Alexander Litvinenko

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Alexander Litvinenko
Александр Литвиненко
Allegiance Soviet Union Flag of the Soviet Union.svg
Service KGB, FSB

Born 30 August or 4 December 1962
Voronezh, Russian SFSR
Died 23 November 2006 (aged 43 or 44)
London, United Kingdom
Cause of
Radiation poisoning
Nationality Russian, British (2006-his death)
Religion Sunni Islam (formerly Russian Orthodoxy

Alexander Valterovich Litvinenko (August 30, 1962November 23, 2006) was a former officer of the Russian State security service, and later a Russian dissident and writer.

Litvinenko became a KGB officer in 1986, and two years later, was moved into the Military Counter Intelligence. He was promoted to the Central Staff, and specialised in counter-terrorism and infiltration of organised crime. Six years later, he was promoted to senior operational officer and deputy head of the Seventh Section of the FSB.

In November 1998, Litvinenko publicly accused his superiors of ordering the assassination of Russian tycoon and Jewish oligarch, Boris Berezovsky. Litvinenko was arrested the following March on charges of exceeding his authority at work. He was acquitted in November 1999 but re-arrested before the charges were again dismissed in 2000. A third criminal case began but he fled the country to the United Kingdom with his wife, where he was granted political asylum. During his time in London Litvinenko authored two books, "Blowing up Russia: Terror from within" and "Lubyanka Criminal Group," where he accused Russian secret services of staging Russian apartment bombings and other terrorism acts to bring Vladimir Putin to power.[1][2] He also made a wide range of other claims against Russian secret services and Putin through interviews and articles he wrote.

On November 1, 2006, Litvinenko suddenly fell ill and was hospitalized. He died three weeks later from lethal poisoning by radioactive polonium-210. According to medical professionals, "Litvinenko’s murder represents an ominous landmark: the beginning of an era of nuclear terrorism."[3][4][5][6]

  1. David Satter. Darkness at Dawn: The Rise of the Russian Criminal State. Yale University Press. 2003. ISBN 0-300-09892-8.
  2. Alexander Litvinenko at the Frontline Club accusing Vladimir Putin of the assassination of journalist Anna Politkovskaya (In Russian and English)
  3. "Ushering in the era of nuclear terrorism", by Patterson, Andrew J. MD, PhD, Critical Care Medicine, v. 35, p.953-954, 2007.
  4. "Beyond the Dirty Bomb: Re-thinking Radiological Terror", by James M. Acton; M. Brooke Rogers; Peter D. Zimmerman, DOI: 10.1080/00396330701564760, Survival, Volume 49, Issue 3 September 2007, pages 151 - 168
  5. "The Litvinenko File: The Life and Death of a Russian Spy", by Martin Sixsmith, True Crime, 2007 ISBN 0-312-37668-5, page 14.
  6. Radiological Terrorism: “Soft Killers” by Morten Bremer Mærli, Bellona Foundation
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