July 6, 2012

And the story continues...

What Killed Arafat? Arafat's widow calls for body to be exhumed. A nine-month investigation suggests that the late Palestinian leader may have been poisoned with polonium. Aljazeera, July 4, 2012

January 30, 2008

Is There More to the Story?

The Guardian, January 26, 2008, reporters Cathy Scott-Clark and Adrian Levi, have done an thorough job of revisiting the Litvinenko case, and introduce us to a whole new set of characters in the unsolved mystery. This is an excellent article, chronicling events leading up to Alexander Litvinenko's assassination, as well as revisiting the Italian conspiracy theory. You decide...is there more to the story?

Gerald Batten, a British MEP from the UK Independence party

Silvio Berlusconi, Italian Prime Minister

Massimo D'Alema, former communist prime minister

Robert Seldon Lady, a political officer at the US consulate in Milan, an undercover CIA agent

Maxim Litvinenko (Senigallia, Italy), Alexander Litvinenko's brother who also fled Russia

Semion Mogilevich, the darkest figure in Russian organised crime, a notorious Ukrainian whose network extended from Kiev to Naples; runs a private army of brutal killers; a striking man at barely 5ft 6in and more than 20 stone, has a portfolio that includes private banks, financing the sale of enriched uranium and laundering his money through companies listed on the New York stock exchange; was on the FBI's wanted list; had extensive links to Putin's government.

Alfonso Pecoraro Scanio, Green party leader

Armando Spataro, Italian prosecutor, with alledged links to the KGB

Alexander Talik, FSB agent hiding in Naples, a man he believed had been in deep cover since 1999, Ukrainian by birth, strong links to Mogilevich's mob, was born in 1970 and, had served with the Red Army before being recruited by the FSB, where he rose to the rank of captain.

General Anatoly Trofimov, former KGB deputy, who in warned Litvinenko in 2000 not to go to Rome since "Prodi is our man in Italy". [Romano Prodi, the former Italian Prime Minister who went on to become president of the European Commission.]

Vitalich, a courrier to three powerful sponsors, all siloviki, in Moscow.

August 17, 2007

More Polonium-210 is found

ThisisLondon.com reports that traces of the lethal radioactive poison which killed Russian dissident Alexander Litvinenko, have been found at four previously undisclosed sites, including a Mayfair lap dancing bar. The revelations come nine months after the former spy's murder and shed new light on the scale of the investigation into his death. The polonium-210 poison was found at the Hey Jo nightclub on Jermyn Street, on a shisha pipe in the West End restaurant Dar Marakesh, in a taxi and in Mr Litvinenko's Mercedes. (click on map to enlarge image)

Westminster council has disclosed that a total of 47 venues were checked, among them five buses, eight aircraft, eight hotels and seven restaurants. The Times Online, went on to describe the locations in more detail. Of the 47 venues, 21 were found to have traces of polonium, including two aircraft and four venues that have not previously been identified. The four were found to have very low levels of polonium210. They included Hey Jo, a lapdancing club frequented by Russian businessmen.The other new sites were Dar Marra-kesh, a Moroccan restaurant; Mr Litvinenko’s Mercedes car and a grey Mercedes taxi from Lambeth, South London.

In the “gentlemen’s nightclub” Hey Jo, traces of polonium were found on seating, cushions and cubicle doors. These were then cleaned to reduce the levels of the substance. Two items in the Moroccan restaurant that displayed high levels of contamination, a fabric shisha pipe handle and a cushion cover, were removed. Mr Litvinenko’s car had high levels of contamination and a large bag of waste was removed from the Lambeth taxi to reduce polonium traces to safe levels. A spokesman for the HPA admitted that some of the sites, including the aircraft, took a long time to to investigate because seats were frequently changed round.

July 19, 2007

Current Headlines

There is a great deal of intrigue, speculation and facts in the media. In this post, I will try to provide a characterization of this work, research and opinion.

Barman describes tea thought to have killed Litvinenko Reuters reports on Norberto Andrade's account of the Litvinenko assassination. Andrade said he thought the polonium had been sprayed into the teapot. "There was contamination found on the picture above where Mr. Litvinenko was sitting and all over the table, chair and floor so it must have been a spray," Mr. Andrade said.

Russian exile says London police foiled death plot Boris Berezovsky describes in Reuters, an alleged plot to assassinate him. London police confirmed they arrested a man on June 21 in connection with a plot to kill Berezovsky but released him two days later without charge, handing him to immigration officials.

June 28, 2007

Limarev Evgueni / Лимарев Евгений

Evgueni Limarev has reappeared.

Name: Evgueni Limarev
Company: Independent, registered in France
Profession: Expert in ex-USSR politics & security
Work address: Haute Savoie, France
Work e-mail: limarev_evgueni@hotmail.com
Start date: December 1, 1999

For in-depth (exclusive) meetings / details / arrangements pls contact my press agent:

Agency "Misiukevicius & partners"
A.Smetonos 6-6, LT-01115, Vilnius, Lithuania
Mobile tel. +370656 62229
land phone: +370 5 2430665

From Limarev's Blog regarding Litvinenko, Scaramella and Polonium 210

From Limarev's Blog regarding Guzzanti, Scaramella and Mitrokhin Commission

Previous post, Evgueni Limarev - Who is this guy? , December 21, 2006.
Other spellings of name: Evgenie Lymarev, Evgueni Limarev, Evgueni Kholodor, Evgeny, Evgeni, Andrey, Yevgeny and Evgueni Limanov

June 27, 2007

Current Headlines

There is a great deal of intrigue, speculation and facts in the media. In this post, I will try to provide a characterization of this work, research and opinion.

Russian FSB’s named MI6 ‘Russian recruit’ accuses late Litvinenko of preparations to murder Putin AXIS Information and Analysis quotes ex-FSB agent Vyacheslav Zharko as saying that Alexander Litvinenko planned the murder of the President of Russia, Vladimir Putin, and had been preparing for a series of acts of terrorism, one of which "would shake all Russia and the whole world".

