized in a possible prisoner swap with Russia, the place U.S. residents, akin to journalist Evan Gershkovich and former U.S. Marine Paul Whelan, have been arrested on espionage prices that U.S. officers have dismissed as politically motivated.
Russia has denied that Cherkasov is a spy, whereas additionally claiming he’s needed for crimes in Russia and searching for to extradite him again dwelling from Brazil.