Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Why Litvinenko is being called a "spy"? NPR today also used "spy". He was working as investigator in Organized Crime Division of FSB (same as FBI investigator in the US context) where he got via the prison guard service.

At some point he seemed to realize that his career in FSB was over, as, among other things, he was under Internal Affairs investigation for beating and torture of detainees, warrantless searches  and explosive trafficking allegations. That's when he participated  in political combination of Berezovsky, who at that time was one of the people effectively running the country. Berezovsky was concerned that some of the branches of the government were not enough under his control and manufactured a scandal that should have brought FSB in line.

Litvinenko and few of his fellow officers called the press conference alledging that his FSB management ordered a hit on Berezovsky. Since then courts recognized his allegations as false, but the end result was that after Berezovsky's talk with Yeltsin Organized Crime Division was disbanded and FSB got a new head (Putin, then little known).

Litvinenko got his 1 million $ for this press conference (as alledged by the officers who participated in this conference with him), was arrested following Internal Affairs investigation results and the moment he was released left for UK, where he got political (???) asylum. Courts eventually recognized him as guilty but free on probation, so at the moment he is not even wanted in Russia.

I really doubt that he was a "friend" of Politkovskaya, and contrary to NPR reporting, Goldfarb is also not a "friend", but a trobleshooter lawer for Berezovsky and also the source of this story and few of the stories below.

BTW, poison and conract hits, real or imagined, keeps poping up quite regulary around Berezovsky.

Allegation of imminent poisoning of Berezovsky by (you guessed it) FSB was one of reasons UK courts decided not to extradite Berezovsky to Russia in 2003; "Evidence" was provided by Litvinenko. I'm wondering how dependant Berezovsky's de-facto immunity from prosecution on what Litvinenko done or knows.

In the same 2003 Berezovsky and Litvinenko "stopped" contract hit on Putin. Alledged would be killers were conviniently some of the same officers that participated with Litvinenko in that press conference back in Russia. They were arrested by UK law enforcement, refused (as I understand, regular in such cases in UK) political asylum and went back to Russia.

Politkovskaya was "poisoned" in 2004, too;

Yushenko was poisoned when Berezovsky became interested  in his campaign. 2 years later and Yushenko being the president, the crime (?) still not solved.

Anyone remembers story of presidential run by Ivan Rybkin? The guy was scared to hell, and did not look like it was due to FSB or Putin.

by blackhawk on Tue Nov 21st, 2006 at 05:34:00 AM EST

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