Litvinenko: The Russian spy who worked for MI5 / MI6

Global Research, January 24, 2016
nsnbc 23 January 2016

The Inquiry into the death of defected FSB agent Alexander Litvinenko concluded with a report, quoting his wife as saying that he either worked for the UK’s intelligence service MI5 or MI6. The report does not document but “implies” the direct involvement of Russian President Vladimir Putin. Among other by quoting Putin as having said that those who murdered Litvinenko were not God, and that Litvinenko obviously wasn’t Lazarus. 

Alexander Litvinenko defected from Russia to the UK in 2000 after an intermediate release from prison. The former KGB, then FSB officer was arrested on 25 March 1999. He was charged and detained in the FSB Lefortovo prison in Moscow. The charges against Mr Litvinenko were of exceeding his authority by assaulting a suspect.

Alexander Litvinenko_UK_Russia_Grave_PDLitvinenko maintained that charges against him were false or trumped-up. He died in the UK in November 2006 after three weeks of illness. The cause of death was determined to have been polonium poisoning. It is noteworthy that the late Palestinian President Yassir Arafat also succumbed to polonium poisoning.

Litvinenko was one of the former KGB / FSB officers close to the Russian oligarchs who secured the re-election of President Boris Yeltsin and usurped de facto power over many of Russia’s governmental and business affairs.

Litvinenko was particularly close to the late oligarch Boris Berezovsky who also fled Russia after the election of Vladimir Putin to the presidency. Berezovsky made his first money selling cars and accumulated his first considerable “wealth” by defrauding thousands of investors in a Russian car production that never manifested. He was first introduced into the inner circle at the Kremlin during Yeltsin’s presidency, after a failed attempt on his life.

The inquiry report implies that the murder of Litvinenko may be linked to Russian legislation adopted in 2006. The first of the 2006 laws was Federal Law no.35-FZ of 2006 – On Counteraction of Terrorism. It was adopted by the State Duma on 26 February 2006, endorsed by the Federation Council on 1 March 2006 and signed into law by President Putin on 6 March 2006. The Terrorism Law runs to some 17 pages and reads as a code providing for anti-terrorism measures to be taken by Russian forces. The inquiry report states that :

One of the striking features of the Terrorism Law is that it makes provision for Russian forces to take action against terrorism beyond the borders of the Russian Federation. 5.5 The Terrorism Law contemplates anti-terrorism action being taken both by Russia’s armed forces, and also by the “federal security service – i.e. the FSB.”

The report resulting from the inquiry into Litivinenko’s death is widely criticized as being biased against Russia and Vladimir Putin. The Russian legislation is comparable to the US Presidential Order that allows the US President to sign daily “kill lists” and similar legislation in many other countries like for example Israel.

One of the most controversial accusations Litvinenko levied against Vladimir Putin was that Putin and the Russian Security Services were implicated in the bombing of apartment blocks. Bombings which were then blamed on Chechen separatists to justify the war against Chechnya and to secure Putin’s power base by distracting from domestic political issues, said Litvinenko.

The report claims that the poisoning of Litvinenko with polonium “may” indeed have been carried out on Putin’s order. The report highlights a quote according to which Putin has said that “Those who killed Litvinenko were not God, and that Mr. Litvinenko obviously was not Lazarus”. 

The inquiry report quotes Litvinenko’s wife Marina Litvinenko as saying that Alexander had been working for one of the UK’s intelligence services. She wasn’t sure whether it was the domestic intelligence service MI5, the foreign intelligence service MI6 or for both. Marina would, however, stress that he was not “an agent” but had been working for them  “as a contractor or consultant”.

The death of Alexander Litvinenko and the craziest conspiracy theory of them all

From AntiWar.com

by ,
January 22, 2016

The British government’s report on the death of Alexander Litvinenko reads like a bad thriller

To those of us who grew up during the cold war years, it’s just like old times again: Russian plots to subvert the West and poison our precious bodily fluids are apparently everywhere. Speaking of poisoning plots: the latest Russkie conspiracy – and the most imaginative by far – was the alleged assassination by poisoning of Alexander Litvinenko , a former agent of the Russian intelligence services who fled to the West to become a professional anti-Russian propagandist and conspiracy theorist with a talent for the improbable. According to his fantastic worldview, the many terrorist attacks that have occurred in Russia have all been committed by … Vladimir Putin. Aside from championing the Chechen Islamo-terrorists who actually committed these crimes, Litvinenko’s stock-in-trade was an elaborate conspiracy theory in which he regularly accused Putin of blowing up Russian apartment buildings and murdering schoolchildren and then diverting attention from his own nefarious plots by blaming those lovable Chechens. Not very believable – unless one is predisposed to believe anything, so long as it casts discredit on those satanic Russians.

