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Kremlin gave order to kill dissident and former spy, claims top defector
The Times ^ | November 20th, 2006 | Michael Binyon

Posted on 11/20/2006 4:03:57 AM PST by M. Espinola

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.”

Mr Litvinenko, who fled to Britain in 2001, was a target because of the Kremlin fury at his sarcastic attacks on President Putin, Mr Gordievsky said. “There are three people they hate: Boris Berezovsky, Akhmad Zakayev and Sasha (Alexander) Litvinenko, who was writing article after article for the Chechen press, laughing at Putin.”

Mr Gordievsky, a former KGB station head in London, who still refers to the FSB by its former name, insisted that he did not know the identity of the Russian would-be killer.

But he assumed that the man was a former associate of Boris Berezovsky, the former oligarch and Yeltsin confidant, who has been granted political asylum in Britain.

“He used to be in Mr Berezovsky’s entourage and was imprisoned in Moscow. Then suddenly he was released, and soon after that he became a businessman and a millionaire. It is all very suspicious. But the KGB has recruited agents in prisons and camps since the 1930s. That is how they work.”

The man came to London, posing as a businessman and a friend. He met Mr Litvinenko at a hotel and put poison in his tea. That was before Mr Litvinenko had lunch at a Japanese restaurant with the Italian he knew as Mario, who had arranged to meet him because he said he had information about the murder of Ms Politkovskaya, a close friend.

“Why should this Italian do it? I know him. He is a solid, respectable man. And Sasha was already feeling unwell before the lunch. He was poisoned before he met the Italian.”

Mario Scaramella, a consultant for a commission investigating FSB activities in Italy, was last night reported to be in protective custody “terrified for his life”.

Mr Gordievsky is a close friend of the victim, who lived in North London and regularly visited Mr Gordievsky’s house in Godalming, Surrey. Talking exclusively to The Times, he painted a sad picture of the former lieutenant-colonel in the FSB. “He is rather lonely, like me. But he has a tremendous respect for me, as a British agent. He used to report to me, asking for my advice.

“He said Britain was a solid, intelligent and beautiful state, with no corruption as in Russia, and he was very dedicated to it.”

Mr Gordievsky said he could not go into the details of why Mr Litvinenko had agreed to meet his would-be killer. “His wife, Marina is reluctant to speak about it. It is all very hurtful, as he was a former friend. But now all that has been left to the police, and they have told his family not to talk about it.”

According to Mr Gordievsky, Mr Litvinenko began to feel ill that evening. His wife called an ambulance. The crew thought that he had food poisoning and give him pills.

But his condition deteriorated so the next morning they called an ambulance again. “It was only on the tenth day in hospital that the doctors realised it was not food poisoning. When his hair began to fall out they did toxicology tests, and found that his body contained three times the fatal dose of thallium,” he said. Mr Litvinenko lives close to Mr Zakayev, a close friend who suspected poisoning. It was Mr Zakayev who put the details of the case on the internet, Mr Gordievsky said.

Why did it take so long to report the poisoning to the police? “Because British doctors are not familiar with such poisons. He went to the doctor, who gave him antibiotics. His wife and son kept telling the doctor that he had been poisoned, but the doctor said it was just a reaction to the antibiotics. But now he has had very good treatment for the past three days in the hospital.”

John Henry, a clinical toxicologist who examined Mr Litvinenko on Saturday, said that the former spy was quite seriously sick. “There’s no doubt that he’s been poisoned by thallium, and it probably dates back to November 1, when he first started to get ill,” he told the BBC.

Mr Gordievsky said those planning the murder would have to have had permission from the top.

Mr Litvinenko fled to Britain after being imprisoned for a second time. In May 2005 The Times reported how someone pushed a pram containing petrol bombs at the front door of his London home. The attempted assassination left him “shaken but unhurt”.

Mr Gordievsky said he was fourth — now third — on the Kremlin hitlist. The KGB had not been able to reach Boris Berezovsky as he was always surrounded by bodyguards.

Mr Zakayev, the Chechen actor whom Moscow wants to extradite on terrorism charges, had no protection at home, Mr Gordievsky said, but was protected by Mr Berezovsky’s bodyguards when he went out.

What about Mr Gordievsky’s own safety? “What can I do? They can always get me by shooting. But this is a small community in this country. We look after each other. So probably that is my only hope.”

