The Slatest

Official Report Says Putin Probably Had Enemy Poisoned in U.K. in 2006

Alexander Litvinenko’s wife, Marina, and son Anatoly in London on Jan. 21, 2016.

Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images

Russian leader Vladimir Putin likely approved the nuclear-poisoning assassination of a former KGB officer named Alexander Litvinenko in London in 2006, an official British report has concluded. From the Guardian:

Litvinenko, who died from radioactive poisoning in a London hospital in November 2006, was killed by two Russian agents, Andrei Lugovoi and Dmitry Kovtun, the inquiry report said. There was a “strong probability” they were acting on behalf of the Russian FSB secret service, the report added.

Sir Robert Owen, the inquiry chair, said that taken as a whole the open evidence that had been heard in court amounted to a “strong circumstantial case” that the Russian state was behind the assassination.

A spokeswoman for Prime Minister David Cameron’s said the report “regrettably confirms” what was already believed about the death of Litvinenko, a political enemy of Putin’s who fell ill after apparently consuming tea laced with polonium-210 in November 2006 at a meeting with the two Russian agents at a London hotel.

Litvinenko had become a British citizen shortly before being killed and may have done work for British intelligence services; the case now presents a dilemma for the U.K. in that the country has accused one of its major allies in the war against ISIS (which is also a partner in the nuclear deal with Iran) of assassinating one of its citizens.