The conspiracy theory promulgated by the British government – and now memorialized in this official report – surpasses anything the deceased fantasist might have come up with. According to the Brits, Litvinenko was poisoned on British soil whilst imbibing a cup of tea spiked with a massive dose of radioactive polonium-210 – and, since Russia is a prime source of this rare substance, and since the Russians were supposedly out to get Litvinenko, the FSB – successor to the KGB – is named as the “probable” culprit.

Looking at the report, one has to conclude that they don’t make propaganda the way they used to: the certitude of, say, a J. Edgar Hoover or a Robert Welch has given way to the tepid ambiguity of Lord Robert Owen, the author of this report, whose verdict of “probably” merely underscores the paucity of what passes for evidence in this case.

To begin with, if the Russians wanted to off Litvinenko, why would they poison him with a substance that left a radioactive trail traceable from Germany to Heathrow airport – and, in the process, contaminating scores of hotel rooms, offices, planes, restaurants, and homes?  Why not just put a bullet through his head? It makes no sense.

But then conspiracy theories don’t have to make sense: they just have to take certain assumptions all the way to their implausible conclusions. If one starts with the premise that Putin and the Russians are a Satanic force capable of anything, and incompetent to boot, then it’s all perfectly “logical” – in the Bizarro World, at any rate.

The idea that Litvinenko was a dangerous opponent of the Russian government who had to be killed because he posed a credible threat to the existence of the regime is laughable: practically no one inside Russia knew anything about him, and as for his crackpot “truther” theories about how Putin was behind every terrorist attack ever carried out within Russia’s borders – to assert that they had any credence outside of the Western media echo chamber is a joke. So there was no real motive for the FSB to assassinate him, just as there is none for the FBI to go after David Ray Griffin.

The British report doesn’t bother presenting any real evidence: instead, we are given a detailed account of the lives of the alleged killers – Dmitri Kovtun and Andrei Lugovoy – that reads like a Daily Mail article. Included in this compendium of character assassination and gossip is the testimony of one of Kovtun’s ex-wives that he “wanted to be a porno star.” That this factoid would find its way into an official report of the United Kingdom is extraordinary – but not, I fear, unexpected. Salaciousness has its place in contemporary fiction, particularly the pulp-thriller genre, of which this report is a prime (if pedestrian) example.

The rest of the report is a complicated account of every move Kovtun, Lugovoy, and Litvinenko made in the days leading up to Litvinenko’s poisoning. It neither compromises nor exonerates the accused: presumably it was included to give the report the appearance of substance. The meat of the matter – the real “evidence” – is hidden behind a veil of secrecy. Lord Owen’s inquiry was for the most part conducted in secret closed  hearings, with testimony given by anonymous witnesses, and this is central to the “evidence” that is supposed to convict Kovtun, Lugovoy, and the Russian government. Lord Owen, explains it this way:

“Put very shortly, the closed evidence consists of evidence that is relevant to the Inquiry, but which has been assessed as being too sensitive to put into the public domain. The assessment that the material is sufficiently sensitive to warrant being treated as closed evidence in these proceedings has been made not by me, but by the Home Secretary. She has given effect to this decision by issuing a number of Restriction Notices, which is a procedure specified in section 19 of the Inquiries Act 2005. The Restriction Notices themselves, although not, of course, the sensitive documents appended to them, are public documents. They have been published on the Inquiry website and are also to be found at Appendix 7 to this Report.”

In other words, the “evidence” is not for us ordinary mortals to see. We just have to take His Lordship’s word for it that the Russian government embarked on an improbable assassination mission against a marginal figure that reads like something Ian Fleming might have written under a pseudonym.

Yes, you might say, but Litvinenko was poisoned. So who killed him?

As I pointed out here:

“Litvinenko was an employee of exiled Russian billionaire Boris Berezovsky – whose ill-gotten empire included a Russian syndicate of car-dealerships that had more than a nodding acquaintance with the Chechen Mafia – but was being slowly cut out of the money pipeline. Big-hearted Boris, who had initially put him on the payroll as anti-Putin propagandist, was evidently getting sick of him, and the out-of-work “dissident” was reportedly desperate for money. Litvinenko had several “ business meetings ” with Lugovoi in the months prior to his death, and, according to this report , he hatched a blackmail scheme targeting several well-known Russian tycoons and government officials.”

