Russia’s ‘Tin Pot Despot’ Putin Ordered Spy’s London Murder, UK Inquiry Told

Putin and Shoigu take part in celebrations for Navy Day in Baltiysk
REUTERS/RIA Novosti/Mikhail Klimentyev/Kremlin

Russian President Vladimir Putin is a “tin pot despot” who personally ordered the 2006 poisoning murder of ex-KGB agent Alexander Litvinenko in London, the lawyer for his widow said on Friday.

Kremlin critic Litvinenko, 43, died three weeks after drinking green tea laced with radioactive polonium-210 at London’s plush Millennium Hotel, shortly after obtaining British citizenship.

British authorities say there is evidence to try Russian suspects Andrei Lugovoy and Dmitry Kovtun for murder. From his deathbed, Litvinenko accused Putin of ordering his killing.

Both Russians deny the charge and the Kremlin has rejected any involvement, dismissing the validity of the British inquiry into Litvinenko’s death that caused Anglo-Russian relations to sink to a post-Cold War low.

On the closing day of the inquiry that began in January, Ben Emmerson, lawyer for Litvinenko’s widow Marina, listed several reasons he said pointed to Russian responsibility for Litvinenko’s death.

Read more at Reuters



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