3.4027545910189 (2396)
Posted by motoman 02/27/2009 @ 08:38

Tags : fsb, intelligence and espionage, world

News headlines
FSB: Firms should be able to negotiate wages - Jobsnewswire.com
According to the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), companies which are already working hard to survive the recession could find that increasing staff wages is the final nail in the coffin. The organisation believes that instead, they should be able...
Intel Core 2 Duo E8500 3.16ghz 1333mhz FSB Processor Review - Jonny Guru
Everyone's wanted to trade up at times. Sure, you can get the 8oz steak for $15, but the 12oz steak is only $17.... Sometimes the choice can be as easy as calculating performance versus price, but other times it's worth to pay more if it will really...
FSB says 4 militants killed in N Caucasus region of Dagestan - ITAR-TASS
... operation aimed at neutralizing the so-called Khasavyurt subversive/terrorist grouping has ended in the Khasavyurt district of Russia's North Caucasus region of Dagestan, sources at the Dagestani branch of the federal security service FSB said....
Xchanging snaps up FSB - M&A deals
By James Harris on May 13 2009 Xchanging, a London-based professional services firm, has acquired the FondsServiceBank (FSB) business unit, the Germany-based investment funds administration business of DAB bank AG, for up to €21.4 million (£19.1...
Flushing Financial a top thrift institution - Queens Courier
BY PETE DAVIS Flushing Financial Corporation, the parent holding company of Flushing Savings Bank, (FSB) recently announced that they were the top-ranked thrift institution based on performance for 2008, in the annual ranking of the 100 largest thrifts...
Northeast Bancorp Reports Operating Results (10-Q) - GuruFocus.com
NORTHEAST BANCORP (ME)is a savings and loan holding company whose primary assets is its subsidiary Northeast Bank FSB the bank. The Bank's primary business consists of attracting savings deposits from the general public and applying those funds...
Liverpool council backs small firms' drive for closer engagement - Liverpool Echo
Council leader Cllr Warren Bradley yesterday signed The Federation of Small Businesses' (FSB)Small Business Engagement Accord with FSB Liverpool chair Chris Burgess at Liverpool JMU's The Hub. Cllr Gary Millar, cabinet member for enterprise and tourism...
Eurasian Secret Services Daily Review - Axis News
The group of militants blocked in Khasavyurt district of Dagestan has been partially eliminated; a member of the Federal Security Service (FSB) of Russia spetsnaz was killed, news agency Interfax reports, referring to the group of public relations of...
Xchanging to acquire FondsServiceBank - Trading Markets (press release)
FSB provides services to blue-chip asset managers and retail customers under its MultiFonds business. As of 31 March 2009, FSB had around 460000 customer contracts. In 2008 the company had estimated revenues of over EUR40m. The acquisition will be made...
Russian in TNK-BP conflict convicted of espionage - Reuters
L) Russian venture was given a suspended sentence for attempted industrial espionage, Russia's state security service (FSB) said on Thursday. The FSB said Ilya Zaslavsky, who used to work at TNK-BP (TNBPI.RTS), had been given a suspended sentence by a...

FSB (band)

FSB (Bulgarian: ФСБ) (Formation Studio Balkantone or, mostly in Scandinavia, Free Sailing Band) are an influential Bulgarian progressive rock band, started in 1976 in Sofia as a studio project. FSB achieved great success in the 1980's and performed in numerous countries across Europe. Their collaboration with singer Jose Feliciano resulted in the album I'm Never Gonna Change and a Grammy award in 1990.

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Battle of FSB Mary Ann

The Battle of FSB Mary Ann was fought when North Vietnamese Army sappers attacked the U.S. firebase located in Quang Tin Province, South Vietnam.

Fire support base Mary Ann was set up with the purpose of providing a shield for Da Nang and the surrounding hamlets, the base was also designed as an interception point against movements of enemy troops and materiel down the Dak Rose Trail. The base was manned by 231 American soldiers.

The firebase was scheduled to be handed over to the South Vietnamese Army, so 21 ARVN soldiers were sent out to Mary Ann to take over the camp when all U.S. soldiers had pulled out.

For months leading up to the attack the level of enemy activity in the area had been low and contacts were infrequent, although two weeks before the assault a large cache of enemy supplies was captured. The lack of significant engagements, plus the insignificant position of the firebase, had given the U.S. soldiers in the area a false sense of security.

Prior to the attack on Fire Support Base Mary Ann, there had been reports of Viet Cong infiltration within the ranks of the 21 South Vietnamese contingent. In one incident, a South Vietnamese lieutenant inquired about the easiest way to get off the firebase because his men wanted to go fishing. He was told the easiest way in and out of the camp was the south end of the firebase.

The incident, coupled with intelligence reports that the enemy were posing as ARVN, were largely ignored by officers of the 196th Light Infantry Brigade. In addition, out-of-date American intelligence suggested that the NVA 409th Sapper Battalion were preparing for a major push against South Vietnamese troops about 15 to 20 kilometers east of Mary Ann.

Fire Support Base Mary Ann was similar to other U.S. firebases in South Vietnam, although it occupied a hilltop which looked like a camel with two humps. Running northwest to southeast the firebase stretched 500 meters across two hillsides with twenty-two bunkers. The headquarters consisted of the Tactical Operations Center (TOC) and Company Command Post (CP), and was located at the south end of the camp. The northwest end of the camp consisted of an artillery position with two 155mm howitzers, the fire direction center and the artillery command post. Surrounding the firebase was a trench system protected by concertina wires.

On the night of March 28, 1971, 50 sappers from the NVA 409th Sapper Battalion approached the wires of FSB Mary Ann and took up positions to launch an attack on the men of 1st Battalion, 46th Infantry, 196th Light Infantry Brigade.

The NVA sappers were equipped with khaki shorts and soot camouflage, an AK-47 or RPG-7 strapped to their back, satchel charges to their chest and grenades around their belt. The sappers moved in small squads of three to six men, and with mortar support they attacked U.S. mortar and artillery positions at 02:30. The NVA had achieved the element of surprise as American soldiers were neither prepared or on alert. Amidst all the explosions, the NVA managed to penetrate the south side of the FSB's perimeter. By the time the American soldiers inside the bunkers had recovered from the confusion, the sappers were already inside the camp, and hit half the bunkers using satchel charges and rocket-propelled grenades.