J'Accuse! Alex Goldfarb and Marina Litvinenko, write in their commentary to The Wall Street Journal, that the poisoning of Alexander (Sasha) Litvinenko in London last November revealed the old monster of the Soviet "evil empire" behind the benevolent façade of a new Russia. I suspect there is no coincidence to the fact that US President George W. Bush has invited Russian President Vladimir Putin, to Maine, next week for talks. Mr. Goldfarb and Ms. Litvinenko are the authors of "Death of a Dissident: The Poisoning of Alexander Litvinenko and the return of the KGB," published by Free Press.

Former FSB officer: Litvinenko’s murder was ordered by Russian First Vice Premier Evgenie Lymarev, in an report in AXIS Information and Analysis, blames the First Vice-Premier of the Russian government, and possible successor of the current Russian President, Sergei Ivanov for the assassination of Alexander Litvinenko. Lymarev claims that the crime was organized and carried out at a clan level. He stressed that Sergei Ivanov, organizes one of the most powerful clans of the FSB and SVR, Foreign Intelligence Service, and that the executors were former Spetsnaz members to give no reason blaming the Russian state for the killing.

Russian who saw poisoned Litvinenko in London says he himself is still alive AXIS Information and Analysis reports that Vyacheslav Sokolenko, responded to remarks of Boris Berezovsky, that he already is not alive, according to news agency ITAR-TASS reports today. Sokolenko met with journalists in Moscow today and announced he was alive, was well and everything was ok with his health. Sokolenko denied claims that he was the "third man" at the Millennium Mayfair Hotel meeting on 1 November, 2006 in London after which Litvinenko fall fatally ill. However, he admitted that he had been staying at the hotel at the time. Sokolenko later said he had gone to the hotel where Lugovoy and Kovtun had their meeting with Litvinenko on 1 November and only fleetingly greeted Litvinenko.

June 15, 2007

FSB Spying Inquiry, REVISS & 'chilling warning'

Tony Halpin, UK Times Online, reports today that Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB) has opened an espionage investigation into alleged spying by Alexander Litvinenko and Boris Berezovsky. The investigation is based on statements by accused assassin, Andrei Lugovoy, made on May 2007, claiming that Britain's M16 tried to recruit him (Lugovoy) to gather compromising material on Russian President Vladimir Putin, and that Litvinenko and Berezovsky were employed by M16.

The article also references two Russian newspapers that reported today Britain's implication in the Alexander Litvinenko radioactive polonium-210 poisoning. The tabloid, Your Day, alleges that M16 could have obtained the polonium-210 through a British company, REVISS. According to the report, REVISS was founded in 1992 as the Russian English Venture in Isotope Supply Services, a partnership between Amersham International and two Russian suppliers of radioactive materials. One, the state-owned Techsnabexport, list polonium-210 on its website of export materials.

Halpin's article also includes a 'chilling warning' to Eduard Limonov and Mikhail Kasyanov from Andrei Lugovoy. He warned them to hire private protection because "I think something is being prepared for them." Mr Kasayanov has indicated plans to run for the Presidency in the March 2008 Russian election, against the Kremlin's candidate. Mr. Limonov heads the banned National Bolshevik Party, and is supporting The Other Russia campaign, headed by former world chess champion Garry Kasparov.

May 28, 2007

Current Headlines 12 of 12

There is a great deal of intrigue, speculation and facts in the media. In this post, I will try to provide a characterization of this work, research and opinion.

Lugovoy Accuses MI6, Berezovsky, Russian Mafia of Poisoning Alexander Litvinenko Charles Ganske, Real Russia Project, revisits the Andrei Lugovoi interview, and provides links to support some of the accusations.

Police Seize Drafts of Books on Putin Douglas Birch, Breibart, reported that Russian journalist, Vladimir Pribylovsky, said law enforcement officials searched his apartment and carted off computers that contained draft chapters of two books he was writing about President Vladimir Putin. Pribylovsky has been working with Yuri Felshtinsky, a historian and author living in the United States. The working titles for the books are "Putin's Comrades," and "Operation Successor." Felshtinsky co-authored a book, "Blowing Up Russia," with Alexander Litvinenko.

Lavrov Says Britain Politicizing Litvinenko Case, HULIQ is quoting Russia's Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov, as saying that "instead of a professional inquiry, we're seeing an attempt to turn the criminal case into some sort of a political campaign."

Russia says Litvinenko visited Chechnya to kill for Berezovsky
Russian News & Information Agency NOVOSIT quotes a senior Russian official, who said there is strong evidence that Alexander Litvinenko visited Chechnya to eliminate witnesses linking tycoon Boris Berezovsky to terrorist warlord Shamil Basayev.

British secret service involved in Litvinenko killing, says suspect The Times Online, Nico Hine's article provides links to multimedia, background and related links on the latest Lugovoi interview, including Richard Beeston's Times Online article, Claim by Claim: Lugovoy's Theories examined.

Britain Rejects Chaika's Lugovoi Offer Jim Heintz, in The Moscow Times reports that Russian Prosecutor General Yury Chaika's offer to prosecute Andrei Lugovoi in Russia, was rejected by British Attorney General Lord Goldsmith.

Litvinenko `Rebellion' Poses Awkward Questions: Cannes Roundup Bloomberg film critic, Iain Millar, writes that filmmaker Andrey Nekrasov made a powerful and incendiary intervention on behalf of his late friend Alexander Litvinenko, when his documentary "Rebellion: The Litvinenko Case" screened yesterday at the 60th Cannes Film Festival.

Litvinenko film maker's Finland home burgled Reuters reports on a break-in at the Finnish holiday home of Russian movie director Andrei Nekrasov, whose documentary on murdered Russian exile Alexander Litvinenko was shown at Cannes film festival.