Blacklisted: the men wanted by Moscow

Oleg Gordievsky

Former deputy head of the KGB at the Soviet Embassy in London and a highly successful double agent for MI6. He joined the KGB in 1963 and was posted to Copenhagen, where he became disenchanted — a fact noticed by MI6, which recruited him. He was the KGB’s Resident-designate in London in 1982, but he was suddenly ordered back to Moscow and arrested in 1985. Although suspected and interrogated he was allowed to go home and contacted MI6, which managed to smuggle him out

Boris Berezovsky

Fugitive billionaire living in a Surrey and wanted in Moscow on massive fraud charges. A mathematician who began selling cars under perestroika and after the collapse of communism became Russia’s first billionaire. He became close to President Yeltsin and used his influence to increase his holdings in Aeroflot and several oil properties. Helped to finance Yeltsin’s second election campaign, then backed Putin in 2000 but the latter resented Berezovsky’s interference and opened investigations into his business dealings

Ahmad Zakayev

Former actor who became Minister of Culture in Chechnya — and at the start of the first Chechen war a general in the Chechen army. A political moderate, he negotiated with Russia to end the first war, and then became deputy prime minister. He was wounded in the second Chechen war and was granted political asylum in Britain in 2003. Now lives in London and is acting vice-premier of Chechnya’s underground government. Was accused by Russia of planning the Moscow theatre siege. A court turned down an extradition request, saying he was at risk of torture

Leonid Nevzlin

A right-hand man of Mikhail Khodorkovsky, former owner of the Yukos oil company and now in a Siberian labour camp. He has been charged in Russia of a plot to kill individuals who posed a danger to Yukos. He claims that Putin is taking revenge for supporting his political opponents. Lives in Israel

Vladimir Gusinsky

Former theatre director who became one of Russia’s most powerful media magnates. Fell out with the Kremlin when NTV, his independent television station, became critical of the Chechnya war. In 2000 Gusinsky was accused of embezzlement and money laundering and was forced into exile in Israel, where he holds citizenship


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events; Russia; United Kingdom
KEYWORDS: assassin; authoritarian; blacklist; despot; dictator; gordievsky; kgb; liquidator; litvinenko; london; moscow; politkovskaya; putin; russia; scaramella; stalinjr; ussr

1 posted on 11/20/2006 4:04:02 AM PST by M. Espinola
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To: M. Espinola
Here's a recent thread about thallium poisoning.

Slow-acting killer that was Saddam's favourite instrument of vengeance

2 posted on 11/20/2006 4:12:05 AM PST by AmericaUnited
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To: M. Espinola

So, Putin has the KGB out in force knocking off his critics and rivals. So what else is new, especially since he was the former head of said-Spook agency back in the bad old days?


3 posted on 11/20/2006 4:13:07 AM PST by Virginia Ridgerunner ("Si vis pacem para bellum")
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To: M. Espinola

Its pretty easy to believe Putin is into knocking off his enemies, however this statement is not proof. Mere speculation.


4 posted on 11/20/2006 4:16:59 AM PST by sgtbono2002 (The fourth estate is a fifth column.)
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To: AmericaUnited
Thanks for posting that thallium poisoning link. It's seems as though it one of Putin's favourite methods of disposing of critics - while Western leaders remain silent. Incredible!
5 posted on 11/20/2006 4:17:19 AM PST by M. Espinola
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To: Virginia Ridgerunner

Energy czar Putin has dragged Russia back to the USSR era.


6 posted on 11/20/2006 4:20:03 AM PST by M. Espinola
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To: sgtbono2002

The body count of prominent Putin critics continues mounting, so it's not as though the current Kremlin boss is about to clear up the speculation he is responsible, but the direct opposite, by remaining mute on the subject, as other critics are murdered.


7 posted on 11/20/2006 4:24:09 AM PST by M. Espinola
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To: sgtbono2002
Its pretty easy to believe Putin is into knocking off his enemies, however this statement is not proof. Mere speculation.

