The British Government has agreed to open a public inquiry into the poisoning of Alexander Litvinenko, a former Russian intelligence agent who defected to Britain in 2000, where he was an outspoken critic of former FSB (the renamed KGB) director and now Russian “President” Vladimir Putin. It is worth remembering what Litvinenko said about Putin and the KGB/FSB. Ion Mihai Pacepa, a former Romanian Spy Chief and the highest-ranking Soviet Bloc official ever to defect to the United States, wrote in Disinformation, an expose of Soviet intelligence methods:
[A] known case of death by poisoning with Polonium-210 [was] that of former KGB officer Alexander Litvinenko in 2006, who had defected to Great Britain and revealed some earth-shattering KGB/FSB secrets to the British foreign intelligence service, MI6. One of those secrets, which became public, was that Ayman al-Zawahiri, the current leader of al-Qaeda, was trained for half a year by the KGB/FSB in Dagestan in 1997. Another of Litvinenko’s extremely damaging disclosures that became public knowledge was that Romano Prodi, a former prime minister of Italy and the tenth president of the European Commission, had been a longtime intelligence agent of the KGB/FSB. Litvinenko reported that he had learned this information from KGB General Anatoly Trofimov during the period when he, Litvinenko, was still working for the KGB/FSB. Trofimov was shot dead in Moscow in 2005. In 2002, the Mitrokhin Commission, a parliamentary committee set up in 2002 by the Italian Parliament to investigate alleged KGB ties to Italian politicians, concluded that Prodi was “the KGB’s man in Italy,” and that he had been peripherally involved in the 1978 assassination of Italian Prime Minister Aldo Moro, who was kidnapped and murdered by the KGB-financed terrorist organization known as the Red Brigades.
On November 1, 2006, Litvinenko suddenly fell ill … and was hospitalized. Litvinenko’s illness was later attributed to poisoning with Polonium-210, a highly toxic isotope known to be used by the former Soviet Union as neutron trigger, or initiator, for nuclear weapons. Litvinenko died on November 22, 2006. The Crown Prosecution Service, on May 22, 2007, called for the extradition to the U.K. of Russian citizen and resident Andrey Lugovoy (a former KGB officer), on charges of having murdered Litvinenko. On July 5, 2007, Russia declined to extradite Lugovoy. Overnight, he remarkably became a member of the Russian Duma, thus receiving parliamentary immunity!
Litvinenko’s most famous work is Blowing Up Russia: The Secret Plot to Bring Back KGB Terror (2002). In the book, Litvinenko and co-author Yuri Felshtinsky make the case that the FSB orchestrated the 1999 Moscow apartment bombings that launched the second Chechen War and brought Putin to power–a case strengthened by the fact that the only people ever caught in the act of planting the bombs were three FSB agents.
In his deathbed statement, Litvinenko said that Putin had shown himself “to be unworthy of the trust of civilised men and women.” Prophetic words, especially in retrospect.