The Inside Story on the Life of a Russian Spy at Trinity College: A Quiet Man Who ‘Avoided Anyone Who Could Blow His Cover’

Victor Müller was a quiet, friendly Brazilian politics student who slowly went on his way. But looking back, red flags appeared.

Sergei, now in custody in Brazil, was uncovered by Dutch intelligence services as he attempted to infiltrate the International Criminal Court in The Hague.

Former classmates of Sergei knew him during his student days at Trinity and later at Johns Hopkins University in Washington DC. Irish independent About the “cool” and “kind” man they knew.

Looking back, everyone now agrees that there were oddities regarding “Victor”, who spoke with a “strange” English accent but had convincing Portuguese and claimed to be a mature student of Brazil.

Russian and Portuguese-speaking friends say they picked up a “twang” in his pronunciation and even once asked him if he had any Russian ancestry.

But “Victor” easily avoided any questions, explaining that he had German ancestry, which is why he had a Germanic name and such fair skin.

“He didn’t look Brazilian,” said a former classmate. “It seems to me that he avoided anyone who could blow his cover.”

They describe him as “a quiet man who keeps to himself” and who was “very vague” about his time at Trinity.

Another thing that impressed classmates was that he didn’t hang out with any Brazilians or actually know anything about issues affecting the Brazilian community in Ireland. He now believes he deliberately avoided if he exposed Brazilian students.

“It’s messy,” said a former friend as he was still recovering from the shock of the discovery of a Russian spy. “I heard about it yesterday at lunchtime. I was like, what?”

Upon reflection, his former classmates now agree that there were definitely red flags.

An acquaintance said, “I speak Portuguese, and I went to school with Brazilian kids, so it wasn’t hard to recognize his accent. It was strong enough. His (Portuguese) accent was reassuring. He had almost perfect were Portuguese.

“Have you ever seen the movie city ​​of maine, If you look at it, you will hear a Brazilian Portuguese speaker. This will give you an idea of ​​what slang he will use. It was mostly pretty well rounded Portuguese.”

Looking back, the former acquaintance now feels, “there are two things that didn’t really fit”.

“I asked him about Trinity College and what it was like to study there,” he said. “It looked like he didn’t have too many details.

“It’s funny for someone who needs to know a little more about what goes around Trinity. Common sense, it didn’t seem like he had much.

“The second I expected, being a Brazilian in Dublin, that he would learn more about the things that affected the Brazilian community.

“The Irish government was helping the people (of Brazil), if you graduated from an Irish institution and you got a job in Ireland, they would extend your visa. And he didn’t know about it With so much craze among Brazilians in Dublin, I don’t know how he wouldn’t have known this.

“So many online articles said her cover story was going from Germany to Brazil and then naturalizing as a Brazilian citizen: that’s not quite right. I once suggested that she naturalized as a German.” He was of German descent, and many Brazilians who are of German descent do. The fact that he may not have known about it is a mismatch. I knew that many Brazilian-Germans hold dual citizenship.”

Viktor from Rio de Janeiro was actually Sergei from Kaliningrad, there was nothing at that time. But the rear vision is 20/20. “He was an open guy. It’s not hard to talk and very cold. I had a beer with him once, and he was hanging out with some Chinese friends. You wouldn’t have expected it (he being a spy) )”.

Another Trinity alumnus remembers Victor as “a quiet man who keeps to himself – for good reason, as is now evident”. The former classmate says Victor attended only “weird lectures” but graduated in November 2018 with the rest of his courses, philosophy, political science, economics and sociology.

“Despite some skeptical comments I saw online, he actually graduated with a BA degree like the rest of us and was there in person for the ceremony.

“Some of my course-mates took tentative steps to invite him to social events early on, but it was quite clear that he was not one to socialize, which is not uncommon for mature students.

“Personally, I didn’t think anything of mixing Brazilian nationality with a Germanic name – there were a lot of Germans who traveled to South America in the 1940s. I just assumed he was descended from them .

“I haven’t spoken to Victor since I left Trinity in 2018, and after interacting with most of them over the past 24 hours, I don’t think any of my teammates have done either.”

As of early 2020, the Russian intelligence agent was enrolled at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies in Washington DC.

He and his classmates made a three-week trip to Israel, where a fellow student remembers he was not the person to “highlight” himself.

“We went to school together at Johns Hopkins, which would be one of the top schools for American government and diplomacy, that sort of thing. I didn’t know her very well, but I went with her on a trip to Israel, And we took a tour of the surroundings to get an idea of ​​what was happening there.

“There are various programs within Johns Hopkins, including strategic studies, which had a lot of intelligence and misinformation classes, but they didn’t really take classes like that. They took a lot of South American classes. And classes about peace.

“I speak Russian, and I thought his name was Victor, it was weird.

“I knew what the pronunciation (Russian) sounded like, and he said he was from Brazil, but he was kind of weird. There was a clique with South American students, and he kept hanging out with them. I don’t know whether he stayed away from Brazilian students if they could tell that his accent was not genuine.

“But he spoke about his time in Ireland, and I think a lot of people wrote it down as to why his accent was a little off.

“He also didn’t say much about Ireland. He mentioned that he went to that school (Trinity) and spent time there. But, like I said, he was very vague when he and I talked about his background .

“I think because I spoke Russian, he avoided getting close to me and others who were there for the intellectual part of the school or were in the military.

“I feel like he avoids someone who can blow his cover. He didn’t sound Brazilian. I asked him a few questions because his name is so Russian, and I picked up the twang in his accent.

“I said, ‘Oh do you have any Russian ancestry?’ And she said that she has German ancestry, and that’s probably why she had very fair skin.

“Then he changed the subject.

“Looking back at it, that’s what I think. Maybe that’s why I didn’t know him so well. We spent a few weeks together every day, and I still didn’t know him.

“But he was very nice. As far as his personality was concerned, he was a very kind person.

“You know when you talk to someone, he was a kind listener. He was friendly with people, just like you’d expect from a fellow student.”

Asked what impressed him about Victor, he said: “He was very calm. He went to some social events but not many of them.

“He lived with girls, but I didn’t know he was dating anyone in particular.

“You go to schools like Johns Hopkins because you want to make the world a better place. And then you have someone who is intrusive. I never felt like he was trying to collect (information) from me. Yes, but he could try.

“I just got the impression that he was just another student trying to learn. It makes me wonder what his situation is. Do we know the real story of what happened to him?

“It’s like a movie.

“DC has spies. That’s where, and if someone wants to get into that inner circle, they’ll go to schools like Johns Hopkins and Georgetown, so it’s not too surprising. But it’s surprising when it’s someone There’s someone you know.”

The former classmate discovered that the quiet but awkward Victor was a spy for an alumnus messaging group.

“As soon as the story broke, everyone was talking about it.

“It’s hard to know what inspired him.

“Coming from Russia, they are very buried, so he probably feels lucky to be able to go to all these different countries and pay for stuff.

“He was able to go to school and party in Brazil and then go to Ireland. He went to all these places, which the average person in Russia could not do.”