Friday, November 24, 2006

Ex-KGB spy Litvinenko has died.

BBC reports that Alexander Litvinenko, an ex-KGB spy in exile in the UK, has passed away. It is alleged that his death is a result of a poisoning by the FSB (Russian Federal Security Bureau).

Although there is no proof yet, I can understand why is the Russian government being accused. The FSB has a long history of assassinating political figures in exile. And there certainly is a motivation to do so - Litvinenko is rumored to have been investigating the murder of Anna Politkovskaya, a Russian journalist critical of the Russian government's actions in the Caucasus and its abuses in general.

I first heard of him when he accused the Russian secret services of the terrorist act in the Armenian Parliament in 1999. A group of armed dashnaks (a pro-Russian socialist party in Armenia and diaspora) stormed the parliament in session and killed the prime minister, the speaker of the parliament and a few other ministers and parliamentarians. No ties to these services have been brought to life during the trial of the terrorists and their subsequent imprisonment. Suspiciously, one of them, an electrician by trade, was electrocuted in his cell while trying to make a cup of coffee on an electric stove.

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