Igor Valentinovich Korobov
Igor Korobov, who led Russia’s top military intelligence agency, died “after a long and serious illness,” the Defense Ministry announced on 22 November 2018. Various sources have informed media outlets that this illness was cancer. There had also been rumors of illness circulating in Russian media in recent months. Novaya Gazeta suggested its sources said his deputy Kostyukov had basically been in charge since summer, due to Korobov being sick. On November 2, Putin celebrated the centenary of GRU, not uttering a word of criticism. Remarkably, the head of GRU Igor Korobov, was not visible on any of the official photos or mentioned. Korobov’s death makes him the second top spy chief to die in just two years. The previous head of the GRU, Colonel General Igor Sergun, died in 2016.
Due to its extremely secretive nature, not much is known about the scope of GRU operations or its tactics. Nevertheless, under Korobov’s leadership, the agency became a household name in the West for Moscow’s perceived attempts to influence the world. Washington and some EU politicians accused the GRU of meddling in various elections, carrying out cyberattacks across the globe, as well as poisoning former double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in Salisbury, UK – actions Moscow has repeatedly denied doing.
The death of Korobov sent conspiracy mongers into overdrive. Unwilling to believe the 62 year-old died of cancer, they are filling in the gaps with their own theories. As the news broke, however, Western media, journalists and pundits wasted no time in deciding that this explanation for Korobov’s death simply could not be true. Generously, many began to offer up their own suspicions as alternative possibilities — and they pulled no punches. While most headlines in Western media included some form of implication that not all was as it seems, true to form, the UK tabloids took things up a notch. The Sun’s headline screamed “SPYMASTER DEAD” amid “suspicion he was assassinated for botching Skripal poisoning enraging Putin.”
The Daily Mail also opted to immediately link Korobov’s death to the poisoning of ex-spy Sergei Skripal — but added a throwback to the 2014 downing of flight MH17 in Ukraine for good measure. The lengthy headline also claimed Korobov had “collapsed following a dressing down” from Putin — a tidbit which seems to have originated as a rumor from anonymous sources, but which is now making the rounds due to its juicy, sensational nature. Even the supposedly restrained BBC Newsnight got in on the action, with its host John Sweeney suggesting that Korobov must have mysteriously fallen out of a window.
By the Decree of the President of the Russian Federation in January 2016, Igor Valentinovich Korobov was appointed Chief of the Main Directorate of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation - Deputy Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation. On February 2, 2016, the TASS news agency reported that Lieutenant-General Igor Korobov was appointed new head of the Main Intelligence Directorate (GRU) of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces.
"Defense Minister of the Russian Federation, General of the Army Sergei Shoigu presented the personal standard of the Chief of the Main Directorate of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, Lieutenant-General Igor Korobov, by the decree of the President of the Russian Federation, the Chief of the Main Directorate of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, the Deputy Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, Lieutenant Igor Valentinovich Korobov, "- said in a statement published on the website of the department.
The former chief of the GRU of the General Staff of the Russian Federation Igor Sergun died in office. According to the Russian authorities, he died suddenly on January 3. The official cause of death was considered acute heart failure. Condolences to the relatives and friends of Igor Dmitrievich were expressed even by the president of the country, Vladimir Putin. He named Sergun, who worked in intelligence since 1984, a man of great courage and a true patriot.
Sergei Stepashin, ex-premier of Russia, said about Igor Sergun: "the professional was brilliant. If we talk about the results of Russia's foreign policy, there is a considerable contribution of the GRU there. ... I believe the GRU is one of the most powerful intelligence services in the world. Not only that, they retained this structure in their time. Secondly, I do not know of any mistake committed by the GRU, at least when I was there."
The new chief of the Russian military intelligence is a person closed to the press. It is known that General Korobov was one of the four deputy chiefs of the GRU, responsible for strategic intelligence issues. His full biography is a military secret of Russian special services.
The new appointment for I. Korobov was not a surprise. He quite often remained for the head of the GRU GSh when he was the first deputy. He will not have to enter a new position - he himself comes from this structure, knows intelligence from within. Korobov will take advantage of his position and form his own team.
Born on August 3, 1956 in the city of Vyazma, Smolensk region. Russian. He graduated from high school. In the Armed Forces since 1973. In 1977 he graduated with honors from the Flying Department of the Stavropol Higher Military Aviation School of pilots and navigators of air defense. In November 1977, Lieutenant Igor Korobov arrived at the distribution for further service in the 518th Fighter Aviation Berlin Suvorov Regiment, the 10th separate Red Banner Air Defense Army deployed in the city of Arkhangelsk. In 1977-1981 he served in the 518th fighter Aviation Regiment of the 10th separate Army of Air defense (the city of Arkhangelsk).
In 1980 he was selected for further service in the Chief Intelligence Directorate of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the USSR. In 1985, he graduated from the military Diplomatic Academy of the Soviet Army. Since 1985, he served in various positions in the Chief Intelligence Directorate of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the USSR and Russia.