The surprise attack by the NVA had the effect of immobilizing the camp's defenders, but those who survived the initial onslaught managed to mount resistance against their attackers. During the ensuing fire-fight, some of the enemy gunfire had actually come from the South Vietnamese section of the camp, while ARVN soldiers were nowhere to be seen. The Tactical Operations Center (TOC) was struck by 82mm mortar shells, which awakened and subsequently incapacitated Lt. Col. William P. Doyle.

Once Lt. Col. Doyle had regained consciousness, an order was made for helicopter gunships and illumination. At that point, the south end of the Tactical Operations Center was burning, after a sapper had set off a satchel charge that caused a case of white phosphorus grenades to ignite. Despite suffering from severe wounds, Doyle made his way out of the TOC and started firing his M-16 at the sappers, but he was knocked out again by a grenade.

At 02:51, radio telephone operator David Tarney managed to raise Landing Zone Mildred, when Lieutenant Thomas Schmitz requested artillery positions to adjust their guns and fire at Fire Support Base Mary Ann to save the surviving Americans there. Doyle then informed Schmitz that the TOC would be evacuated and they would lose radio contact.

Doyle and another officer had moved to the south end of the firebase at 03:20 when another group of NVA sappers appeared and started up the hill. At around 03:30, the NVA disengaged and withdrew from the firebase trying to drag their dead and wounded comrades through the wires of the firebase, when a helicopter gunship turned up and began firing its guns at the sappers. The wounded survivors of the 1st Battalion were finally airlifted out when Lt. Col. Richard Martin, commander of the 3rd Battalion, arrived with the medevacs.

On the next day at 16:00, the NVA or their Viet Cong allies swept Fire Support Base Mary Ann with machine gun fire with one U.S. soldier wounded as a result.

The battle for firebase Mary Ann produced disastrous results for the U.S. Army, which suffered 33 killed and 83 wounded. It was the most deadly attack on a single U.S. firebase during the Vietnam War. The NVA casualties were largely unknown, but 12 bodies were left behind in the aftermath of the attack, and blood trails and drag marks indicated that the Viet Cong may have suffered more casualties. In the days following the attack, a patrol found a 13th sapper in a shallow grave nearby.

Colonel William S. Hathaway, commander of the 196th Light Infantry Brigade, was relieved of duty, and Lieutenant Colonel William P. Doyle was reprimanded. Doyle remained in service until his retirement but did not receive another promotion.

The South Vietnamese Army decided not to garrison the firebase and it was closed on April 24, 1971.

In July 1971, Maj. Gen. James L. Baldwin was relieved of command of the Americal Division, with military sources suggesting it was because of the attack on FSB Mary Ann.

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Federal Security Service (Russia)


The Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation (FSB) (Russian: ФСБ, Федеральная служба безопасности Российской Федерации; Federalnaya Sluzhba Bezopasnosti Rossiyskoy Federaciyi) is the main domestic security service of the Russian Federation and the main successor agency of the Soviet-era Cheka, NKVD, and KGB.

The FSB is involved in counter-intelligence, internal and border security, counter-terrorism, and surveillance. Its headquarters are on Lubyanka Square, downtown Moscow, the same location as the former headquarters of the KGB.

The service was formerly known as the Federal Counterintelligence Service (FSK). A bill calling for the reorganization, expansion and renaming of FSK passed both houses of the Russian parliament and was signed into law on April 3, 1995 by Boris Yeltsin. It was made subordinate to the Ministry of Justice by presidential decree on March 9, 2004.

The FSB is engaged mostly in domestic affairs, while espionage duties were taken over by the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service (former First Chief Directorate of the KGB). However, the FSB also includes the FAPSI agency, which conducts electronic surveillance abroad. In addition, the FSB operates freely within the territories of the former Soviet republics, and it can conduct anti-terrorist military operations anywhere in the World if ordered by the President, according to the recently adopted terrorism law. All law enforcement and intelligence agencies in Russia work under the guidance of FSB if needed. For example, the GRU, spetsnaz and Internal Troops detachments of Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs work together with the FSB in Chechnya.

The FSB is responsible for internal security of the Russian state, counterespionage, and the fight against organized crime, terrorism, and drug smuggling. However, critics claim that it is engaged in suppression of internal dissent, bringing the entire population of Russia under total control, and influencing important political events, just as the KGB did in the past. To achieve these goals, it is said the FSB implements mass surveillance and a variety of active measures, including disinformation, propaganda through the state-controlled mass media, provocations, and persecution of opposition politicians, investigative journalists, and dissidents.

The FSB is a very large organization that combines functions and powers similar to those exercised by the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Federal Protective Service, the Secret Service, the National Security Agency (NSA), U.S. Customs and Border Protection, United States Coast Guard, and Drug Enforcement Administration. FSB also commands a contingent of Internal Troops, spetsnaz, and an extensive network of civilian informants. The number of FSB personnel and its budget remain state secrets, although the budget was reported to jump nearly 40% in 2006. The number of Chekists in Russia in 1992 was estimated as approximately 500,000.

Peter Finn of the Washington Post argues that the FSB is now the leading political force in Russia, which simply replaced the Communist Party. Alexander Litvinenko and Yuri Felshtinsky claim in their book, Blowing up Russia: Terror from within, that the FSB became an international criminal organization that actually promotes and perpetrates the terrorism and organized crime in order to achieve its political and financial goals, instead of fighting the terrorism and crime.

During the late 1980s, as the Soviet government and economy were disintegrating, the KGB survived better than most state institutions, suffering far fewer cuts in its personnel and budget. Following the attempted coup of 1991 (in which some KGB units participated) against Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, the KGB was dismantled and formally ceased to exist from November 1991.

In late 1991 the domestic security functions of the KGB were reconstituted as the Federal Counterintelligence Service (FSK), which was placed under the control of the president. The FSK had been known initially for some time as the Ministry of Security. In 1995, the FSK was renamed and reorganized into the FSB by the Federal Law of April 3, 1995, "On the Organs of the Federal Security Service in the Russian Federation", granting it additional powers, enabling it to enter private homes and to conduct intelligence activities in Russia as well as abroad in cooperation with the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR).

The FSB reforms were rounded out by decree No. 633, signed by Boris Yeltsin on June 23, 1995. The decree made the tasks of the FSB more specific, giving the FSB substantial rights to conduct cryptographic work, and described the powers of the FSB director. The number of deputy directors was increased to 8: 2 first deputies, 5 deputies responsible for departments and directorates and 1 deputy director heading the Moscow City and Moscow regional directorate. Yeltsin appointed Colonel-General Mikhail Ivanovich Barsukov as the new director of the FSB.

