Igor Sergun

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Igor Sergun
Игорь Дмитриевич Сергун
Игорь Сергун.jpg
Director of Russian Military Intelligence
In office
26 December 2011 – 3 January 2016
Prime Minister Vladimir Putin
Preceded by Alexander Shlyakhturov
Succeeded by Igor Korobov
Personal details
Born Igor Dmitrievich Sergun
(1957-03-28)28 March 1957
Podolsk, Moscow Oblast, Soviet Union
Died 3 January 2016(2016-01-03) (aged 58)
Moscow, Russian Federation
Awards Hero of the Russian Federation medal.png
Order of Military Merit
Order of Honour
Medal for Battle Merit
Medal "In Commemoration of the 850th Anniversary of Moscow"
Jubilee Medal "60 Years of the Armed Forces of the USSR"
Jubilee Medal "70 Years of the Armed Forces of the USSR"
Medal "For Impeccable Service"
Military service
Allegiance  Soviet Union (before 1991)
Russia Russia (1991–2016)
Service/branch Armed Forces of the Russian Federation
Years of service 1973–2016
Rank Colonel General
Battles/wars Cold War
First Chechen War
Kosovo War
Second Chechen War

General Igor Dmitrievich Sergun (Russian: И́горь Дми́триевич Сергу́н, IPA: [ˈiɡərʲ ˈdʲmʲitrʲɪjɪvʲɪtɕ sʲɪrˈɡun], 28 March 1957 – 3 January 2016) was the Director of GRU, the Main Intelligence Directorate of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation from 26 December 2011 to 3 January 2016.[1][2]


He was born on 28 March 1957 in Podolsk, Moscow Oblast. He served in the Soviet Armed Forces since 1973, and graduated from the Moscow Suvorov Military School and the Moscow Supreme Soviet Higher Military Command School, and the Military Academy of the Soviet Army and as well in the Military Academy of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation.

He worked in military intelligence since 1984, and served in various positions in the Main Intelligence Directorate. He speaks several foreign languages and was awarded state awards. In 1998 as a colonel, he served as a RF Military Attaché in Tirana, Albania.

In December 2011, he was appointed as Head of the Main Intelligence Directorate of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation.[3]


20 March 2014, the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) published that Sergun and 19 other men were added to the Specially Designated Nationals List (SDN).[4][5][6][7][8][9]

On 12 May 2014, Sergun was added to the European Union sanctions list due to his role in the 2014 Crimean crisis.[10] He was barred from entering the EU countries, with his assets in the EU frozen the same day.

Mysterious death[edit]

On 4 January 2016, the web site of the Russian president released a short excerpt of Vladimir Putin's telegram[11][12] that expressed condolences; the telegram was published by the Interfax news agency, which, citing the Kremlin's press service, also said that Sergun had "died unexpectedly on 3 January 2016, aged 59" without specifying the cause of death.[13] Three days later, on 6 January the American-based global intelligence company Stratfor questioned Sergun's death stating that their source heard a report that he died on New Year's Day in Lebanon.[14]

On 4 March 2016, Stratfor was supported in their analysis of Sergun's death by the Lebanese media outlet Ya Libnan who reported he was killed in a "complicated secret mission" that several Arab and Middle Eastern intelligence agencies took part in too.[15] The Kremlin in responding to the Ya Libnan claims being made about Sergun’s death "withheld comment" with Russian presidential press secretary Dmitry Peskov further adding, "We have already voiced everything we could, you have yourselves characterized these reports." [16]

His death was cited as one in a series of "dozens of high-profile" Russian officials' (as well as Putin critics') sudden deaths, such as Vitaly Churkin′s (February 2017), in "the past three years in Russia and abroad in suspicious circumstances" in a publication by USA Today of 2 May 2017.[17]

Note by the U.S. defense attaché to Russia[edit]

On 1 Februar 2016 Defense One published an article[18] written by the U.S. defense attaché to Russia in 2012-14, a retired Army brigadier general Peter Zwack, who noted:

"I learned that even as Sergun relentlessly directed global intelligence operations against our interests, he—paradoxically—also viewed constant confrontation with the U.S. and West as not in Russia's best long-term interest."

The article further mentions:

Perhaps the highest-profile visit came in June 2013, when Sergun invited Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, for a three-day visit to Moscow.

Mr. Zwack summarized the article with:

"Nations, especially ones that are traditional confrontational competitors that can existentially threaten each other, must constantly and intensively communicate via different channels and echelons, including sensitive military and intelligence conduits. This is hardly weakness or supplication; rather it displays strength, confidence and prudence, and it shows we are comfortable in our own skin. Certainly we collectively can learn that much from the complex Colonel General Sergun".[19]

State awards[edit]


  1. ^ "Official biography of the Chief of the New Russian Military Intelligence, Igor Sergun", official website of the Russian Ministry of Defence (webarchive).
  2. ^ Voice of America, Russia Names New GRU Chief, January 2012
  3. ^ RIA Novosti Col. Gen. Alexander Shlyakhturov has retired as chief of Russia’s military intelligence agency and handed over his duties to Maj. Gen. Igor Sergun
  4. ^ "Treasury Sanctions Russian Officials, Members Of The Russian Leadership's Inner Circle, And An Entity For Involvement In The Situation In Ukraine". US Department of the treasury. 
  5. ^ "Executive Order - Blocking Property of Additional Persons Contributing to the Situation in Ukraine". The White House - Office of the Press Secretary. 
  6. ^ www.treasury.gov
  7. ^ Specially Designated Nationals List (SDN)
  8. ^ Shuklin, Peter (March 21, 2014). "Putin's inner circle: who got in a new list of US sanctions". liga.net. Archived from the original on February 7, 2015. Retrieved February 20, 2016. 
  9. ^ President of The United States (March 19, 2016). "Ukraine EO13661" (PDF). Federal Register. Retrieved February 20, 2016. 
  10. ^ "COUNCIL IMPLEMENTING REGULATION (EU) No 477/2014". THE COUNCIL OF THE EUROPEAN UNION. eur-lex.europa.eu. 2014-05-12. Retrieved 2015-10-14. 
  11. ^ Sonne, Paul (January 4, 2016). "Russia's Director of Military Intelligence Dies Unexpectedly". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved March 8, 2016. 
  12. ^ Соболезнования родным и близким Игоря Сергуна Kremlin.ru, 4 January 2017.
  13. ^ Путин выразил соболезнования в связи с кончиной главы ГРУ Игоря Сергуна Interfax, 4 January 2017.
  14. ^ Diary, Geopolitical (January 6, 2016). "A Mysterious Death Raises Questions in Russia". Stratfor. Retrieved March 8, 2016. 
  15. ^ Yalibnan (March 4, 2016). "Russian military intelligence chief killed in secret operation in Lebanon, report". Ya Libnan. Retrieved March 8, 2016. 
  16. ^ Diplomacy, Politics (March 4, 2016). "Kremlin gives no comment to Lebanese media version of death of Russian intelligence chief". Russian News Agency TASS. Retrieved March 8, 2016. 
  17. ^ Suspicious Russian deaths: Sacrificial pawns or coincidence? USA Today, 2 May 2017.
  18. ^ "Death of the GRU Commander". 
  19. ^ Death of the GRU Commander - Defense One, Feb 1, 2016 http://www.defenseone.com/ideas/2016/02/death-gru-commander/125567/

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Alexander Shlyakhturov
GRU Chief
December 26, 2011–January 3, 2016
Succeeded by
Igor Korobov