Cheat-Seeking Missles

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Another Putin Foe Targeted

First it was Anna Politkovskaya, the journalist who criticized Vladamir Putin's Chechnya policies -- shot dead in front of her apartment.

Now, another Putin critic has been the target of an assassination attempt -- poisoned in London, in critical condition, possibly never to fully recover:

Alexander Litvinenko, a former colonel in the Russian secret service and a fierce critic of President Vladimir Putin, was seriously ill under armed guard at a London hospital last night.

Mr Litvinenko, 50, who used to work for the Federal Security Bureau (FSB, the former KGB), fell ill after meeting a contact at Itsu, a sushi restaurant in Piccadilly. The woman journalist claimed to have information on the murder of Anna Politkovskaya, 48, the outspoken journalist who was killed at her Moscow apartment last month.

A close friend of Mr Litvinenko said last night: "Alexander has no doubt that he was poisoned at the instigation of the Russian government." He has been living at a secret address in London with his wife and son because he feared he might be targeted by political opponents.

Mr Litvinenko is thought to have been poisoned with thallium, a colourless and odourless liquid that is often used to kill rats. It has been used in previous murder attempts of political opponents. (source)

Poor Russia. The Soviet era may be a relic of history, but under Putin, the country is not writing a new history; it seems instead to be worshiping the relics.

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