In 1998 Yeltsin appointed as director of the FSB Vladimir Putin, a KGB veteran who would later succeed Yeltsin as federal president. Yeltsin also ordered the FSB to expand its operations against labor unions in Siberia and to crack down on right-wing dissidents. As president, Putin increased the FSB's powers to include countering foreign intelligence operations, fighting organized crime, and suppressing Chechen separatists.

On June 17, 2000, President Vladimir Putin signed a decree, according to which the FSB was supposed to have a director, a first deputy director and eight other deputy directors, including one stats-secretary and the chiefs of six departments (Economic Security Department, Counterintelligence Department, Organizational and Personnel Service, Department of activity provision, Department for Analysis, Forecasting and Strategic Planning, Department for Protection of the Constitutional System and the Fight against Terrorism). On June 11, 2001, the President introduced one more deputy director position.

According to a decree signed by Putin on March 11, 2003, by July 1 Border Guard Service of Russia had been transferred to FSB while FAPSI, agency of government telecommunications, had been abolished, granting FSB with a major part of its functions.

On August 12, 2003 Putin allowed the FSB to have three first deputy directors, including the Chief of the Border Guard Service (Vladimir Pronichev), and specified that a deputy director position must be assumed by the Chief of the Inspection Directorate. On July 11, 2004, the President reorganized FSB again. It was prescribed to have a director, two first deputy directors (Sergei Smirnov and Vladimir Pronichev, one of whom should be the Chief of the Border Guard Service (Pronichev).

On December 2, 2005, Putin authorized FSB to have one more deputy director. This position was assumed by Vladimir Bulavin on March 3, 2006.

In the beginning of 2006 the Italian news agency ANSA reported the publication on the FSB website of an offer, open to Russian citizens working as spies for a foreign country, to work as double agents.

In September 2006, the FSB was shaken by a major reshuffle, which, combined with some earlier reassignments (most remarkably, those of FSB Deputy Directors Yury Zaostrovtsev and Vladimir Anisimov in 2004 and 2005, respectively), were widely believed to be linked to the Three Whales Corruption Scandal that had slowly unfolded since 2000. Some analysts considered it to be an attempt to undermine FSB Director Nikolay Patrushev's influence, as it was Patrushev's team from the Karelian KGB Directorate of the late 1980s – early 1990s that had suffered most and he had been on vacations during the event.

Then-FSB Director Nikolay Kovalev said in 1996: "There has never been such a number of spies arrested by us since the time when German agents were sent in during the years of World War II." The FSB reported that around 400 foreign intelligence agents were uncovered in 1995 and 1996. In 2006 the FSB reported about 27 foreign intelligence officers and 89 foreign agents whose activities were stopped.

An increasing number of scientists have been accused of espionage and illegal technology exports by FSB during the last decade: researcher Igor Sutyagin, physicist Valentin Danilov, physical chemist Oleg Korobeinichev, academician Oskar Kaibyshev, and physicist Yury Ryzhov. Some other widely covered cases of political prosecution include investigator Mikhail Trepashkin and journalist Vladimir Rakhmankov. All these people are either under arrest or serve long jail sentences.

Ecologist and journalist Alexander Nikitin, who worked with the Bellona Foundation, was accused of espionage. He published material exposing hazards posed by the Russian Navy's nuclear fleet. He was acquitted in 1999 after spending several years in prison (his case was sent for re-investigation 13 times while he remained in prison). Other cases of prosecution are the cases of investigative journalist and ecologist Grigory Pasko, Vladimir Petrenko who described danger posed by military chemical warfare stockpiles, and Nikolay Shchur, chairman of the Snezhinskiy Ecological Fund.

Other arrested people include Viktor Orekhov, a former KGB officer who assisted Soviet dissidents, Vladimir Kazantsev who disclosed illegal purchases of eavesdropping devices from foreign firms, and Vil Mirzayanov who had written that Russia was working on a nerve gas weapon.

It has been reported that the FSB uses drugs to erase the memories of people who had access to secret information.

During the Moscow theater hostage crisis and Beslan school hostage crisis, all hostage takers were killed on the spot by FSB spetsnaz forces. Only one of the suspects, Nur-Pashi Kulayev, survived and was convicted later by the court. It is reported that more than 100 leaders of terrorist groups have been killed during 119 operations on North Caucasus during 2006.

On July 28, 2006 the FSB presented a list of 17 terrorist organizations recognized by the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation, to Rossiyskaya Gazeta newspaper, which published the list that day. The list had been available previously, but only through individual request. Commenting on the list, Yuri Sapunov, head of anti-terrorism at the FSB, named three main criteria necessary for organizations to be listed.

The FSB cooperates with Interpol and other national and international law enforcement agencies. It has provided information on many Russian criminal groups operating in Europe. FSB has also been involved in preparation of requests for extradition of high-profile suspects who escaped abroad, such as Aleksander Litvinenko, Oleg Kalugin, Akhmed Zakayev, Leonid Nevzlin, and Boris Berezovsky. However, these requests have been denied by UK, US, Danish, and Israeli courts.

The Federal Border Guard Service (FPS) has been part of the FSB since 2003. Russia has 61,000 kilometers of sea and land borders, 7,500 kilometers of which is with Kazakhstan, and 4,000 kilometers with China. One kilometer of border protection costs around 1 million rubles per year. Vladimir Putin called on the FPS to increase the fight against international terrorism and "destroy terrorists like rats".

The FSB is engaged in the development of Russia's export control strategy and examines drafts of international agreements related to the transfer of dual-use and military commodities and technologies. Its primary role in the nonproliferation sphere is to collect information to prevent the illegal export of controlled nuclear technology and materials.

Besides the services (departments) and directorates of the federal office, the territorial directorates of FSB in the federal subects are also subordinate to it.

Of these, St. Petersburg and Leningrad Oblast Directorate of FSB and its predecessors (historically covering both Leningrad/Saint Petersburg and Leningrad Oblast) have played especially important roles in the history of this organization, as many of the officers of the Directorate, including Vladimir Putin and Nikolay Patrushev, later assumed important positions within the federal FSB office or other government bodies. After the last Chief of the Soviet time, Anatoly Kurkov, the St. Petersburg and Leningrad Oblast Directorate were led by Sergei Stepashin (November 29, 1991 - 1992), Viktor Cherkesov (1992 –1998), Alexander Grigoryev (October 1, 1998 – January 5, 2001), Sergei Smirnov (January 5, 2001 – June 2003), Alexander Bortnikov (June 2003 – March 2004) and Yury Ignashchenkov (since March 2004).

