Published: Sun, November 25, 2018
World News | By Sandy Lane

Head of Russian spy agency accused of Salisbury novichok attack dies

Head of Russian spy agency accused of Salisbury novichok attack dies

Igor Korobov, the head of Russia's GRU military intelligence agency, died from an unspecified illness on Wednesday.

Colonel General Igor Korobov, 62, had served as chief of the Main Intelligence Directorate, commonly known by the Russian acronym GRU, for almost three years.

Washington has said the GRU was directly involved in interfering in the 2016 United States election through "cyber-enabled activities", while the Netherlands has said they had thwarted a GRU cyberattack on the global chemical weapons watchdog.

Korobov did not participate in a gala marking the centenary of the service in early November when Russian President Vladimir Putin heaped praise on the GRU.

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The 62-year-old joined the GRU in 1985 and served in various positions including overseeing foreign agents.

The Russian military intelligence is considered the best-prepared special missions body in this country, which is why many Western intelligence agencies pay primary attention to it at the same time or more than the Federal Security Service. MBK was founded by Mikhail Khodorkovsky, a prominent Kremlin critic.

The UK accused Russian Federation of attempting to poison former spy and double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter with a nerve agent in Salisbury.

In September the world's chemical weapons watchdog, the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), said the toxic chemical that Ms Sturgess was exposed to was the same nerve agent as that which poisoned the Skripals. According to the American geopolitical intelligence firm Stratfor, however, Sergun died on New Year's Day in Lebanon.

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A secret meeting at the Russian Defence Ministry - responsible for the GRU - heard furious accusations over the "morons" behind spy operations in Britain, the Netherlands and the US.

The poisoning is alleged to have been carried out by suspects Alexander Mishkin and Anatoly Chepiga, both identified by British authorities as GRU operatives, and "almost certainly" approved by the Russian state.

The alleged GRU agents who attempted to hack into the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons were also caught red-handed, and ultimately sent back to Russian Federation.

His predecessor, Igor Sergun, died unexpectedly in early January 2016.

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