Cambridge journal closes after alleged Putin links

Khushali Dodhia 31 December 2016

An academic journal connected with the University has closed down, after its publisher was accused of being linked to the Kremlin.

The Journal of Intelligence and Terrorism Studies, partially funded by the Cambridge Intelligence Seminar, found itself at the centre of a storm after three of its members reportedly quit due to the publication’s alleged links to Russian intelligence services.

The Intelligence Seminar is an academic forum for visiting speakers to discuss innovative intelligence research in progress. It takes place every week at Corpus Christi College.

Veruscript, the digital publishing house that publishes the journal, is alleged to have been acting as a front for Russian intelligence services.

Gleb Cheglakov, one of Veruscript’s founders, is the son of Russian tycoon Andrey Cheglakov. An unnamed source told the Times: “You don’t get to have a couple of billion pounds and live in Moscow without being broadly acceptable to Putin – so there is an issue.”

In a statement, Verscript described the accusation as “a serious and wholly unfounded allegation”.

It continued: “All claims and allegations are false and without substance, and the company has retained legal advice to assess the reputational damage casued to the company as a result of such sensational reporting.

“However, for the benefit of its other titles and on-going academic publishing activity, it was agreed by Veruscript’s board of directors that closing the services of this unique product was the most appropriate action at this time.”

Gleb Cheglakov and co-founder Nazik Ibraimova dismissed the claims: “Any suggestion that we would seek influence in return for the very modest commercial and public investments we have made in academic forums, in any sector, is non-sensical and derisory.

“The whole point we have set up the business is to secure free speech and the open exchange of ideas, in an environment of total independence.”

They added: “We remain committed to open access academic research and debate and will continue to publish in less contentious areas next year.”