Igor Korobov, head of Russian navy intelligence, dies


Igor Korobov, the pinnacle of the Foremost Directorate of the Common Employees, died after what the Russian navy described as a “critical and extended sickness,” state information company RIA-Novosti reported.

Korobov was appointed head of the GRU in February 2016. His predecessor within the position, Igor Sergun, had died the earlier month on the age of 58, having headed the company since 2011, in line with Russian state information company TASS.

The Foremost Directorate — historically known as the GRU — is accused by the West of being behind a string of brazen assaults in opposition to worldwide targets.

Britain believes the GRU orchestrated the nerve agent assault in Salisbury, England, earlier this yr in opposition to former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia.

The investigative web site Bellingcat, which claimed to have uncovered the actual identification of the 2 Russian males suspected of involvement within the Salisbury poisonings, mentioned they have been GRU officers, contradicting official Russian claims that the 2 have been abnormal residents.

The Dutch authorities additionally accused the GRU last month of targeting the world’s chemical weapons watchdog, the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), by a foiled cyber operation.

Dutch and UK officers gave unprecedented particulars of what some worldwide media shops labeled a botched Russian mission.

On the identical day, Britain, backed by shut intelligence allies Australia and New Zealand, pointed the finger on the GRU for finishing up a worldwide campaign of “malicious” cyberattacks, together with the hacking of the US Democratic Nationwide Committee in 2016.

Russia dismissed the allegations of GRU involvement.

Suspect in Salisbury poisoning receives hero's honor in Russia, Bellingcat says

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov mentioned Thursday that Russian President Vladimir Putin had been in “fixed dialogue” with Korobov.

Talking on a convention name with reporters, Peskov mentioned Korobov had participated in a latest assembly with Putin within the southern Russian resort metropolis of Sochi, however mentioned there was no one-on-one assembly with the intelligence chief.

“After all they’d a relentless dialogue as a commander-in-chief and a head of one of many main particular providers,” Peskov mentioned. He added that Putin had already expressed condolences to Korobov’s household, his family members and colleagues.

Peskov referred questions concerning the circumstances of Korobov’s loss of life to the Russian Ministry of Protection.

Korobov, together with different Russian intelligence chiefs, visited Washington in February 2018, in line with TASS, regardless of being on a US sanctions record for being “answerable for or complicit in malicious cyber-enabled actions.” Nonetheless, he did not meet with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo whereas within the US capital.

Korobov had been added to the US sanctions record in December 2016, within the closing days of the Obama administration.

In accordance with a quick profile printed by TASS, Korobov joined the navy in 1973 and started working in navy intelligence in 1985. He occupied quite a lot of totally different positions within the company, and spoke a number of overseas languages, TASS reported.

The Russian Protection Ministry gave no data on how or the place Sergun, his predecessor, died, in line with a 2016 TASS report. He had been positioned on an EU sanctions record in 2014 following Russia’s unlawful annexation of Crimea for his alleged position in directing GRU actions there.

Russian male life expectancy was 67 as of 2016, in line with the World Financial institution.

Replace: Korobov’s age has been corrected based mostly on new data from Russian state media. He was 62.

CNN’s Nathan Hodge reported from Moscow and Laura Smith-Spark from London. CNN’s Sebastian Shukla and Darya Tarasova contributed to this report.

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