Brazilian authorities suspect Russia of using this country as an "incubator" for covert spies, which they then introduce into Western countries, reports The Wall Street Journal, citing sources. An investigation is underway.
In June 2022, the Dutch authorities detained an illegal Russian intelligence officer who used fake Brazilian documents in the name of Victor Muller Ferreira. He came to Brazil in 2010 and began to impersonate a local resident. After that, for several years he lived in Ireland and the United States, and then signed up for an internship at the International Criminal Court, where he tried to study how war crimes are investigated in Syria and Ukraine.
In the Netherlands, "Ferreira", whose real name is Sergey Cherkasov, was detained and deported to Brazil, where he was sentenced to 15 years in prison for forging documents. Russia fabricated its own criminal case against him, accusing him of smuggling heroin and demanding his extradition. At the same time, the Russian side denied that Cherkasov was a spy. The Insider and Bellingcat published a joint investigation explaining why this is not the case.
Another Russian spy posing as a Brazilian citizen was detained in Norway in October 2022. He lived in this country under the name Jose Assis Jammaria, but the Norwegian police believe that his real name is Mikhail Mikushin. The Insider and Bellingcat also published material about him.
The WSJ also writes about a third Russian spy who lived in Rio de Janeiro, posing as a Brazilian named Gerhard Daniel Campos. Greek intelligence identified him as a Russian intelligence officer named Shmyrev. Haven't been able to arrest him yet.
Investigators suspect there may be many more undercover Russian agents in Brazil and elsewhere pretending to be Brazilians.