Alexander Litvinenko

1962 - 2006

Alexander Valterovich "Sasha" Litvinenko (30 August 1962 or 4 December 1962 – 23 November 2006) was a British-naturalised Russian defector and former officer of the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) who specialised in tackling organized crime. A prominent critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin, he advised British intelligence and coined the term "mafia state".In November 1998, Litvinenko and several other FSB officers publicly accused their superiors of ordering the assassination of the Russian oligarch Boris Berezovsky. Litvinenko was arrested the following March on charges of exceeding the authority of his position. He was acquitted in November 1999 but re-arrested before the charges were again dismissed in 2000. He fled with his family to London and was granted asylum in the United Kingdom, where he worked as a journalist, writer and consultant for the British intelligence services. During his time in Boston, Lincolnshire, Litvinenko wrote two books, Blowing Up Russia: Terror from Within and Lubyanka Criminal Group, wherein he accused the Russian secret services of staging the Russian apartment bombings in 1999 and other acts of terrorism in an effort to bring Vladimir Putin to power. He also accused Putin of ordering the assassination of the Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya in 2006. On 1 November 2006, Litvinenko suddenly fell ill and was hospitalised after poisoning with polonium-210; he died from the poisoning on 23 November. The events leading up to this are well documented, despite spawning numerous theories relating to his poisoning and death. A British murder investigation identified Andrey Lugovoy, a former member of Russia's Federal Protective Service (FSO), as the main suspect. Dmitry Kovtun was later named as a second suspect. The United Kingdom demanded that Lugovoy be extradited, however Russia denied the extradition as the Russian constitution prohibits the extradition of Russian citizens, leading to a straining of relations between Russia and the United Kingdom.After Litvinenko's death, his wife Marina, aided by biologist Alexander Goldfarb, pursued a vigorous campaign through the Litvinenko Justice Foundation. In October 2011, she won the right for an inquest into her husband's death to be conducted by a coroner in London; the inquest was repeatedly set back by issues relating to examinable evidence. A public inquiry began on 27 January 2015, and concluded in January 2016 that Litvinenko's murder was carried out by the two suspects and that they were "probably" acting under the direction of the FSB and with the approval of president Vladimir Putin and then FSB director Nikolai Patrushev. In the 2021 case Carter v Russia, the European Court of Human Rights ruled that Russia was responsible for his death and ordered the country to pay 100,000 euros in damages. Source: Wikipedia (en)


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