HEAD SPOOK

Russian GRU Spy Chief Igor Korobov Dies After ‘Long and Serious Illness’

Igor Korobov, Russian military intelligence’s top spy, died late Wednesday, according to the Russian government. Korobov, the head of the Main Intelligence Directorate (GRU), died at 63 after what the Russian Defense Ministry called “a long and serious illness.” Under his tenure, the GRU was involved in a series of aggressive operations, including the alleged 2016 hacking of the DNC and interference in the 2016 presidential campaign, Russia’s war in eastern Ukraine, and the attempted assassination of a GRU defector in Salisbury, England. But the GRU also garnered a reputation for sloppiness under Korobov. GRU officers allegedly involved in the downing of a civilian airliner in Ukraine, the poisoning of Sergei Skripal, the hacking of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, and a failed coup attempt in Montenegro have all been publicly identified by news organizations after leaving a trail of clues behind them. In March, the Trump administration sanctioned Korobov, citing the GRU’s involvement “in interfering in the 2016 U.S. election through cyber-enabled activities.”