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.