Russia and the rule of law: Poisoning case underscores Europe's doubts International Herald Tribune's Steven Lee Myers writes an excellent essay on Vladimir Putin's Russia. If recent history is any guide, Russia will not fare well, and the consequences could be profound, deepening the political, diplomatic and social rift between Russia and its European neighbors. In proceeding after proceeding, Russia's actions have withered under the scrutiny of international justice. As a result, the very concepts of law and justice have become touchstones for larger fears about how Putin amasses and uses power, and whether he is returning Russia to habits that brought Europe grief in the past.

The amorality of the Putin regime, Jim Hoagland, Washington Post Writers Group, writes that Russia's refusal to extradite the prime suspect in the polonium poisoning of Alexander Litvinenko in London last November reveals the essential amorality of the Putin regime and its false narrative of recent history.

I Spied for Britan But You Have Abandonded Me David Paul, Daily Express, reports that the fugitive, former KGB double agent in hiding, in Britain, Victor Makarov, tells how he fears being the next target for assassins who poisoned defector Alexander Litvinenko.

Death of a dissident: Moscow's murky assassins Diplomatic Editor Anne Penketh, Daily Independent, reminds us that Russia's sinister spies are back in the spotlight, but suggests that they never really left us.

May 23, 2007

The April 1998 Video

Video Shows Russian Spy Litvinenko Saying Bosses Ordered Killings, Kidnappings The Voice of America, reports that a Russian talk-show host has released a video, recorded in 1998 outside Moscow, that shows three Russian security agents describing how their bosses had ordered them to kill, kidnap and frame prominent Russians. On the video, seen by Western journalists, the Federal Security Service officers, including the late Alexander Litvinenko, said the video was only to be released if something happened to one of them. Spy-turned-Kremlin critic Litvinenko is now dead.

New Footage Of Litvinenko Released SkyNews has excerpts of the original interview April 20, 1998.

Videotape Shows Litvinenko Feared Retribution The Moscow Times, Jim Heintz reports that journalist Sergi Dorenko conducted the interview with Alexander Litvinenko, Alexander Gusak and Andrei Ponkin, all Federal Security Services (FSS) Agents, late one night in April 1998, at a guest house outside Moscow. The extraordinary video includes claims that their bosses had ordered them to kill, kidnap and frame prominent Russians.

Litvinenko feared for life before poisoning The Globeandmail, Jim Heintz, further describes the circumstances regarding the release of the videotape.

Litvinenko Knew He Was Marked Man SkyNews provides links to the video and translated scripts of the three FSS Agents.

"Rebellion: The Litvinenko Case"

Cannes Selection Changed to Host "Rebellion: The Litvinenko Case" Kommersant reports that Andrey Nekrasov's film, Rebellion: The Litvinenko Case, will be shown at the Cannes Film festival, on Saturday, May 26, and Alexander Litvinenko’s widow Marina will attend the premier.

Russian spy film a late entry to Cannes
Alison James, Variety Magazine's Festival Shootout at the Cannes Film Festival, describes the suspense and politics of hosting the surprise world premier of the movie. Russian feature and documentary filmmaker Andrei Nekrasov, a friend of the former spy, and Olga Konskaya made the one hour 53-minute documentary.

May 22, 2007

Andrei Lugovoy WANTED for MURDER

CPS announces decision on Alexander Litvinenko case May 22, 2007, The Director of Public Prosecutions, Sir Ken Macdonald, QC, announced that the Crown Prosecution Service has made its decision in the Alexander Litvinenko case.

Lugovoy a "walking time bomb" Reuters Mark Trevelyan quotes Alex Goldfarb, "Lugovoy will probably show up dead very shortly," Goldfarb told Reuters. "If he talks -- and he understands that he is a walking time bomb for the Russian government -- then it will be really bad. I would be very much surprised if he lives long."

Britain, Russia square off in spy case Paul Reynolds, BBC News, describes the extradition process, then interviews Martin Sixsmith, who puts the whole situation in perspective, "You have to see this whole thing as part of the war between President Putin and his supporters and their opponents, which has burst into the open."

Litvinenko Killed by Lugovoy, Britain’s Investigators Said Kommersant questions why the second suspect, Dmitry Kovtum, was not charged with murder.

Ex-KGB Agent Accused in Litvinenko Death Tariq Panja, Breitbart, quotes Andrei Lugovoy, "I consider that this decision to be political, I did not kill Litvinenko, I have no relation to his death and I can only express well-founded distrust for the so-called basis of proof collected by British judicial officials. Moreover, there has never been either objective or subjective motives for committing what London is charging me with."

Britain demands Litvinenko handover PerthNow's Mark Trevelyan and Peter Graff report that Britain's Foreign Office summoned the Russian ambassador and told him in strong terms it expected “full cooperation” over Lugovoy's case but Russia's Prosecutor-General office said the constitution prevented it from extraditing Russian citizens. They're calling this an “extraordinarily grave crime”.

Mysterious Personage in Litvinenko's Case AXIS Information and Analysis, credits information received from a former employee of the Russian Public TV (ORT), assisting AIA to fill in a series of lacunas in biography of one of the main and the most mysterious personages of Alexander Litvinenko’s case, Andrei Lugovoy.

Memorandum of understanding on co-operation between the Office of the Prosecutor General of the Russian Federation and the Crown Prosecution Service of England and Wales Signed November 15, 2006 by the Office of the Prosecutor General of the Russian Federation, Alexander Zvyagintsev-Deputy Prosecutor General of the Russian Federation, and the Crown Prosecution Service of England and Wales, Ken Macdonald QC-Director of Public Prosecutions for England and Wales.

Timeline in Poisoning of Ex-KGB Agent Breibart provides a comprehensive time line of the period November 1, 2006 through today, May 22, 2007 when Andrei Lugovoy was named as the murder suspect.

Key figures in the Litvinenko affair USA Today, published a Who's Who in the Case of Alexander Litvinenko. The list includes, Andrei Lugovoy, Dmitry Kovtum, Mario Scaramella, Anna Politkovskaya, Boris Berezovsky, Akhmed Zakayev, and Vladimir Putin.