On June 20, 1996, Boris Yeltsin fired FSB Director Mikhail Barsukov and appointed Nikolay Kovalyov as acting Director and later Director of the FSB.

The FSB has the power to enter any home or business without a search warrant if there is sufficient reason to believe that "a crime has been, or is being, committed there". Article 24 of the law exempts the agency from certain oversight by Russia’s Public Prosecutor.

Human rights activists have claimed that the FSB has been slow to shed its KGB heritage, and there have been allegations that it has manufactured cases against suspected dissidents and used threats to recruit agents. At the end of the 1990s, critics charged that the FSB had attempted to frame Russian academics involved in joint research with Western arms-control experts.

Despite early promises to reform the Russian intelligence community, the FSB and the services that collect foreign intelligence and signals intelligence (the SVR and the Federal Agency for Government Communications and Information) remained largely unreformed and subject to little legislative or judicial scrutiny. Although some limits were placed on the FSB's domestic surveillance activities – for example, spying on religious institutions and charitable organizations was reduced – all the services continued to be controlled by KGB veterans schooled under the old regime. Moreover, few former KGB officers were removed following the agency's dissolution, and little effort was made to examine the KGB's operations or its use of informants.

Starting from 1998, people from state security services came to power as Prime Ministers of Russia: a KGB veteran Yevgeny Primakov; former FSB Director Sergei Stepashin; and finally former FSB Director Vladimir Putin who was appointed in August 8, 1999.

In August 7, separatist guerrilla leader Shamil Basayev began an incursion into Dagestan leading to the start of the Dagestan War which was regarded by Anna Politkovskaya as a provocation initiated from Moscow to start war in Chechnya, because Russian forces provided safe passage for Islamic fighters back to Chechnya. It was reported that Aleksander Voloshin of the Yeltsin administration paid money to Shamil Basayev to stage this military operation. (Basayev reportedly worked for Russian GRU at this time and earlier).

On September 4, a series of four Russian apartment bombings began. Three FSB agents were caught while planting a large bomb in the basement of an apartment complex in the town of Ryazan in September 22. Russian Minister of Internal Affairs Rushailo congratulated police with preventing the terrorist act, but FSB Director Nikolai Patrushev declared that the incident was a training exercise just an hour later, when he had learned that the FSB agents were caught.. According to Patrushev, the exercise was carried out to test responses after the earlier blasts. Similar exercises were being conducted in other Russian cities. FSB issued a public apology about the incident.

The next day, Boris Yeltsin received a demand from 24 Russian governors to transfer all state powers to Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, according to Sergei Yushenkov. The Second Chechen War began on September 24. This war made Prime Minister Vladimir Putin very popular, although he was previously unknown to the public, and helped him to win a landslide victory in the presidential elections on March 26, 2000.

According to former FSB officer Alexander Litvinenko and journalist David Satter, a Johns Hopkins University and Hoover Institute scholar, this was a successful coup d'état organized by the FSB to bring Vladimir Putin to power. Satter and Litvinenko base their claims heavily on material sponsored by the exiled oligarch Boris Berezovsky. All attempts to independently investigate the Russian apartment bombings were unsuccessful. Vice-chairman of the Sergei Kovalev commission created to investigate the bombings, Sergei Yushenkov, was assassinated. Another member of this commission Yuri Shchekochikhin died presumably from poisoning by thallium. Investigator Mikhail Trepashkin hired by relatives of victims was arrested and convicted by Russian authorities for allegedly disclosing state secrets.

Researchers such as Gordon Bennett, Vlad Sobell, Peter Reddaway and Richard Sakwa have criticized the conspiracy theories, pointing out, among other things, that the theories' proponents have provided little evidence to support them.

According to Albats, most KGB leaders, including Lavrenty Beria, Yuri Andropov, and Vladimir Kryuchkov, have always struggled for the power with the Communist Party and manipulated the communist leaders. Moreover, FSB has formal membership, military discipline, an extensive network of civilian informants, hardcore ideology, and support of population (60% of Russians trust FSB), which makes it a perfect totalitarian political party. However the FSB party does not advertise its leading role because the secrecy is an important advantage.

It is well known that certain very senior clergy of the Moscow Patriarchate are members of the FSB. They use their ecclesiastical positions to further the interests of the Russian State in foreign countries.

Many Russian opposition lawmakers and investigative journalists have been assassinated while investigating corruption and alleged crimes conducted by FSB and state authorities: Sergei Yushenkov, ‎Yuri Shchekochikhin, Galina Starovoitova, Anna Politkovskaya, Alexander Litvinenko, Paul Klebnikov, Nadezhda Chaikova, Nina Yefimova, and many others. Former KGB officer Oleg Gordievsky believes that murders of writers Yuri Shchekochikhin (author of "Slaves of KGB"), Anna Politkovskaya, and Aleksander Litvinenko show that FSB has returned to the practice of political assassinations which were conducted in the past by the Thirteenth KGB Department. Just before his death, Alexander Litvinenko accused Vladimir Putin of personally ordering the assassination of Anna Politkovskaya.

Political dissidents from the former Soviet republics, such as Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, are often arrested by FSB and extradited to these countries for prosecution, despite protests from international human rights organizations. Special services of Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan also kidnap people at the Russian territory, with the implicit approval of FSB.

Use of excessive force by the FSB spetsnaz was criticized with regard to resolving Moscow theater hostage crisis and Beslan hostage crisis. According to Sergey Kovalev, the Russian government kills its citizens without any hesitation. He provided the following examples: murdering of hostages by the poison gas during Moscow theater hostage crisis; burning school children alive by spetsnaz soldiers who used RPO flamethrowers during Beslan school hostage crisis; crimes committed by death squads in Chechnya; and assassination of Zelimkhan Yandarbiyev. Anna Politkovskaya and Irina Hakamada, who conducted unofficial negotiations with terrorists, stated that the hostage takers were not going to use their bombs to kill the people and destroy the building during Moscow theater hostage crisis.

According to Anna Politkovskaya, most of the "Islamic terrorism cases" were fabricated by the government, and the confessions have been obtained through the torture of innocent suspects. "The plight of those sentenced for Islamic terrorism today is the same as that of the political prisoners of the Gulag Archipelago... Russia continues to be infected by Stalinism", she said.

