Igor Korobov, 63, was chief of the GRU military intelligence agency in Russia
The Russian spy chief who was accused of coordinating a string of brazen attacks in the West has mysteriously died following a “telling off” from Putin.
Igor Korobov, 63, was chief of the GRU military intelligence agency in Russia, died on Wednesday after suddenly becoming ill, according to Russia’s defense ministry.
The UK accused Russia of trying to poison former spy and double agent Sergei Skripa along with his daughter with a nerve agent in Salisbury, UK.
The Netherlands asserts that the Russian spy agency attempted to hack the global chemical weapons watchdog, while the US said GRU was behind attempts to hack the 2016 presidential election.
According to the DS: Colonel-General Korobov, along with other GRU officers, was sanctioned by the United States for activities that “undermine cybersecurity on behalf of the Russian government.”
The Russian defense ministry called Korobov, who ran the spy agency since 2016, “a wonderful person, a faithful son of Russia and a patriot of his homeland.”
Further details about his death have not been released.
Last month, Korobov was said to have been in “sudden ill-health” after a dressing down from Vladimir Putin over his handling of the Novichok poisoning.
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.
Those in charge of the catastrophic errors were blamed for their “deep incompetence” and “infinite carelessness”.
Korovov is said to have gone straight home to his elite high-security dacha complex after his meeting with Putin.
A clean-out in the military spy agency was required after the disastrous operations, with Korobov facing the ax, it was claimed.
The crisis is acute for Putin’s close friend and Siberian holiday partner Sergei Shoigu, the defense minister, who is in overall charge of the GRU.
“It is quite likely Korobov will be fired before end of this year and that Leningrad (St Peterbsurg) born General Sergey Gizunov will take his post,” said Kanev.
“Gizunov is called ‘eyes and ears’ of Vladimir Putin in military intelligence.”