Correct! Everyone on Free Republic was saying Putin had Anna Polikovskaya killed, but in Russia they were saying it was either Colonel Movladi Baisarov or Chechen Prime Minister Ramzan Kadyrov. Polikovskaya's final article exposed Baisarov as having murdered a Chechen family. Baisarov was shot by Kadyrov's security services Saturday on a Moscow street.
8 posted on 11/20/2006 4:33:45 AM PST by GarySpFc (Jesus on Immigration, John 10:1)
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To: sgtbono2002

Proof comes in all levels. It is in real life almost never like a mathematical proof, but instead is a preponderance of evidence. Remember that "proof" means test, not an absolute certainty.

Can anyone really belief that Putin is not behind this? This is the KGB-man whom we are constantly acting to help us out, and he always does his best to encourage our enemies and to pull the rug out from under any substantive controls on rogue states like Iran and North Korea.

You cannot trust Putin. You can, however, rely on him as an enemy: that is a sure thing.


9 posted on 11/20/2006 5:23:20 AM PST by docbnj
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To: docbnj
Proof comes in all levels. It is in real life almost never like a mathematical proof, but instead is a preponderance of evidence. Remember that "proof" means test, not an absolute certainty.

Absolutely correct! However, speculations and silly caricatures are not proof. Indeed, they are not even evidence, and childish at best. Everyone on Free Republic was ready to play jury and execute Putin for Polikovskaya's murder based on hearsay at best, however, Russians who are much closer to the case saw it differently. Now it appears Freepers were wrong. Let the evidence come out, and if Putin or the FSB are guilty of these crimes then so be it.
10 posted on 11/20/2006 5:35:38 AM PST by GarySpFc (Jesus on Immigration, John 10:1)
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To: docbnj

I agree with you completely. I wouldnt trust Putin as far as I could throw a Bulldozer. I am only stating that this is conjecture. We will probably never know the truth.


11 posted on 11/20/2006 5:43:21 AM PST by sgtbono2002 (The fourth estate is a fifth column.)
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To: AmericaUnited; GarySpFc

Thanks for the links. BTTT.


12 posted on 11/20/2006 6:29:16 AM PST by PGalt
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To: GarySpFc
Personally I find the anti-Putin hysteria foolish. The Polikovskaya shooting, looked at through the lens of "who benefited?" does not point to Vladimir Putin. The FSB would have been much more discreet. Pulling such an obvious stunt that is clearly intended to reinforce the idea that Putin is blood thirsty and cruel is likely the work of Putin's enemies.

The thallium business is easily done, the material is a common rodentcide, the toxicology is all over the net, is essentially tasteless in lethal doses, and is used by casual murders world wide and used in the USA to murder some hundreds of people a year. The hair falling out is a dead giveaway that Thallium has been used. Really a very obvious poison. Rather unlikely agent to use surreptitiously in such a public case, eh?

.
13 posted on 11/20/2006 10:41:14 AM PST by Iris7 (Dare to be pigheaded! Stubborn! "Tolerance" is not a virtue!)
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To: Iris7
The FSB would have been much more discreet. Pulling such an obvious stunt that is clearly intended to reinforce the idea that Putin is blood thirsty and cruel is likely the work of Putin's enemies.

The FSB agents are professionals, and they would not have allowed their picture to be taken by a security camera as we saw with Polikovskaya's murderer.
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
"Investigators found images of the killer on video recordings made by the camera in the entrance to Politkovskaya's building and in Ramstore. The recordings, which were transmitted to the server of a private security company, show that the assumed murderer was a thin young man about 180 cm. tall dressed in dark clothes. He enters the building before her murder and leaves afterward. His facial features are barely distinguishable on the recordings, but salespeople in the pharmacy near the building's entrance helped create a sketch of him. The same person was spotted by surveillance cameras in the Ramstor where Politkovskaya had done her shopping. Investigators concluded from the Ramstor footage that the killer was aided by a woman of about 30 who followed Politkovskaya in the store. Law enforcement agencies are now searching for both of those people."

Now pray the killer(s)are found and wait for the evidence to come out or jump to conclusions. One Russian on another site wrote,

"Indeed. If it was the FSB there wouldn't be an implication.

On the otherhand if an exiled oligarch, with tons of cash, were trying to overthrow the Russian government (After publically stating he would do just that), this is exactly the sort of high profile slander he (as a former media mogul) would employ.

Seems we've found the rat and his name is Berezovsky."