Former FSB officer Aleksander Litvinenko and investigator Mikhail Trepashkin alleged that Moscow theater hostage crisis was directed by a Chechen FSB agent. Yulia Latynina and other journalists also accused the FSB of staging many smaller terrorism acts, such as market place bombing in the city of Astrakhan, bus stops bombings in the city of Voronezh, and the blowing up the Moscow-Grozny train, whereas innocent people were convicted or killed. Journalist Boris Stomakhin claimed that a bombing in Moscow metro in 2004 was probably organized by FSB agents rather than by the unknown man who called the Kavkaz Center and claimed his responsibility. Stomakin was arrested and imprisoned for writing this and other articles.

Many journalists and workers of international NGOs were reported to be kidnapped by FSB-affiliated forces in Chechnya who pretended to be Chechen terrorists: Andrei Babitsky from Radio Free Europe, Arjan Erkel and Kenneth Glack from Doctors Without Borders, and others.

Former FSB officer Aleksander Litvinenko accused FSB personnel of involvement in organized crime, such as drug trafficking and contract killings. It was noted that FSB, far from being a reliable instrument in the fight against organized crime, is institutionally a part of the problem, due not only to its co-optation and penetration by criminal elements, but to its own absence of a legal bureaucratic culture and use of crime as an instrument of state policy.

FSB collaborates very closely with secret police services from some former Soviet Republics, especially Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. The FSB is accused of working to undermine governments of Baltic states and Georgia. During the 2006 Georgian-Russian espionage controversy, several Russian GRU officers were accused by Georgian authorities of preparations to commit sabotage and terrorist acts.

Chairman of the United Nations Special Commission Richard Butler found that many Russian state-controlled companies were involved in the Oil-for-Food Programme-related fraud. As a part of this affair, former FSB Director Yevgeny Primakov had received large kickbacks from Saddam Hussein according to Butler. The KGB, FSB and Russian government had very close relationships with Saddam Hussein and Iraqi Intelligence Service Mukhabarat according to Yossef Bodansky, the Director of Research of the International Strategic Studies Association.

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Nikolay Dmitriyevich Kovalev

Nikolai Dmitrievich Kovalev (Russian: Николай Дмитриевич Ковалёв) (born August 6, 1949) is a Russian politician (United Russia) and member of the State Duma, where he chairs the Duma's Veterans' Committee. Kovalev was the Director of the FSB from July 1996 to July 1998, when he was succeeded by Vladimir Putin.

Nikolay Kovalev joined the KGB in 1974. He was appointed General of the Army in 1997. In 1999 he was elected a deputy to the State Duma of the Russian Federation.

He said in 1996: "There has never been such a number of spies arrested by us since the time when German agents were sent in during the years of World War II." He also publicly speculated that Boris Berezovsky might be involved in the death of Alexander Litvinenko.

During the Bronze Soldier Controversy in 2007, Kovalev led a "fact finding mission" to Estonia, where the authorities were relocating a World War II memorial, including a two meter tall bronze soldier in a Soviet uniform. Before leaving Moscow, Kovalev asked Estonia's government to step down. The two-day visit by the Russian fact finding delegatíon, originally set up to defuse a diplomatic dispute over the Bronze Soldier statue, only appeared to have escalated the feud, with the Estonian foreign minister and other Government officials refusing to meet with Kovalev's delegation.

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Alexander Litvinenko

An image of the Alexander Litvinenko target (far left) at the Vityaz Training Centre.

Alexander Valterovich Litvinenko (Russian: Алекса́ндр Ва́льтерович Литвине́нко) (30 August 1962 – 23 November 2006) was an officer who served in the Soviet KGB and its Russian successor, the Federal Security Service (FSB). In November 1998, Litvinenko and several other FSB officers publicly accused their superiors of ordering the assassination of Russian tycoon and 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. He fled with his family to London and was granted asylum in the United Kingdom, where he became a journalist and writer.

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 the Russian apartment bombings and other terrorism acts in an effort to bring Vladimir Putin to power. He also accused Putin of ordering the murder of Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya.

The British investigation into his death resulted in a failed request to Russia for the extradition of Andrey Lugovoy who was accused of Litvinenko's murder. Litvnenko's poisoning and death contributed to the cooling of Russia–United Kingdom relations.

Alexander Litvinenko was born the son of physician Walter Litvinenko in the Russian city of Voronezh. He graduated from secondary school in 1980 in Nalchik and was then drafted into the Internal Troops of the Ministry of Internal Affairs as a Private. After a year of service, he matriculated in the Kirov Higher Command School in Vladikavkaz. After graduation in 1985, Litvinenko became a platoon commander in an Internal Troops regiment that guarded valuables in transit and in 1988 moved to the KGB.

Litvinenko joined the Dzerzhinsky Division of the Soviet Ministry of Internal Affairs. He was assigned to the 4th Company, where among his duties was the protection of valuable cargo. Litvinenko became an informant in 1986 when he was recruited by the MVD's KGB counterintelligence section. In 1988, he was officially transferred to the Third Chief Directorate of the KGB, Military Counter Intelligence. Later that year, after studying for a year at the Novosibirsk Military Counter Intelligence School, he became an operational officer and served in KGB military counterintelligence until 1991.

In 1991, he was promoted to the Central Staff of the MB-FSK-FSB of Russia, specialising in counter-terrorist activities and infiltration of organised crime. He was awarded the title of "MUR veteran" for operations conducted with the Moscow criminal investigation department, the MUR. Litvinenko also saw active military service in many of the so-called "hot spots" of the former USSR and Russia. During the First Chechen War Litvinenko planted several FSB agents in Chechnya. Litvinenko also served as a foot soldier during the disastrous Russian operation in the Dagestani village of Pervomayskoye, where two of his comrades were killed by friendly fire from the rocket artillery.

Livtinenko met Boris Berezovsky in 1994 when he took part in investigations into an assassination attempt on the oligarch. He was later responsible for the oligarch's security.

In 1997, Litvinenko was promoted to the FSB Directorate of Analysis and Suppression of Criminal Groups, with the title of senior operational officer and deputy head of the Seventh Section. Throughout his career he was not an 'intelligence agent' and did not deal with secrets beyond information on operations against organised criminal groups.

