The Litvinenko File: The Life and Death of a Russian Spy

The Litvinenko File: The Life and Death of a Russian Spy

Martin Sixsmith

Language: English

Pages: 320

ISBN: 0312376685

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

On December 7 2006, in a Highgate Cemetery drenched with London rain, a Russian was buried within a stone's throw of the grave of Karl Marx. He was Alexander Litvinenko, Sasha to his friends, a boy from the deep Russian provinces who rose through the ranks of the world's most feared security service. Litvinenko was the man who denounced murder and corruption in the Russian government, fled from the wrath of the Kremlin, came to London, and allied himself with Moscow's sworn enemies.  Now he was a martyr, condemned by foes unknown to an agonizing death in a hospital bed thousands of miles from home.
Martin Sixsmith draws on his long experience as the BBC's Moscow correspondent and his contact with the key London-based Russians to dissect Alexander Litvinenko's murder. Myriad theories have been put forward since he died, but the story goes back to 2000 when hostilities were declared between the Kremlin and its political opponents. This is a war that has blown hot and cold for over six years, and that has pitted some of Russia's strongest, richest men against the most powerful Russian president since Josef Stalin.  The conflict is also beginning to revive horrors of the days of the KGB, in a conflict that looks set only to intensify as the March 2008 presidential election approaches.
The Litvinenko File is a gripping inside account of a shocking act of murder, when Russia's war with itself spilled over onto the streets of London and made the world take notice.

The October Circle


Day of Reckoning (Shadow Warriors, Book 2)

Robert Ludlum's The Moscow Vector (Covert-One, Book 6)

The Short Drop


















reconciliation and ratchet up the level of confrontation with his former colleagues and bosses. Many FSB people hated him; many sought revenge for the 1998 press conference and his denunciation of his comrades. His former bosses resented his whistle-blowing about their alleged lucrative commercial activities. He reportedly betrayed covert agents in the UK and elsewhere who were rounded up and expelled. He transgressed against the honour of the service. He took with him 'a hundred kilos' of

former FSB officers. Lugovoy himself has no explanation for his and Kovtun's polonium contamination except to suggest it might have come from contact with Litvinenko. In an interview with the newspaper Izvestiya he claimed that polonium is often used by police and other agencies to tag counterfeit money and drugs that they want to track around the world, and suggested that Litvinenko could have been poisoned as a result of his own criminal activities. The Izvestiya interviewer jumps to the

Chechnya which he did, and all those gangster wars; and fighting organized crime in the 90s sometimes involved being... You know, they recruited agents from the milieu, basically criminals and you tried to make them work for yourself. So he was very familiar with all that milieu and that was his life. I dare say people do get... You can't come unscathed out of all that... and I dare say he was too. Even away from the fury and passion of Chechnya, there are persistent stories about Sasha's life

need to know that there is an entrance to the club of the KGB, but there is no exit from this club. And they make sure that people must never step out of that club. It is the unwritten rule...' For the future of Sasha Litvinenko, the unwritten rule of FSB loyalty would be of crucial importance: of the men who stood by his side to denounce the FSB, more than one repented. From that day on they would have every incentive to silence the increasingly irritating voice of the man who they claimed had

had access to the intended victim. That's the usual technique of KGB assassination. Trepashkin confirmed Bukovsky’s account in letters smuggled out of the prison where he has been held since he was arrested in 2003. I warned Alexander Litvinenko about the creation back in 2002 of a group for his destruction ... In August 2002 I reported about a meeting I had near the Kitay-Gorod metro station [in Moscow] with former URPO officer Mr V.V. Shebalin, at his request. At that meeting he declared

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