14 posted on 11/20/2006 11:17:20 AM PST by GarySpFc (Jesus on Immigration, John 10:1)
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To: GarySpFc
The last section of my previous post where I referenced a Russain referred to the murderer of Litvinenko.
15 posted on 11/20/2006 11:20:38 AM PST by GarySpFc (Jesus on Immigration, John 10:1)
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To: GarySpFc
BTW, for all those who believe the nonsense regarding Russia not having a free media the Litvinenko case is first page news throughout Russia. This one paper has 3 articles devoted to the case on the front page, and the articles are critical.
16 posted on 11/20/2006 11:40:36 AM PST by GarySpFc (Jesus on Immigration, John 10:1)
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To: Virginia Ridgerunner

So, Putin has the KGB out in force knocking off his critics and rivals. So what else is new, especially since he was the former head of said-Spook agency back in the bad old days?==

You believe that Putin was the head of KGB? How stupid:)))


17 posted on 11/21/2006 2:20:45 AM PST by RusIvan ("THINK!" the motto of IBM)
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To: M. Espinola

Thanks for posting that thallium poisoning link. It's seems as though it one of Putin's favourite methods of disposing of critics - while Western leaders remain silent. Incredible!==

Where is the proves? Gossips and slanders do not count in.

You accept any lie about Putin if it is negative:)).


18 posted on 11/21/2006 2:23:02 AM PST by RusIvan ("THINK!" the motto of IBM)
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To: RusIvan
O.K., correction: Putin was the former head of the FSB from July 1998 to August 1999. Same difference. In fact Putin once said that "there was no such thing as a former KGB man."

http://www.kremlin.ru/eng/articles/V_Putin_eng.shtml

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/11081430/site/newsweek/

19 posted on 11/21/2006 6:42:39 AM PST by Virginia Ridgerunner ("Si vis pacem para bellum")
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To: Virginia Ridgerunner; Donna Lee Nardo
O.K., correction: Putin was the former head of the FSB from July 1998 to August 1999. Same difference. In fact Putin once said that "there was no such thing as a former KGB man."

Well, that is like saying once a Marine, always a Marine, or once Special Forces, always Special Forces. Obviously, that means little once you have been out for some time.

Putin "ran" the FSB for a little over a year after Yeltsin brought him in from St. Petersburg. He resigned from the KGB during the 1991 coup. Yeltsin put him in charge of the FSB to make some changes. Why? Because Putin belonged to the part of the KGB that later became the SVR. Therefore, he would have less qualms firing or forcing into retirement FSB guys since they did not come from the foreign intel branch like Putin. It was not a popular move with FSB types to say the least.
20 posted on 11/21/2006 11:13:54 AM PST by GarySpFc (Jesus on Immigration, John 10:1)
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To: RusIvan

Thinking people are more then cognizant Putin critics are being murdered on Putin's orders - and you bloody well know it.


21 posted on 11/22/2006 1:57:48 AM PST by M. Espinola (Freedom is never free)
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To: GarySpFc; Thunder90; Convert from ECUSA; Tailgunner Joe; reagan_fanatic; SeeSalt; EagleUSA; ...
I posted this thread regarding Putin, the one you have the nerve to continuously defend and promote on FR.

If you believe your non-stop pro-Putin propaganda on FR will not be challenged think again - 'comrade'.

People on FR should know the dirty game you're playing.

Who will KGB Putin have murdered next?

22 posted on 11/22/2006 2:33:17 AM PST by M. Espinola (Freedom is never free)
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To: Virginia Ridgerunner

In fact Putin once said that "there was no such thing as a former KGB man." ===

No he said that "it is not such thing as the former intellegence man". He meant that the intelegence training is always with him.
Onec he also said tha the journalism is the similar occupation as the intelegence. They use same method to uncover the information. The one difference is the the journalist works for his paper but the intellegence man - for goverment. Second difference taht the journalist can lie but the intelegence man cann't.


23 posted on 11/22/2006 2:58:20 AM PST by RusIvan ("THINK!" the motto of IBM)
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To: M. Espinola; Sidebar Moderator

I did not post to you, and specifically asked you never to post to me again.


24 posted on 11/22/2006 5:27:16 AM PST by GarySpFc (Jesus on Immigration, John 10:1)
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To: M. Espinola

Ain't it the truth!