On 17 November 1998, during the period that Vladimir Putin was the head of the FSB, five officers of FSB's Directorate for the Analysis of Criminal Organisations appeared at a press conference in the Russian news agency Interfax. The five officers, including the director of the Seventh Department, Lieutenant-Colonel Alexander Gusyk, three senior operative officers — Lieutenant-Colonel Alexander Litvinenko, Major Andrey Ponkin, and Colonel V. V. Shebalin, Lieutenant Constantin Latyshonok, and Gherman Scheglov accused the director of the Directorate for the Analysis of Criminal Organisations Major-General Evgenii Khokholkov and his deputy, 1st Rank Captain Alexander Kamishnikov of ordering them in November 1997 to assassinate Boris Berezovsky, a Russian businessman who then held the high government post of Secretary of the Security Council and was close to President Boris Yeltsin; Berezovsky later fled to the UK to avoid criminal charges (and later helped fund Litvinenko's work). The officers also claimed they were ordered to kill Mikhail Trepashkin and to kidnap a brother of the businessman Umar Dzhabrailov. Mikhail Trepashikin was present as a victim of the planned assassination. Several other FSB officers were also present to support the claims. This incident was later described by Sergey Dorenko, who provided The Associated Press and The Wall Street Journal with the full video tape of the interview of Alexander Litvinenko and his fellow employees of FSB recorded by him in April 1998. Only some excerpts of the video had been shown in 1998.

Litvinenko was dismissed from the FSB, and then arrested twice on charges which were dropped after he had spent time in Moscow prisons. In 1999, he was arrested on charges of abusing duties. He was released a month later after signing a written undertaking not to leave the country.

In October 2000, in violation of an order not to leave Moscow, Litvinenko and his family travelled to Turkey, possibly via Ukraine. Whilst in Turkey, Litvinenko applied for asylum at the United States Embassy in Ankara, but his application was denied. Plater-Zyberk opined that the denial of application may have been based upon on the American opinion that Litvinenko's knowledge was of little benefit and that he may create problems. With the help of Alexander Goldfarb, Litvinenko bought air tickets for the Istanbul-London-Moscow flight, and asked for political asylum at Heathrow airport during the transit stop on 1 November 2000. Political asylum was granted on 14 May 2001, not because of his knowledge on intelligence matters, but rather on humanitarian grounds. Whilst in London he became a journalist for the separatist Chechenpress and a controversial author, and also joined Berezovsky in campaigning against Putin's regime. In October 2006 he became a naturalised British citizen living in Whitehaven.

On 27 October 2007, the Daily Mail, citing "diplomatic and intelligence sources," stated that Mr Litvinenko was paid about £2,000 per month by the MI6 at the time of his murder. John Scarlett, the head of MI6, was allegedly personally involved in recruiting him.

According to an article published in The Guardian, Litvinenko was involved in blackmail activities during his life in Britain. According to Julia Svetlichnaja, a Russian doctoral candidate at the University of Westminster's Center for the Study of Democracy, Litvinenko told her that he was "going to blackmail or sell sensitive information about all kinds of powerful people, including oligarchs, corrupt officials and sources in the Kremlin. He mentioned a figure of £10,000 that they would pay each time to stop him broadcasting these FSB documents. Litvinenko was short of money and was adamant that he could obtain any files he wanted." According to Guardian, Litvinenko's access to such documents could have made him an enemy of both big business interests and the Kremlin. However, his claims are almost impossible to verify and some political analysts have gone as far as to dismiss him as a fantasist.

In 2002 he was convicted in absentia in Russia and given a three and a half year jail sentence.

The allegations by Litvinenko get a lot of publicity after his assassination. However, most of his claims were made earlier by other people. The FSB involvement in Russian apartment bombings was originally put forward by US journalist David Satter in his book "Darkness at Dawn". The claim about Romano Prodi was first made by KGB defector Vasili Mitrokhin. The involvement of an Russian state security services agent provocateur Terkibaev in Moscow theatre hostage crisis was first discovered and published by Anna Politkovskaya. The release of Ayman al-Zawahiri at the Russian territory was officially admitted by an FSB representative. The release of dangerous terrorists who attacked the school in Beslan was described by Ella Kesayeva, the leader of Mothers of Beslan organization. The alleged pedophilia of Putin was retelled by Litvinenko from the words of KGB general Anatoly Trofimov who was later assassinated in Moscow.

Litvinenko accused the Main Intelligence Directorate of the General-Staff of the Russian armed forces had organised the 1999 Armenian parliament shooting that killed Prime Minister of Armenia Vazgen Sargsyan, ostensibly to derail the peace process which would have resolved the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, but he offered no evidence to support the accusation. The Russian embassy in Armenia denied any such involvement, and described it as an attempt to harm relations between Armenia and Russia by people against the democratic reforms in Russia.

Litvinenko alleged that agents from the FSB coordinated the 1999 Russian apartment bombings that killed more than 300 people, whereas Russian officials blamed the explosions on Chechen separatists. This version of events was suggested earlier by David Satter, and Sergei Yushenkov, vice chairman of the Sergei Kovalev commission created by the Russian Parliament to investigate the bombings.

Alexander Litvinenko suggested in September 2004 that the Russian secret services must have been aware of the plot beforehand, and therefore that they must have themselves organized the attack as a false flag operation. He spoke in an interview before his death with Chechenpress news agency, and said that because of the fact that the hostage takers had previously been in FSB custody for committing terrorist attacks, it is inconceivable that they would have been released and still been able to carry out attacks independently. He said that they would only have been freed if they were of use to the FSB, and that even in the case that they were freed without being turned into FSB assets, they would be under a strict surveillance regime that would not have allowed them to carry out the Beslan attack unnoticed. Ella Kesayeva, co-chair of the group Voice of Beslan, formalized Litvinenko's argument in a November 2008 article in Novaya Gazeta, noting the large number of hostage takers who were in government custody not long before attacking the school, and coming to the same conclusion that Beslan was a false flag attack.

Litvinenko stated that "all the bloodiest terrorists of the world" were connected to FSB-KGB, including Carlos "The Jackal" Ramírez, Yassir Arafat, Saddam Hussein, Abdullah Öcalan, Wadie Haddad of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, George Hawi who led the Communist Party of Lebanon, Ezekias Papaioannou from Cyprus, Sean Garland from Ireland and many others." He says that all of them were trained, funded, and provided with weapons, explosives and counterfeit documents in order to carry out terrorist attacks worldwide and that each act of terrorism made by these people was carried out according to the task and under the rigid control of the KGB of the USSR. Litvinenko said that "the center of global terrorism is not in Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan or the Chechen Republic. The terrorism infection creeps away worldwide from the cabinets of the Lubyanka Square and the Kremlin".

