Litvinenko, Aleksandr Valterovich


Litvinenko, Aleksandr Valterovich
(1962–2006)
   Security officer and journalist. A former KGB agent from Voronezh, Aleksandr Litvinenko skyrocketed to international notoriety in 2006 when he fell ill in London, England. He had been granted asylum by Great Britain after alleging that his superiors had ordered the assassination of the Russian oligarch Boris Berezovsky. As a journalist operating in the West, he made further allegations against the Kremlin, most notably that the 1999 apartment bombings had been perpetrated by the Russian security services and that Vladimir Putin was complicit in the murder of the journalist Anna Politkovskaya. On 1 November 2006, Litvinenko was hospitalized; the cause of his sickness was later determined to be poisoning by polonium-210, a rare radioactive substance. He died on 23 November 2006. An investigation by British authorities implicated Andrey Lugovoy in Litvinenko’s death; however, a request for his extradition from Russia was denied, sending Anglo-Russian relations into their worst state since the Soviet period. Litvinenko was posthumously demonized in Russia as a criminal, a spy, and a traitor.
   See also Espionage.

Historical Dictionary of the Russian Federation. . 2010.

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