25 posted on 11/22/2006 5:38:39 AM PST by Convert from ECUSA (Regarding islam: Osculate meas Sanctas Romanas Ecclesiae nates)
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To: M. Espinola

"People on FR should know the dirty game you're playing."


I did not post to you at all. And you are playing a dirty game.Period!


26 posted on 11/22/2006 7:03:14 AM PST by SeeSalt
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To: lizol; Lukasz; strategofr; GSlob; spanalot; Thunder90; Tailgunner Joe; propertius; REactor; ...
Russia/Soviet/Coldwar2 PING!!!

To be added or removed from this list, please FReepmail me...

27 posted on 11/22/2006 10:04:45 AM PST by Thunder90
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To: M. Espinola
I wouldn't be surprised if Gordievsky had something to do with the poisoning.
28 posted on 11/22/2006 1:17:45 PM PST by GodGunsGuts
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To: Thunder90

Bump.

Thanks.


29 posted on 11/22/2006 3:34:34 PM PST by nw_arizona_granny (Time for the world to wake up and face the fact that there is a war going on, it is world wide!)
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To: M. Espinola; Velveeta; Founding Father; DAVEY CROCKETT; LucyT

Ping


30 posted on 11/22/2006 3:36:31 PM PST by nw_arizona_granny (Time for the world to wake up and face the fact that there is a war going on, it is world wide!)
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To: GarySpFc

So GAry - did we ever figure out which Russinas killed 100 million in the last century?

Isn't it time we had at least ONE PROSECUTION?


31 posted on 11/22/2006 7:55:32 PM PST by spanalot
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To: GarySpFc

Whats the matter GAry - can't handle the truth?


32 posted on 11/22/2006 7:57:05 PM PST by spanalot
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To: Convert from ECUSA

Somebody can't handle the truth :)


33 posted on 11/22/2006 9:24:58 PM PST by M. Espinola (Freedom is never free)
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To: spanalot
It has to be expected on every thread relating to Putin the lingering voice of Radio Moscow slithers in stating pre-approved & pre-recorded pro-Kremlin disinformation :)


34 posted on 11/22/2006 10:21:47 PM PST by M. Espinola (Freedom is never free)
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To: GarySpFc
"BTW, for all those who believe the nonsense regarding Russia not having a free media the Litvinenko case is first page news throughout Russia. This one paper has 3 articles devoted to the case on the front page, and the articles are critical."

BTW, you're full of crap. I ran a WHOIS on the supposed "Russian news site" and this came up:

IP address : 67.19.18.66 IP owner : ThePlanet.com Internet Services, Inc. IP owner location : Suite 110, Dallas IP location : US Server speed : 92731 bytes/sec Server headers : Apache/1.3.33 (Debian GNU/Linux) PHP/4.3.10-16

This "news site" is based out of Dallas. Stop peddling your nonsense, you Commie plant. And I don't want to hear how that offends you after your many years of commendable military service. I've heard it before.
35 posted on 11/23/2006 3:25:39 PM PST by brain bleeds red
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To: brain bleeds red; Jim Robinson
BTW, you're full of crap. I ran a WHOIS on the supposed "Russian news site" and this came up:
IP address : 67.19.18.66 IP owner : ThePlanet.com Internet Services, Inc. IP owner location : Suite 110, Dallas IP location : US Server speed : 92731 bytes/sec Server headers : Apache/1.3.33 (Debian GNU/Linux) PHP/4.3.10-16
This "news site" is based out of Dallas. Stop peddling your nonsense, you Commie plant. And I don't want to hear how that offends you after your many years of commendable military service. I've heard it before.

Liar! Simply because the website is based in Dallas does not in any way mean or imply MosNews is not a Russian website. Indeed, it is a very well known Russian Internet news source. There are many Russian websites using American providers. The only reason I did not name the paper was Jim Robinson does not want or allow articles posted on Free Republic from that site. Go to the about screen, and take a look at the names of the staff. Further, your conspiracy theory nonsense does not speak for all Americans or all conservatives. Ronald Reagan won the Cold War, and to say the fall of the Iron Curtain was a KGB conspiracy plot is to live in deep darkness.
36 posted on 11/23/2006 3:57:39 PM PST by GarySpFc (Jesus on Immigration, John 10:1)
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