Military service was held in various managerial positions. He was the first deputy chief of the Main Directorate of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, supervising questions of strategic intelligence. In particular, under the jurisdiction of Igor Valentinovich were all foreign management residences. He graduated from the Military Academy of the General Staff of the Russian Federation Armed Forces.
Until January 2016 he was the first deputy chief of the Chief (Intelligence) Directorate of the General Staff of the armed Forces of the Russian Federation, supervising the issues of strategic intelligence, in particular in his conduct were all foreign Residency control.
Since January 2016 he was head of the general Staff of the armed Forces of the Russian Federation, and Deputy Chief of the General Staff of the armed Forces of the Russian Federation. In this post, he provided general guidance to the military scouts during a military operation to destroy terrorist groups in the Syrian Arab Republic.
On 29 December 2016 President Obama authorized a number of actions in response to the Russian government’s aggressive harassment of U.S. officials and cyber operations aimed at the U.S. election in 2016. Russia’s cyber activities were intended to influence the election, erode faith in U.S. democratic institutions, sow doubt about the integrity of the electoral process, and undermine confidence in the institutions of the U.S. government. The President sanctioned nine entities and individuals: two Russian intelligence services (the GRU and the FSB); four individual officers of the GRU; and three companies that provided material support to the GRU’s cyber operations. Sanctioned individuals include Igor Valentinovich Korobov, the current Chief of the GRU; Sergey Aleksandrovich Gizunov, Deputy Chief of the GRU; Igor Olegovich Kostyukov, a First Deputy Chief of the GRU; and Vladimir Stepanovich Alexseyev, also a First Deputy Chief of the GRU.
By the decree of the President of the Russian Federation in May 2017 for the courage and heroism shown in the performance of the military duty, Colonel-General Korobov Igor Valentinovich was awarded the title of Hero of the Russian Federation with the presentation of the sign of special Differences – Gold Star Medals. He was promoted to Colonel General in 2017.
He lives in Moscow. He speaks several foreign languages. He was awarded many orders and medals. He is married. Has two daughters. He graduated from the Stavropol Higher Military Aviation School of Aviation Pilots and Navigators, the Military Academy of the Soviet Army, the Military Academy of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation. Awarded the Order of Merit to the Fatherland, 4th degree, Alexander Nevsky (2015), Suvorov (2016), courage, "for military merits", "for service to the homeland in the armed forces of the USSR" 3rd degree, medals, including "for Courage" (27.09.1993). He speaks several foreign languages.
Investigating the professional and life path of Igor Valentinovich Korobov, it can be noted that the initial choice of the profession of a military pilot is the determining factor in the formation of his personality. This profession in itself exposes certain requirements to candidates, and also allows you to predict the events of their life path. In 1973, Igor Korobov entered and in 1977 graduated with honors from the flight department of the Stavropol Higher Military Aviation School.
Military pilots are characterized by rapid advancement on the career ladder and Korobov's choice of this specialty can speak of his high need for power. Also on the prevalence of the need for power and career growth is evidenced by his decision to leave the flight service for the sake of further training and new career opportunities in 1980.
This profession is associated with increased risks and it is not suitable for people for whom predictability and stability are important, i.e. we can assume Korobov's tolerance for situations of uncertainty, situations that require decision-making and risk situations; · Ability to emotional self-regulation is also very important. The predominance of the rational over the emotional is a necessary condition. Also in favor of this assumption are low emotional expressiveness in the mimicry of Korobov. The will is expressed strongly enough.
Relations with the society: the desire to communicate and establish broad social contacts is weakly expressed, there is more the desire for business communication, i.e. communication in the context of solving a specific problem. Again, the chosen profession and behavior in the cadet years, talk about the desire to solve problems independently, by increasing their own professionalism, but not with the help of the team and cooperation.
Korobov does not have the expressed characteristics of an informal leader, there is no desire to be part of a group, to make decisions with the group, to share and defend its interests and norms of behavior, to influence it and succumb to its influence. At the same time, he will treat the staff "cool", and the collective will not feel it "their own", emotionally support it and delegate power to it. At the same time, he possesses qualities characteristic of a formal leader or leader (ie, someone who is appointed "from above"). He has the ability to predict, quickly make decisions, including assuming a certain risk, to take responsibility for the task.
The directors of Russia's three main intelligence and espionage agencies all traveled to the US capital in late January 2018, in what observers said was a highly unusual occurrence coming at a time of heightened U.S.-Russian tensions. Sergei Naryshkin, the head of the Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR), was in Washington to meet with U.S. officials about terrorism and other matters. Aleksandr Bortnikov, director of the Federal Security Service (FSB), and Colonel General Igor Korobov, chief of Russian General Staff’s Main Intelligence Directorate (GRU). Bortnikov met with CIA Director Mike Pompeo, as did Naryshkin. It wasn’t clear whom Korobov may have met with.
The visits came also just days before President Donald Trump's administration announced new actions against Russia, in compliance with a law passed overwhelmingly by Congress last summer. But the measures taken on January 29 by the State and Treasury departments were met with disbelief by many observers, who expected asset freezes, travel bans, and other sanctions to be imposed, none of which happened.
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