Indeed, Litvinenko, in the months before his death, had targeted several well-known members of the Russian Mafia with his blackmail scheme. That they would take umbrage at this is hardly shocking.

Furthermore, there are indications that Litvinenko was engaged in the smuggling of nuclear materials. That he wound up being contaminated by the goods he was peddling on the black market seems far more credible than the cock-and-bull story about a vast Russian plot originating in the Kremlin,. Apparently Lord Owen has never heard of Occam’s Razor.

The Craziest Conspiracy Theory of Them All

Posted under Fair Use Rules.

Nemtsov’s role in the plunder of Russia in the 1990’s: links to Berezovsky, Khodorkovsky and Soros

From Fort Russ

Boris Nemtsov and Boris Berezovsky

March 9, 2015
Elena KREMENCOVA
Translated by Kristina Rus

Certainly, the performers of the savage murder should be caught and severely punished. However, we will likely not find the true customers. Well, except with nuclear missiles. However, listening last week to the praise for Boris Nemtsov, people in the know were puzzled: Oh my God, is this all really about Nemtsov?!

“Russia is rapidly becoming a colony of China. Russia is losing sovereignty. This is the main point of modern foreign policy of the Kremlin” – accused Vladimir Putin the opposition leader Nemtsov.

Apparently, he forgot that back in 1997 as Deputy Prime Minister himself he initiated this process and arrived in Beijing the day before President Yeltsin to finalize the agreement on the gas pipeline from the Kovyktinskij gas field in Irkutsk region and from Western Siberia to China.

His signature is under the agreement between the governments of Russia and China about the pipeline for transportation to the Chinese of crude oil from Eastern Siberia. Nemtsov participated in the negotiations on the demarcation of the Russian-Chinese border, which ended with the signing of a disadvantageous for us treaty. After which many Russians, to their astonishment, ended up on the Chinese territory.

And what about the agreement with Japan “About some of the types of cooperation in the field of harvesting of marine living resources”? Only business publications briefly reported that the Japanese were allowed to fish in our waters without compliance with the Russian legislation. And after seven years we saw terrible videos about how this is done. The damage to Russia was then estimated at $10 billion.

The Deputy Prime Minister also aided the Chechen terrorists. Personally signed an agreement on the transit of oil through Chechnya, through which the militants received from the federal budget about $10 million in excess fees for oil transit. This instrument of financial support for terrorism from the state worked properly prior to coming of Putin. At the first problems the press howled about human rights violations in Chechnya. And Boris Efimovich got the reputation of an irreconcilable opposition activist.

In one interview he admitted that he agreed to become first Deputy Prime Minister under pressure from Tatyana Dyachenko, who came to Nizhny Novgorod and “begged all night that the President always helped you and now the hour had come when you must help him”. But did not mention that Dyachenko begged him together with Boris Berezovsky, the corrupt alliance with whom by the time of the interview Nemtsov called an absolute lie. However, the jury in the High Court of England came to a different conclusion.

Boris and Boris quarreled about a blocking stake in Svyazinvest. Berezovsky wanted to buy it, but Nemtsov sold it to Soros!

In 1998 Nemtsov founded “The National Fund for Regional Policy” for the transfer of money from offshore companies, including TNK and YUKOS of Mikhail Khodorkovsky. Part of the funds went to Nemtsov, “The Union of Right Forces (SPS) and “the human rights defenders”, but most of the money was cashed and disappeared. The loss to the state was estimated at 370 billion rubles. But everything was on the fringes of law, since after the shelling of the White House [in Moscow] in October 1993, the laws were written by scoundrels for scoundrels. And were approved by the cohort of senators whom Nemtsov had joined in December.

His election to the Council of Federation [Russian Senate] was financed by a businessman with a criminal background,  Andrey Klimentyev.

But that’s not all. Two weeks before the default of 1998, Nemtsov announced that he had found $30 million for the Russian Space Agency, which was behind on the production timeline of the Russian segment of the International Space Station. Say, the amount needed for the construction of the ISS was found by VimpelCom for the right to operate at frequencies of GSM 900 in Moscow and the Moscow region. But ISS had received only $7 million. The promise to save “Mir” station has remained only on paper, and experts wondered how much Nemtsov received for assisting the project on ridding the state for the promised $30 million of what is worth $200 million. Financial analysts estimated the commission for the service at 15 percent of projected annual profits of $4.5 million per year.

That is, the story of this gentleman is clear. All the corrupt deals of Boris Nemtsov apparently we will never be discovered. But many still remember the story of the bankruptcy of Navashinsky shipyard and the credit affair with “Nizhegorodets” bank.