May 3, 2007

Boris Berezovsky's Interview

Here is the link to Boris Berezovsky's interview with Alexander Otvodov, investigator with Russian General Prosecutor's Office of the Russian Federation, conducted in London on March 30, 2007.

April 26, 2007

Current Headlines 11 of 12

There is a great deal of intrigue, speculation and facts in the media. In this post, I will try to provide a characterization of this work, research and opinion.

So. Who Was Really Silenced By Polonium? the Atlantic Free Press, provides an update on Mario Scaramella. Copy Dude provides excellent links to his resources. The article includes excerpts from a letter, purportedly written by Mr. Scaramella's friend, Georgia, ‘Today I embraced a man who had nothing left of Mario. No life, no enthusiasm, no character . . . They have killed Mario. My Mario is no more. Today I have seen a small, fragile, weak person, frightened, defeated… I write to you crying from the pain and the anger: I would have preferred he was dead than to see him destroyed in this way.’

Portrait of a perfect murder
BBC News, Nicola Cook, poses the question, Most murderers are unaware of even the simplest clues that might give them away. But by thinking like a forensic scientist, is the "perfect" murder possible? Alexander Litvinenko in referenced in the essay regarding forensic science.

Ayman al-Zawahiri: Echoes of Alexander Litvinenko Sean Osborne, Northeast Intelligence Network, publishes exerpts from the Litvinenko interview, published in the Polish newspaper Rzeczpospolita, July 16, 2005 issue, "Ayman al-Zawahiri trained at a Federal Security Service (the former Russian KGB) base in Dagestan in 1998. He was then transferred to Afghanistan where he became Osama Bin Laden's deputy. I was working in that section at the time and I can confirm the fact Zawahiri was not the only link between the FSB and Al-Qaeda." Ayman al-Zawahiri responds by saying, Yes, America, every time you see, read or hear about a new communication coming from Ayman al-Zawahiri know you that his words are in the service of the Russian regime of Vladimir Putin. There are several excellent links to related resource material, following the article.

Row over Litvinenko's radioactive house Steven Shukor, BBC News, provides an update on the contamination status of the townhouse at 140 Osier Cresent, Muswell Hill, north of London. Boris Berezovsky is quoted as saying, "It's not that I don't want to help (with the costs of decontaminating the former residence of Alexander Litvinenko, and property that he owns). I am helping them but I disagree that we are responsible for this. Those responsible for the murder should pay for any damage, as well as compensate all those affected by this terror attack in London."

April 24, 2007

Russia, Risks and Politics

In Russia almost everything is political and almost everything potentially carries political risk.

This warning pretty much sums up the situation in Putin's Russia. The Kremlin's Hand in The Conference Sector quote comes from a Financial Times article, published in the The Moscow Times. For foreign investors these are rich but dangerous waters. Even large groups are not immune from arbitrary actions, as Royal Dutch Shell found when it was pressed to sell control of the Sakhalin-2 scheme to Gazprom. Even companies not involved in strategic sectors may be hurt in the crossfire. Investors who think they can avoid political risk are fooling themselves. In Russia almost everything is political and almost everything potentially carries political risk.

April 22, 2007

Arrest Warrants for Andrei Lugovoi, Dmitri Kovtun and Vyacheslav Sokolenko

Britain to arrest ex-KGB agents - murderers AXIS Information and Analysis is reporting that Scotland Yard detectives are expected to issue arrest warrants against three former KGB officers suspected of poisoning ex-Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko. Warrants are expected to be issued against Andrei Lugovoy, Dmitri Kovtun and Vyacheslav Sokolenko within the next few weeks.

Andrei Lugovoi a former Federal Security Service of Russia (FSB) operative and millionaire who met with Alexander Litvinenko on the day he fell ill (1 November). He had visited London at least three times in the month before Litvinenko's death and met with the victim four times. In 1987 Lugovoi joined the KGB's 9th directorate which provided security for top state officials. He was a platoon commander for five years and then served as a commander in the Kremlin regiment's training company. In 1991 he was transferred to the personal security unit until his resignation at the end of 1996. During his time in the KGB he provided security for Prime Minister Yegor Gaidar, the head of the presidential administration Sergey Filatov and Foreign Minister Andrey Kozyrev. Lugovoi went on to work in the private security business. For several years he was head of security at the private television company ORT, then owned by Boris Berezovsky and Badri Patarkatsishvili. In 2001 Lugovoi was arrested and charged with organizing the escape of Nikolai Glushkov, a former deputy director-general of Aeroflot arrested in 2000 on fraud charges. Lugovoi's company Pershin is involved in private security, soft drinks and wine, and is said to be worth £100 million.

Dmitri Kovtun a Russian businessman, business partner with Andrei Lugovoy, and ex-KGB agent, met Alexander Litvinenko several times in London, the last time hours before Litvinenko fell ill. Kovtun graduated from military school in 1985, before graduating in 1986 with Andrei Lugovoy, from the prestigious army college, the Moscow Command School. Lugovoy recalled that the two of them had grown up in the same apartment block from the age of 12, while their fathers served in the Soviet Ministry of Defence. Kovtun spent the rest of the 1980s serving in Czechoslovakia and then Germany. Following the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, he remained in Germany, living there for a total of 12 years. He married a German national, although they are now separated. He retains a German residence permit, although he no longer conducts any business in Germany. He now works in consulting, helping Western companies to access Russian markets. It was for this reason, he explained, that he was interested in meeting Litvinenko, who had “serious contacts with serious English companies” interested in operating in Russia. Kovtun confirmed that he had first been introduced to Litvinenko by Lugovoy on 16 October.

Vyacheslav Sokolenko, another business partner of Andrei Lugovoy and Dimitri Kovtun. Sokolenko works for Devyatyy Val (Ninth Wave), a group of private security firms based in Moscow. Dmitri Kovtun also works for Devyatyy Val, and with Sokolenko, run the company.

