Thursday, July 12, 2007
Litvinenko Poisoning Fallout
If you are a regular reader, you know that I believe that my sister is a spy, that I write poorly plotted, contrived, and ridiculous spy stories, and that real life spy stories fascinate me.

Indeed, I followed the story of the poisoning of Alexander Litvinenko, a Russian defector to Great Britain, with a certain passion. Almost obsession.

For those who have managed to miss it, here is the back story (you can find all previous posts by selecting the From Russia With Love category):

Alexander Litvinenko was a new British subject who defecting from Russia. He was ex-KGB. He was a good friend and defender of another Russian defector, millionaire businessman Boris Berezovsky, who is a very vocal critic of President Vladimir Putin. He was also, it should be noted, a friend and colleague of Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya who was interestingly enough, also critical of Putin and also murdered as she was investigating atrocities in Chechnya committed by Putin's FSB. Litvinenko himself had written a book titled Blowing Up Russia: Terror from Within in which he claimed that the FSB had been responsible for the 1999 apartment building bombings that killed 300 people.

Anyway, Litvinenko turned defector and got his family out of Russia and into London. Then, one day, he was poisoned with a substance so mysterious that doctors were hard pressed to identify it and were only able to do so after it was far too late. It turns out that Litvinenko was poisoned with the equivalent of $10 million of Polonium-210, an artificially synthesized radioactive isotope. At the time of his death, he was investigating Politkovskaya's murder.

I know, I know. It keeps getting curiouser and curiouser.

The British investigation came to some conclusions about the likely suspects, and arrest warrants were issued for three Russian Ex-KGB agents, Andrei Lugovoi among them. Of course, Putin's Russia has denied all British requests to extradite these fellows.

Now it seems that Britain may expel Russian diplomats in protest.

And, you might be interested in the misfortunes of these unlucky fellows who were brave enough to speak to Dateline about the Litvinenko poisoning, but not able to dodge the ugly ends waiting for them.

And, if you are as geeky as me, you'll love this article by Charles Krauthammer in which the case is made pretty damning - if you are Putin, that is.

h/t: Ace


posted by Phoenix | 11:00 AM


At 11:53 AM, Blogger Phoenix said...



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