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The British intelligence services have concluded that the assassination of Alexander Litvinenko had to be an operation of the FSB, the successor agency to the KGB. This points the finger directly at Vladimir Putin in the midst of several suspicious deaths of Putin critics:
Intelligence services in Britain are convinced that the poisoning of Alexander Litvinenko was authorised by the Russian Federal Security Service.
Security sources have told The Times that the FSB orchestrated a “highly sophisticated plot” and was likely to have used some of its former agents to carry out the operation on the streets of London.
“We know how the FSB operates abroad and, based on the circumstances behind the death of Mr Litvinenko, the FSB has to be the prime suspect,” a source said yesterday.
The involvement of a former FSB officer made it easier to lure Mr Litvinenko to meetings at various locations and to distance its bosses in the Kremlin from being directly implicated in the plot.
Intelligence officials say that only officials such as FSB agents would have been able to obtain sufficent amounts of polonium-210, the radioactive substance used to fatally poison Mr Litvinenko only weeks after he was given British citizenship.
Some have speculated that the obvious nature of a polonium poisoning pointed away from Putin. Such a blatant use of a closely controlled substance would immediately implicate the Russian government, the argument goes, and therefore would never have been used by real FSB agents. However, the British say that the assassination was meant to send a clear message to Putin's critics and anyone tempted to offer information to Western nations about the activities of the Putin regime.
The Russians are not happy about the direction of the investigation. They're threatening the UK by suggesting that the probe has damaged diplomatic relations. The British ought to point out that conducting assassinations in their country damages diplomatic relations as well.Sphere It View blog reactions
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