A Russian-language website bearing the name of Devyatyy Val reveals the group’s slogan as “Spirit of Perfection”. The group comprises three security firms: Stolitsa-Shchit (Capital Shield), Garde-Iks and Orion, as well as the Lentus consultancy and a training facility. The website says the company was founded in 1993. Devyatyy Val is also a member of a Moscow-based association of private security firms, Devyatichi (Men of the Ninth). The association takes its name from the KGB’s ninth department, which protected top Communist Party officials during the Soviet era. Lugovoy served in this unit from 1987 until the fall of the Soviet Union.

Is Vyacheslav Sokolenko the answer to the question, "Who is Vladimir?" Is Vladimir actually Vyacheslav(aka Volodya )? (1) Vladimir was described as a “tall, taciturn sharp-featured Russian in his early forties”. (2) Vladimir accompanied Andrei Lugovoy to the hotel. (3) Litvinenko told officers that he was suspicious of “Vladimir”. (4) Vladimir was careful to disclose nothing about his identity or why he had turned up at a private get-together. (5) Vladimir apparently pressed Litvinenko to join him in a cup of tea. (6) Vladimir said little during the brief meeting.

April 11, 2007

Current Headlines 10 of 12

There is a great deal of intrigue, speculation and facts in the media. In this post, I will try to provide a characterization of this work, research and opinion.

Russian Executives Skip U.K. Forum After Putin `Ban' (Update 1) Sebastian Alison and Svenja O'Donnell, Bloomberg, report that Russian business leaders, including the head of state oil company OAO Rosneft, pulled out of the annual Russian Economic Forum in London at the last minute, after what one executive called an "unofficial and maybe official ban" by President Vladimir Putin.

The Big Question: Who is Boris Berezovsky, and why does Russia want him back? The Independent, Mary Dejevsky profiles Boris Berezovsky and the politics of political asylum.

Diplomatic chill threatens over anti-Putin 'plot' Sydney Morning Herald's, Terry Macalister, Ian Cobain and Simon Tisdall reported that (1) Russia's ambassador to Britain, Yury Fedotov, warned that bilateral relations would inevitably suffer if prompt action was not taken against Boris Berezovsky; (2) that British authorities had begun a second inquiry into Berezovsky's comments, with the Home Office's border and immigration agency investigating whether they could undermine his refugee status; and (3) The British company Shell put a brave face on a final deal signed on Wednesday to hand over a 50 per cent stake in Sakhalin-2, the world's largest oil and gas export project, to Russia's state-owned gas company Gazprom.

Prosecutors Demand Berezovsky Extradition, Kommersant reports that Russia’s Prosecutor General Office is seeking to extradite Boris Berezovsky from Britain and to strip him of the political refugee status. The respective warrant for Berezovsky’s extradition has been sent already. “I’ve signed today an international warrant raising the issue of Berezovsky extradition and drawing attention that it is inadmissible to use the status and the country of residence as a foothold for provocative actions against Russia,” Russia’s Prosecutor General Yury Chaika told Interfax Monday.

Berezovsky Plans Russian Revolution to Oust Putin (Update1)
Russia Assails U.K. `Double Standards' on Berezovsky (Update2) Henry Meyer, Bloomberg, is chronicling the dialog and posturing between the UK and Russia, over Boris Berezovsky's recent public call for the violent overthrow of President Vladimir Putin.

Russia Charges Exiled Tycoon of Urging Violent Coup Against Putin Kevin Sullivan and Peter Finn, Washington Post, report on Moscow's response to Boris Berezovsky's calling for the violent overthrow of the Putin government.

Number of spies in UK returns to cold war levels Richard Norton-Taylor and Matthew Taylor, Guardian Unlimited report that the number of Russian intelligence agents based in London has reached cold war levels, reflecting the Kremlin's growing interest in London's dissident community, according to British security sources. Counter intelligence officers say there are now 30 agents operating out of the Russian Embassy and trade mission - with the possibility that many more are working undercover for outside agencies across the capital. Sources say the Russians are keeping an eye on technological advances in the UK as well as monitoring senior figures within London's exile community.

'I am plotting a new Russian revolution', Guardian Unlimited, Ian Cobain, Matthew Taylor and Luke Harding report that Boris Berezovsky has told the Guardian he is plotting the violent overthrow of President Putin from his base in Britain after forging close contacts with members of Russia's ruling elite.

Litvinenko case witness said he could be detained by German police The Russia News & Information Agency NOVOSTI reports that Russian businessman and former security service agent Dmitry Kovtun said in an interview with Hamburger Abendblatt daily, that he could be detained in Germany if he travels there for questioning, and even extradited to the U.K. where he is considered the main suspect in the murder investigation.

Report: Russian businessman says Litvinenko was 'very nervous' at London meeting The International Herald Tribune reports that Dmitry Kovtun described Alexander Litvinenko as looking "very nervous" when he arrived for a meeting in London last November.

Theory On Litvinenko Polonium Trail AJ Strata in his blog, StrataSphere, presents two separate, but related theories on the Litvinenko assassination. First, Strata skillfully presents a historical perspective of Polonium-210 smuggling through Iran and Turkey. He links previously published sources, including: American Thinker, Edward Jay Epstein, Iran Watch, BBC News, Center for Nonprolifeation Studies, Today's Zaman, Regnum News Agency. The second perspective, credits Crossfile War, with connecting Boris Berezovsky with the Paris Club of Industrial Investors; Chiasso, Switzerland; Knighthood and the Court of St. James; the discovery by British police of traces of polonium-210 in the Mayfair office of Berezovsky; and the liquidation of Alexander Litvienko.

April 2, 2007

Current Headlines 9 of 12

There is a great deal of intrigue, speculation and facts in the media. In this post, I will try to provide a characterization of this work, research and opinion. The investigation has regained heightened visibility due to Russian Investigators in London , the new book, The Litvinenko File: The True Story of a Death Foretold , and a mystery person Pyotr, accusing Boris Berezovsky of conspiracy in the assassination of Litvinenko.