In a July 2005 interview with the Polish newspaper Rzeczpospolita, Litvinenko alleged that Ayman al-Zawahiri, a prominent leader of al-Qaeda, was trained for half of a year by the FSB in Dagestan in 1997 and called him "an old agent of the FSB" Litvinenko said that after this training, Ayman al-Zawahiri "was transferred to Afghanistan, where he had never been before and where, following the recommendation of his Lubyanka chiefs, he at once ... penetrated the milieu of bin Laden and soon became his assistant in al Qaeda." Former KGB officer and writer Konstantin Preobrazhenskiy supported this claim and said that Litvinenko "was responsible for securing the secrecy of Al-Zawahiri's arrival in Russia, who was trained by FSB instructors in Dagestan, Northern Caucasus, in 1996-1997" . He said: "At that time, Litvinenko was the Head of the Subdivision for Internationally Wanted Terrorists of the First Department of the Operative-Inquiry Directorate of the FSB Anti-Terrorist Department. He was ordered to undertake the delicate mission of securing Al-Zawahiri from unintentional disclosure by the Russian police. Though Al-Zawahiri had been brought to Russia by the FSB using a false passport, it was still possible for the police to learn about his arrival and report to Moscow for verification. Such a process could disclose Al-Zawahiri as an FSB collaborator. In order to prevent this, Litvinenko visited a group of the highly placed police officers to notify them in advance." According to FSB spokesman Sergei Ignatchenko, Ayman al-Zawahiri was arrested by Russian authorities in Dagestan in December 1996 and released in May 1997.

On 1 September 2005, Al Qaeda members Ayman al-Zawahiri and Mohammad Sidique Khan claimed responsibility for the attacks on a video tape which aired on al-Jazeera.

According to Litvinenko, the 2005 controversy over the publication in a Danish newspaper of editorial cartoons depicting the Islamic prophet Mohammed was orchestrated by the FSB to punish Denmark for its refusal to extradite Chechen separatists.

Two weeks before his poisoning, Alexander Litvinenko accused Vladimir Putin of ordering the assassination of Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya and stated that a former presidential candidate Irina Hakamada warned Politkovskaya about threats to her life coming from Russian president. Litvinenko advised Politkovskaya to escape from Russia immediately. Hakamada denied her involvement in passing any specific threats, and said that she warned Politkovskaya only in general terms more than a year ago. It remains unclear if Litvinenko referred to an earlier statement made by Boris Berezovsky who claimed that former Deputy Prime Minister of Russia Boris Nemtsov received a word from Hakamada that Putin threatened her and like-minded colleagues in person. According to Berezovsky, Putin uttered that Hakamada and her colleagues "will take in the head immediately, literally, not figuratively" if they "open the mouth" about the Russian apartment bombings.

In his book Gang from Lubyanka, Litvinenko alleged that Vladimir Putin during his time at the FSB was personally involved in protecting the drug trafficking from Afganistan organized by Abdul Rashid Dostum . In December 2003 Russian authorities confiscated over 4000 copies of the book.

Litvinenko commented on a new law that "Russia has the right to carry out preemptive strikes on militant bases abroad" and explained that these "preemptive strikes may involve anything, except nuclear weapons," Litvinenko said that "You know who they mean when they say 'terrorist bases abroad'? They mean us, Zakayev and Boris, and me.". He also said that "It was considered in our service that poison is an easier weapon than a pistol." He referred to a secret laboratory in Moscow that still continues development of deadly poisons, according to him.

In an article written by Litvinenko in July 2006, and published online on Zakayev's Chechenpress website, he claimed that Vladimir Putin is a paedophile. Litvinenko also claimed that Anatoly Trofimov and Artyom Borovik knew of the alleged paedophilia. The claims have been called "wild", and "sensational and unsubstantiated" in the British media. Litvinenko made the allegation after Putin kissed a boy on his belly whilst stopping to chat with some tourists during a walk in the Kremlin grounds on 28 June 2006. The incident was recalled in a webcast organised by the BBC and Yandex, in which over 11,000 people asked Putin to explain the act, to which he responded, "He seemed very independent and serious... I wanted to cuddle him like a kitten and it came out in this gesture. He seemed so nice...There is nothing behind it." It has been suggested that the incident was a "clumsy attempt" to soften Putin's image in the lead-up the 32nd G8 Summit which was held in Saint Petersburg in July 2006.

According to Litvinenko, FSB deputy chief, General Anatoly Trofimov said to him "Don’t go to Italy, there are many KGB agents among the politicians. Romano Prodi is our man there", meaning Romano Prodi, the Italian centre-left leader, former Prime Minister of Italy and former President of the European Commission. The conversation with Trofimov took place in 2000, after the Prodi-KGB scandal broke out in October 1999 due to information about Prodi provided by Vasili Mitrokhin.

In April 2006, a British Member of the European Parliament for London, Gerard Batten of United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) demanded an inquiry into the allegations. According to Brussels-based newspaper, the EU Reporter on 3 April 2006, "another high-level source, a former KGB operative in London, has confirmed the story". On 26 April 2006, Batten repeated his call for a parliamentary inquiry, revealing that "former, senior members of the KGB are willing to testify in such an investigation, under the right conditions." He added, "It is not acceptable that this situation is unresolved, given the importance of Russia's relations with the European Union." On 22 January 2007, the BBC and ITV News released documents and video footage, from February 2006, in which Litvinenko repeated his statements about Prodi.

In January 2007, Polish newspaper Dziennik revealed that a target with a photo of Litvinenko on it was used for shooting practice by the Vityaz Training Centre in Balashikha in October 2002. The centre run by Sergey Lyusyuk is not affiliated with the government, and trains bodyguards, debt collectors and private security forces, although in November 2006 the centre was used by the Vityaz for a qualification examination due to their own centre being under renovation. The targets, which Lyusyuk says were bought in the Olympic Market, were also photographed when the chairman of the Federation Council of Russia Sergei Mironov visited the centre and met Lyusyuk on 7 November 2006. When asked why the photographs of Mironov's visit were removed from the centre's website Lyusyuk said that Mironov didn't see targets and knew nothing about them.

Former FSB officer Mikhail Trepashkin stated he warned in 2002 that an FSB unit was assigned to assassinate Litvinenko. In spite of this, Litvinenko often travelled overseas with no security arrangements, met with the Russian community in the United Kingdom, and often received journalists at his home.

