Monday, January 25, 2016

SPY GAMES - Alexander Litvinenko

"Russian security service blamed for defector’s high-profile death" PBS NewsHour 1/21/2016


SUMMARY:  The findings of a British inquiry into the demise of former Russian spy and high-profile defector Alexander Litvinenko were released Thursday, concluding that Litvinenko's 2006 death by polonium poisoning was the result of a Russian government operation, likely personally approved by President Vladimir Putin.  Chris Ship of Independent Television News begins our coverage.

HARI SREENIVASAN (NewsHour):  The death by poisoning of a former Russian spy in London was thrust back into the headlines today, as a British inquiry into his killing released its report.

Alexander Litvinenko fled Russia nearly 20 years ago and accused the former chief of Russia’s spy agency, now-President Vladimir Putin, of corruption.  In 2006, he met two Russian spies at a London hotel, and three weeks later, he was dead.

Chris Ship of Independent Television News begins our coverage.

CHRIS SHIP, Independent Television:  We were reminded today that the radioactive poison inside Alexander Litvinenko's body was so strong, he had to be buried in a lead-lined coffin.  Today, the Russian security service the FSB was blamed for his killing.  And the orders, concluded the man who led the inquiry, most likely came from the top, the very top, he said.

SIR ROBERT OWEN, Litvinenko Inquiry Chairman:  The operation to kill Mr. Litvinenko was probably approved by Mr. Patrushev, then head of the FSB, and also by President Putin.

"What the Litvinenko assassination accusation means for the Kremlin" PBS NewsHour 1/21/2016


SUMMARY:  A British investigation is pointing the finger at the Russian state and President Vladimir Putin for the 2006 assassination of a former spy and defector.  Hari Sreenivasan talks to Steven Lee Myers of The New York Times and Michael McFaul, former U.S. ambassador to Russia.

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