Riddle Wrapped in Cabbage and Put in a Doll Kevin O'Flynn, of The Moscow Times, provides a review of Alexander and Natalya Pankov's new book, Breakfast with Polonium. Mr. O'Flynn suggests that "Breakfast with Polonium" is well-crafted pulp fiction that speeds along despite the fact it hangs on more spy cliches and stereotypes than a Russian riddle, wrapped in a cabbage and then hidden inside a matryoshka doll.

The Laboratory 12 poison plot The TimesOnline prints an excerpt from Martin Sixsmith's new book, The Litvinenko File: The True Story of a Death Foretold. It decribes Laboratory 12 (also known as Kamera-the room) and the similarities between the assassination of Roman Tsepov and Alexander Litvinenko. KGB's Poison Factory, the Kamera

Litvinenko Foundation Refuses Aid to Lugovoy, Kovtun Kommersant reports that Andrey Lugovoy and Dmityry Kovtun plan to seek compensation from the Litvinenko Justice Foundation. Alexander Goldfarb responded by saying that, “These two individuals deserve not a compensation but a life sentence.”

Alexander Litvinenko Killed for Being Friends with Chechens Kommersant describes the London interviews between Boris Berezovsky, Akhmed Zakaev and Alexander Otvodov. Zakaev, believes that Litvinenko might have been killed for cooperating with Chechen authorities. “He was a member of the Committee for investigating war crimes in Chechnya created by Aslan Maskhadov. Litvinenko submitted names of generals guilty of violence against peaceful civilians, and provided documents that compromised Russian authorities, to us.” Russian investigators asked Zakaev about Badri Patarkatsishvili.

Litvinenko Killed Over Blackmail Attempt?
Litvinenko Not The First Faked Allegation Against Putin?
Berezovsky Buying Silence? Once again, AJ Strata, The Strata-Sphere, is providing the best analysis of the Litvinenko mystery. The essays are thorough, but equally important are the views expressed by his blog readers. Strata begins by questioning Berezovsky's motives for offering to compensate those who may have been contaminated. Then he reminds the reader that the polonium-210 trail leads to Berezovsky's desk, literally. He poses the question whether Berezovsky used Litvinenko as a prop to frame President Vladimir Putin.

New theory under consideration in Litvinenko murder case This ITAR-TASS article provides more detail of the mystery witness, Pyotr's interview and background data. The article quotes Pyotr as suggesting that Litvinenko might have been poisoned as one of two witnesses of a bluff that ensured Russian exiled tycoon Boris Berezovsky a political asylum in Britain.

Secret Witness in Litvinenko Case Identified, The Kommersant article discloses that Vladimir Teplyuk, who also lives in Great Britain, was to give evidence linking Berezovsky to the killing of Litvinenko, allegedly because Litvinenko knew details of the scheme Berezovsky used to receive political asylum in Great Britain. Teplyuk told Russian television journalists that he knew Litvinenko, who tried to get him to pose as an FSB agent sent to Britain to kill Berezovsky. When he refused to do so, psychotropic drugs were slipped into his coffee and a falsified confession was recorded, which Litvinenko later provided to a London court.

Mystery witness implicates Berezovsky in Litvinenko murder Russian News and Information Agency NOVOSTI, details the Rossiya television interview with mystery person Pyotr (who appeared with his face hidden and voice disguised), suggests Boris Berezovsky was involved in the assassination of Litvinenko.

Sixsmith lifts lid on Litvenko murder Press Gazette reports that Martin Sixsmith exposes the key Russian players, most of whom he has known over the years, to give us the answer to the perplexing question: Who killed Litvinenko? The book, The Litvinenko File: The True Story of a Death Foretold, is due out April 6 and published by MacMillan.

Russian tycoon says he was queried in Litvinenko case Alan Cowell, International Herald Tribune, reports on interviews between Russian investigators and Boris Berezovsky and Akhmed Zakayev. In the article, Berezovsky announces the creation of a Litvinenko Justice Foundation, to be aimed at aiding investigations into Litvinenko's death, preventing "in the future the same terror attack" and helping compensate those who suffered psychological, physical or material harm in the case.

Polonium-210 public health investigation – supporting overseas countries and territories involved The Health Protection Agency held a special conference in London March 27, to share the public health experience of the Polonium-210 incident with front line colleagues from across the world. Details of the 52 overseas countries and territories involved in the public health are included in the report.

March 19, 2007

Current Headlines 8 of 12

There is a great deal of intrigue, speculation and facts in the media. In this post, I will try to provide a characterization of this work, research and opinion.

Another dead Putin body Anna Akhmatova, in her blog atLargely, reports on the assassination of Maksim Kurochkin on March 27. She says that Kurochkin may have been considering revealing what he knew about the workings of the Russian Club and any dirty tricks used during the 2004 Ukrainian presidential election in return for his freedom. One unsolved mystery that derives from the campaign is determining who is responsible for poisoning candidate Viktor Yushchenko.

Spy Murder Shakes Russian Émigrés Flooding Britain With Cash
, Stephanie Baker-Said in Bloomberg reports on the wave of Russian wealth, and Russian intrigue, that is washing over a metropolis that some call "Londongrad". The London influx, which began after the Soviet Union collapsed, represents the third great wave of Russian émigrés in the past century. Anti-communist White Russians fled to London and Paris after the Bolshevik revolution of 1917. In the Brezhnev-era '70s, tens of thousands of Russian Jews left for Israel. This is an excellent background piece.

Enemy of the state, Oksana Chelysheva, Guardian Unlimited, writes about imprisoned Mikhail Trepashkin. He was one of a group of FSB officers who, in a 1998 press conference, announced that they had been instructed to carry out a series of assassinations, but had refused to follow orders they regarded as criminal. Alexander Litvinenko was also among them. Trepashkin resigned from the FSB in 1998, stayed in Russia and became a lawyer. He took part in the independent commission investigating the 1999 explosions in apartment buildings in Moscow and other cities, representing the Moscow victims in court.

