The Spies Next Door


On June 16, 2022, Sergey Cherkasov attempted to infiltrate the International Criminal Court in the Netherlands using the elaborate cover of a Brazilian student residing in Ireland. Cherkasov was a Russian Illegal, the most elusive and damaging type of spy. Illegal agent programs remain as strategic, long-term, resource-intensive, and damaging to Canada's interests as they were during the Cold War. Technological advancements have made human intelligence operations easier to identify and counter, shifting priorities and resources to Illegals' networks. One of the most successful Illegals - Richard Sorge - will be presented as an introduction to this most clandestine and effective method of espionage and foreign interference.

Canada remains an ideal venue for illegals to legend build and operate. Case studies of David Soboloff and William Hampel (Montreal), Ian and Laurie Lambert, and the Heathfield-Foleys (Toronto) will be examined as illustrations of Russian intelligence's effort on illegals deployment.

This course will examine the Ghost Stories network, which was the inspiration for the 'Americans' TV series, with its Canadian twists. Furthermore, this course will review narrated surveillance footage of the US-based network's operations. Finally, this course will examine Cherkasov’s true name and alias personas, recently disseminated by Bellingcat.


Learning Outcomes

  • Identify vulnerabilities in illegal network tradecraft
  • Acquire an understanding of the policy implications for foreign affairs, immigration, and citizenship
  • Appreciate and understand why older methods of tradecraft are being used



  • This course is ideal for practitioners of security intelligence, strategic analysts, and policymakers. Anyone preoccupied with the threat of non-cyber espionage would find this workshop to be worthwhile, as well as those with a general interest.



6 hours



  • $655 (plus tax)


Featured Instructor

Daniel M. Stanton served for thirty-two years with the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, including twelve years as an Executive Manager in operations. Mr. Stanton had a lengthy career in domestic and international operations. He is the Director of the National Security Program at the University of Ottawa’s Professional Development Institute. A graduate of Queens University, Mr. Stanton has an Honours B.A. in History and Philosophy.



Event CodeTitleBegin DateEnd DateTermDelivery MethodRegister to Event
S00172305AThe Spies Next Door5/11/20235/12/2023SummerOnlineRegister to Event