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Article summary:

1. Bellingcat has revealed that the pretext used by Russia to recall a spy from Brazil appears implausible and impossible.

2. The Russian authorities provided Brazil with documents alleging Sergey Cherkasov was part of a crime group that smuggled drugs from Afghanistan, but there are inconsistencies in the claims.

3. Travel data obtained independently by Bellingcat shows Cherkasov travelled to Russia under his own name several times after he was supposedly wanted on criminal charges.

Article analysis:

The article is generally reliable and trustworthy, as it provides evidence for its claims in the form of indictment documents, forensic affidavits, travel data from Russia’s black data markets, and other sources. It also presents both sides of the story fairly, noting that while Russia has provided Brazil with documents alleging Sergey Cherkasov was part of a crime group that smuggled drugs from Afghanistan, there are inconsistencies in the claims. Additionally, it mentions that attempts by Russia’s intelligence services to recover their failed agents abroad by fabricating criminal charges against them is not a new phenomenon.

However, there are some potential biases in the article which could be explored further. For example, it does not mention any possible risks associated with extraditing Cherkasov to Russia or any potential consequences for Brazil-Russia relations if this were to happen. Additionally, it does not provide any counterarguments or explore alternative explanations for why Russia may be seeking Cherkasov's extradition. Furthermore, it does not mention any other cases where similar attempts have been made by Russian intelligence services to recover their failed agents abroad by fabricating criminal charges against them.