Russian prosecutors arrive in London to discuss Litvinenko deathThe International Herald Tribune reports that a delegation of Russian prosecutors, headed by Alexander Zvyagintsev, a deputy Russian prosecutor general, arrived in London, Monday, March 26, to pursue investigation of the Litvinenko murder.

Ex-KGB spy on hunger strike in U.K., demands defector pension The Russia News & Information Agency NOVOSTI reports that Viktor Makarov, former Russian KGB spy, has gone on a hunger strike in Britain, demanding a decent defector's pension from the government for passing secrets to British intelligence during the Cold War.

Girls in radiation tests after spy assassination The Harborough Today reports on two students that are being tested for Polonium-210, after they stayed in the same hotel room, the night after it was used by the people suspected of poisoning Alexander Litvinenko, last October. Traces of Polonium-210 were subsequently found in the room.

Friend of poisoned ex-FSB officer accuses Moscow of exploiting his wife in a media campaign Axis Information and Analysis is reporting that Alexander Goldfarb accused Moscow on Thursday of exploiting the dead man's ex-wife in a KGB-style campaign to blacken his name.

Polonium poisoning claim investigated by Irwin Mitchell This press release references the Polonium Victims Support Group, the Health & Safety Executives report and attorneys Conrad Murray and Sallie Booth, representing victims.

Russian's account further clouds a poisoning mystery Steven L Myers and Alan Cowell, International Herald Tribune report that Dmitri Kovtun's version of events, outlined in his most extensive and detailed interview, illustrates the starkly divergent view of the Litvinenko affair as seen from Moscow. It also suggests that sorting out the truth may ultimately be impossible, given the complex, secretive web of associations that bind Russia to its willing and unwilling exiles in London. Kovtun maintains that they (British police) have it backward, maintaining that Oct. 16 was the day that Litvinenko exposed him to the poison, polonium 210. "I am far from thinking that something was premeditated," Kovtun said. "I think things that were not premeditated were happening."

Polonium killers poisoned me too UK's Daily Express includes an exclusive interview by Lucy Johnson, with Steve Atkins, a guest at the Millennium Hotel, who unwittingly drank from the same cup laced with radioactive Polonium 210 which killed the 43-year-old former KGB agent, in the Pine Bar.

March 11, 2007

The Litvinenko Affair

THE LITVINENKO AFFAIR: A CHRONOLOGY, SOME TENTATIVE CONCLUSIONS, AND SOME SPECULATIONS Published on CDI Johnson's Russia List, Prepared by Edward W. Walker with help from members of the Berkeley Program in Soviet and Post-Soviet Studies Working Group on Political Developments in the FSU, UC Berkeley. This is the most comprehensive Litvinenko resource document on the Internet.

ERINYS UK, Ltd.; TITON International Ltd.; and RISC Management

Erinys UK, Ltd. and Titon International Ltd., 25 Grosvenor Street, What do we really know about them? Why does the Polonium-210 trail take us to 25 Grosvenor Street? What was Alexander Litvinenko doing for Erinys UK and Trition International? Is it a coincidence that Boris Berezovsky owns 25 Grosvenor Street, London W1K 4QN, as part of his extensive property portfolio.
What about RISC Management? There were traces of Polonium-210 there, too.

ERINYS International Ltd. Erinys is a British security company with an unparalleled reputation for delivering professional services under the most demanding of conditions, to a client base representative of the world’s leading corporations, and governments. Managed by industry recognized and respected personnel, the Group has regional offices and an operational footprint on 3 continents. With global experience in nationwide security projects, personal protection, training and site security, the Company has unique operational expertise in the petroleum, construction and mineral extraction industries. Erinys International and its subsidiaries have built a small but prestigious client base encompassing predominantly the petroleum, mining, power generation and telecommunications industry.

Erinys Ltd.
25 Grosvenor Street
London W1K 4QN
United Kingdom

Erinys' corporate management includes:
Jonathan Garratt
Michael Hutchings MA, MBA, psc, DipM MCIM
Fraser Brown
Peter Roberts LLB (Hons) FCCA
Maj Gen John Holmes DSO, OBE, MC
Jonathan Eldridge MA, Erinys Africa
Shindi Poonia, Erinys Iraq

Erinys can provide a global personal protection service, indigenous or expatriate, encompassing overt high threat environments through to more covert scenarios requiring tact and discretion. Operatives, male and female, are fully trained and, where applicable, their weapon handling skills and counter-surveillance techniques are current. In all cases individuals act within the law of the country in which they are deployed and abide by appropriate regulatory requirements. In addition to personnel protection, Erinys offers a range of electronic measures, including electronic counter-measures, to help counter the threat to an individual and or his business.

TITON International Ltd. Titon International Ltd is an independent Business Intelligence Company providing a wide range of bespoke security and intelligence services to the commercial world both in the UK and Overseas. All Titon services are necessarily discreet and precisely tailored to the client’s requirement, client confidentiality is of paramount importance to us and is always guaranteed. Titon is conveniently based in Mayfair, central London. The Group also has associates in Geneva, Moscow, Houston and Bangkok as well as strong links into the Middle East and Africa.

The Titon Group Comprises: Titon International Ltd, Titon Computer Security and Forensics Ltd (TCSF), and Titon Vetting Services Ltd (TVS). The Group Chief Executive is a recently retired Director of UK Special Forces, who in 2003/04 headed Project Unicorn for the Metropolitan Police. The aim of the Project was to consider what the commercial sector in London could do to help the UK Counter-Terrorist effort. The Head of the Investigative Branch of the Company is a commercial investigator with some 15 years experience at management level. In addition to his investigative skills he also has considerable experience in the gaming industry. Other members of staff are similarly experienced.

Titon International, Ltd.
25 Grosvenor Street
London W1K 4QN
United Kingdom

Titon Services include (1) Investigative investigations, due diligence for/on companies/deals/proposals, asset tracing, measures to counter industrial/commercial espionage and intrusion; (2) Individual pre employment screening, office security awareness for high level personal assistants, stalking and harassment, high value matrimonial investigations; (3) Electronic IT security assessments, including IT forensic investigation, IT incident response, electronic counter measures, communications security; and (4) Casino Gaming Security Design and policy, procedures, training, and investigations.

