Monday, November 20, 2006

There's something rotten in Russia

Iraq is the most important foreign policy issue for the United States. However, while our president stumbles along in that quagmire, there's every reason to be worried about Russia, or China/India* for that matter.

BBC News:
The Kremlin has dismissed as "sheer nonsense" claims it was involved in the poisoning by thallium of a former KGB colonel living in the UK.

The denial came as Alexander Litvinenko returned to intensive care following his poisoning by the toxic chemical.

Mr Litvinenko fell ill on 1 November after a meeting at a London sushi bar.

Mr Litvinenko, 43 - a vocal critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin - is in a serious but stable condition in University College Hospital.

Doctors say he was moved to intensive care as a precaution, after his condition deteriorated slightly.

Friends of Mr Litvinenko have alleged he was poisoned because he was critical of the Russian government.
The poison used on this former KGB operative was Thallium. It is nicknamed "Inheritance powder".

The Times of London (keep in mind this was a defector):
Alexander Litvinenko was poisoned on the direct orders of the Kremlin because of his biting mockery of President Putin, according to a former Soviet spy now living in Britain.

Oleg Gordievsky, the most senior KGB agent to defect to Britain, said that the attempt to kill Mr Litvinenko had been state-sponsored.

It was carried out by a Russian friend and former colleague who had been recruited secretly in prison by the FSB, the successor to the KGB. The Italian who allegedly put poison in Mr Litvinenko’s sushi “had nothing to do with it”.

“Of course it is state-sponsored. He was such an obvious enemy. Only the KGB is able to do this. The poison was very sophisticated. They have done this before — they poisoned Anna Politkovskaya (the campaigning journalist murdered on October 7) on a plane last year. Who else would know where she was sitting and could poison her food? Probably also it was the KGB that shot her.”
*The above-linked Boston Globe story recounts efforts by China to build a friendship with India.


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