On 1 November 2006, Litvinenko suddenly fell ill and was hospitalised. His illness was later attributed to poisoning with radionuclide polonium-210 after the Health Protection Agency found significant amounts of the rare and highly toxic element in his body. In interviews, Litvinenko stated that he met with two former KGB agents early on the day he fell ill - Dmitry Kovtun and Andrei Lugovoi, though they deny any wrongdoing. The men also introduced Litvinenko to a tall, thin man of central Asian appearance called 'Vladislav Sokolenko' who Lugovoi said was a business partner. Lugovoi is also a former bodyguard of Russian ex-prime minister Yegor Gaidar (who also suffered from a mysterious illness in November 2006). Later, he had lunch at Itsu, a sushi restaurant in Soho in London, with an Italian acquaintance and nuclear waste expert, Mario Scaramella, to whom he made the allegations regarding Italy's Prime Minister Romano Prodi. Scaramella, attached to the Mitrokhin Commission investigating KGB penetration of Italian politics, claimed to have information on the assassination of Anna Politkovskaya, 48, a journalist who was killed at her Moscow apartment in October 2006.

Marina Litvinenko, widow of the deceased, accused Moscow of orchestrating the murder. Though she believes the order did not come from Putin himself, she does believe it was done at the behest of the authorities, and announced that she will refuse to provide evidence to any Russian investigation out of fear that it would be misused or misrepresented.

Two days before his death Litvinenko informed his father that he had converted to Islam. According to his father, Litvinenko had become increasingly disenchanted with the Russian Orthodox Church and had been contemplating conversion for "some time." Litvinenko's conversion to Islam and the related wish for Muslim funeral rites were recognized by his father. However, his widow, Marina, as well as his close friend (and press spokesman during his illness), Alexander Goldfarb, preferred a non-denominational ceremony. Goldfarb stated, "Unfortunately some people appeared and against the explicit wishes of the widow performed Muslim rites over the funeral. We had a choice to turn it into an unseemly situation, but Marina asked us to respect the memory of Alexander and let these people do what they did. Let God be their judge." Ghayasuddin Siddiqui, head of the Muslim Parliament of Great Britain, contended that Litvineko actually converted to Islam 10 days before he was poisoned.

On 22 November, Litvinenko's medical staff at University College Hospital reported he had suffered a "major setback" due to either heart failure or an overnight heart attack. He died on 23 November, and Scotland Yard stated that inquiries into the circumstances of how Litvinenko became ill would continue.

On 24 November, a posthumous statement was released, in which Litvinenko directly accused Vladimir Putin of poisoning him. Litvinenko's friend Alex Goldfarb, who is also the chairman of Boris Berezovsky's Civil Liberties Fund, claimed Litvinenko had dictated it to him three days earlier. Andrei Nekrasov said his friend Litvinenko and Litvinenko's lawyer composed the statement in Russian on 21 November and translated it to English.

Putin disputed the authenticity of this note while attending a Russia-EU summit in Helsinki and claimed it was being used for political purposes. William Dunkerley, in a briefing from May 2007 for a round table which discussed Litvinenko's case and the way it was handled by the Russian and Western media, called into question the authenticity of the statement, noting that the statement did not read like a statement made on one's deathbed and was typed in English, a language which Litvinenko was far from proficient in, with the signature and date handwritten. Goldfarb later stated that Litvinenko instructed him to write a note "in good English" in which Putin was to be accused of his poisoning. Goldfarb also stated that he read the note to Litvinenko in English and Russian, to which he claims Litvinenko agreed "with every word of it" and signed it.

His postmortem took place on 1 December at the Royal London Hospital's institute of pathology. It was attended by three physicians, including one chosen by the family and one from the Foreign Office. Litvinenko was buried at Highgate Cemetery in north London on 7 December. The police are treating his death as murder. On 25 November, two days after Litvinenko's death, an article attributed to him was published by The Mail on Sunday entitled "Why I believe Putin wanted me dead".

In an interview with the BBC broadcast on 16 December 2006, Yuri Shvets said that Litvinenko had created a 'due diligence' report investigating the activities of a senior Kremlin official on behalf of a British company looking to invest "dozens of millions of dollars" in a project in Russia. He said the dossier was so incriminating about the senior Kremlin official, who was not named, it was likely that Litvinenko was murdered out of spite. He alleged that Litvinenko had shown the dossier to another business associate, Andrei Lugovoi, who had worked for the KGB and later the FSB. Shvets alleged that Lugovoi is still an FSB informant and he had spread copies of the dossier to members of the spy service. He said he was interviewed about his allegations by Scotland Yard detectives investigating Litvinenko's murder. Shvets has also doubted Litvinenko's capacity to perform honest unbiased due diligence. The poisoning and consequent death of Litvinenko was not widely covered in the Russian news media.

According to Mary Dejevsky, the chief editorial writer of The Independent, the view that the British public had of Litvinenko's illness and death was essentially dictated by Berezovsky, who funded an expertly conducted publicity campaign.

On 20 January 2007 British police announced that they have "identified the man they believe poisoned Alexander Litvinenko. The suspected killer was captured on cameras at Heathrow as he flew into Britain to carry out the murder." The man in question was introduced to Litvinenko as 'Vladislav'.

As of 26 January 2007, British officials said police had solved the murder of Litvinenko. They discovered "a 'hot' teapot at London's Millennium Hotel with an off-the-charts reading for polonium-210, the radioactive material used in the killing." In addition, a senior official said investigators had concluded the murder of Litvinenko was "a 'state-sponsored' assassination orchestrated by Russian security services." The police want to charge former Russian spy Andrei Lugovoi, who met with Litvinenko on 1 November 2006, the day officials believe the lethal dose of polonium-210 was administered.

On the same day, The Guardian reported that the British government was preparing an extradition request asking that Andrei Lugovoi be returned to the UK to stand trial for Litvinenko's murder. On 22 May 2007 the Crown Prosecution Service called for the extradition of Russian citizen Andrei Lugovoi to the UK on charges of murder . Lugovoi dismissed the claims against him as "politically motivated" and said he did not kill Litvinenko.

A British police investigation resulted in several suspects for the murder, but in May 2007, the British Director of Public Prosecutions, Ken Macdonald, announced that his government would seek to extradite Andrei Lugovoi, the chief suspect of the case, from Russia. On 28 May 2007, the British Foreign Office officially submitted a request to the Government of Russia for the extradition of Lugovoi to face criminal charges in the UK. On 5 July 2007, Russia officially declined to extradite Lugovoi, citing that extradition of citizens is not allowed under the Russian constitution. Russia has said that they could take on the case themselves if Britain provided evidence against Lugovoi but Britain has not handed over any evidence. The head of the investigating committee at the General Prosecutor's Office said Russia has not yet received any evidence from Britain on Lugovoi. "We have not received any evidence from London of Lugovoi's guilt, and those documents we have are full of blank spaces and contradictions. However the British ambassador to Russia, Anne Pringle, stated that London has already submitted sufficient evidence to extradite him to Britain.

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