RISC Management a London based company, provides cost effective risk assessment, corporate intelligence and security services. Our in-house multi-disciplinary team of professionals and technical experts deliver vital information, intelligence and strategic advice to clients enabling them to make sound judgments and decisions about their activities. We work with clients worldwide, using our highly developed and extensive global network of associates and commissioned operatives. RISC has built up unrivaled knowledge and experience in the management of risk in the competitive international business environment. Working as an outsourced provider, we add value to our client operations by offering up-to-date information about risk in a specific industry and the relevant management process within it. As well as helping clients at a strategic planning level, we offer on-the-ground operational support, including project management capability and resources. Our services are particularly valuable to organizations taking investment decisions for projects planned in locations where existing knowledge and experience of risk is limited or uncertain. The key to our business approach is innovative thinking and knowledge sharing with clients, finding speedy solutions to sometimes complex problems and issues.

RISC Management
No. 1 Cavendish Place
London W1G 0QF
United Kingdom

Possible explanations:

Exclusive: Murdered ex-KGB officer was working for British security company Larisa Alexandrovna, in The Raw Story, published December 6, 2006, describes the employment relationship between Alexander Litvinenko and ERINYS. This is an excellent article.

Litvinenko was consulting two British security companies
Alexander Litvinenko was working for a British security firm at the time of his death, The Raw Story, an alternative news nexus, reports, referring to “two well-placed British sources who wish to remain unidentified”. The two separate British sources have confirmed that Litvinenko was working on contract for Erinys International Ltd. The office of this security and risk management company was among the 12 to 24 polonium contamination sites in the Piccadilly area of London identified by British authorities.

According to one of the sources, Erinys is trying to break into the Russian [security and intelligence] market and Litvinenko was the front man introducing them to all sorts of people. The source expanded that the reason Litvinenko was meeting at Erinys' offices around the time of his contamination was to broker a deal of some sort with a Russian security start-up being created by Andrei Lugovoy and Dmitry Kovtun. An American intelligence official suggested that Litvinenko was trying to get Erinys a security contract with one of the state-owned energy firms and speculated that this could be a reason why the FSB might have allegedly assassinated Litvinenko, The Raw Story writes.

Some US intelligence experts believe that Litvinenko was lured into the meetings by Kovtun and Lugovoy on the pretext of helping Erinys extend its interests in Russia, while others believe there was a genuine and legitimate business relationship with no sinister motive behind the meetings. British authorities, however, have refrained from commenting on the questions surrounding Erinys and Litvinenko’s employment with the firm, online site marks.

Nev Johnson, one of the two Foreign and Commonwealth Office press officers with responsibility for intelligence, primarily MI6, explained to The Raw Story that the continuing probe makes it difficult to confirm or discuss the issues surrounding the case. "The ongoing investigation into the death of Mr Litvinenko precludes providing background details about his activities and location prior to his death," said Johnson. "To do so might seriously compromise the police investigation and any criminal prosecution which might be undertaken."

In its turn the Financial Times has learned that Litvinenko was paid as a consultant for information on Russian businesses, by Titon International, a London-based business intelligence company. Titon’s website says it “provides a wide range of bespoke security and intelligence services to the commercial world”. A senior executive with Titon International told The Financial Times that Litvinenko had worked for the company and that its offices in London had been closed by police after traces of polonium-210 radiation had been found. There is no suggestion that Litvinenko was poisoned in the building, paper adds.

Litvinenko and Titon International Larisa Alexandrovna, at-Largely blog is the first (on December 13, 2006) to connect-the-dots between Erinys and Titon.

Search for killer of ex-spy a daunting task Kevin Cullen, The Boston Globe, reported that "...like others who surfaced here after working in the Russian secret services, Litvinenko carved out a new career by helping steer British-based businesses toward the Russian market. A former US Marine now working for an international security firm said Litvinenko was on the payrolls of at least two security firms. The former Marine, speaking on the condition he was not identified, said Litvinenko and other former KGB and FSB officers sell themselves as consultants, able to guide legitimate companies through the Byzantine business world in Russia where the legitimate and illegitimate merge."

Erinys' Document Leaker? Larisa Alexandrovna, in her blog, at-Largely, as the question, "Now if it is true that the dossier was "deliberately leaked" then would it also not follow that someone at the "British company" may have done the leaking in an attempt to force a business deal?"

On the Trail of Mr. X LaRussophobe reports that "Apparently, a British firm called Titon International may have hired Litvinenko to perform a due diligence investigation of Victor Ivanov prior to Titon's client commencing a major transaction with Aeroflot, and when the dossier turned over by Litvinenko turned up dirt on Ivanov, the deal was queered. Litvinenko then showed the dossier to Lugovoi, a Kremlin double agent who turned the material over to Ivanov, resulting in the Kremlin-connected oligarch deciding to strike down Litvinenko. Apparently, they were motivated not only by the lost value of the deal, but even more importantly by the information contained in the dossier and the possibility of future such outbreaks of information (which might expose high-level corruption). Obviously, the firm that hired Titon is in a position to say whether it received a dossier from Titon on Ivanov and whether it queered a deal with Aeroflot or not. Apparently, so far Titon is not revealing the name of its client." This is a most interesting report, which underscores the importance of pursuing a Erinys-Titon coincidence or conspiracy theory.

Update on Litvinenko laRussophobe confirms in this updated story that Litvinenko was employed by Titon (which has a sister company, Erinys) International to perform due diligence background checks on Russian officials, company officers and owners for investors, information reported by Larisa Alexandrovna at At Largely and by Litvinenko's colleague Yuri Shvets to the BBC's Tom Mangold (and if Shvets's previous information of a $100,000 contract with Titon is true, then Litvinenko was hardly "penniless," as Julia Svetlichnaja-Svetlichnaya claimed, by the way)