Polonium-210 [the most recent diagnosis as per poison used] is available in the corner mom and pop stores, one presumes. Barbari sunt, barbarice egit. Not paricularly smart barbari, either.
For the conspiracy theorists: read the Possessed (or Devils) by Dostoevsky, you have such a clumsy murder (of Shatov) explained there.
If you wanted the death to be obviously contrived and horrible so as to act as a warning to others, you'd opt for the restaurant scenario. Possibly the author does not remember the "Cold" War. It was always this nasty.
I would presume that one who signs on with the KGB/FSB in the first place knows the way they play. Only in America are 'leakers' feted on the media and given book deals; in the rest of the world, well, Polonium happens.
Werent we led to believe Russia had gone through this amazing transformation to a gentler kinder totalitarinism?
Alexander Litvinenko, a former Russian spy who died Thursday after being poisoned with a radioactive substance, accused Russian President Vladimir Putin, calling him "barbaric and ruthless" in a deathbed statement. Several Kremlin critics have fled Russia or been imprisoned during Putin's time in office, and a few, listed below, have been killed or died mysterious deaths.
October 7th, 2006: Journalist Anna Politkovskaya, a fierce critic of the war in Chechnya who exposed human rights abuses by Russian and Kremlin-backed Chechen authorities, is fatally shot in her apartment building. No suspects have been arrested, and Putin has suggested Russians seeking refuge from Russian law enforcement abroad could have been behind it.
Feb. 13th, 2004: Zelimkhan Yandarbiyev, a former separatist president of Chechnya, is killed when a bomb blows his car apart as he leaves a mosque with his son in Qatar. Russian security services deny involvement, but two Russian intelligence agents are convicted in Qatar and later returned to Russia, where authorities suggest they are set free.
July 3rd, 2003: Yuri Shchekochikhin, a liberal lawmaker and journalist who investigated high-level corruption for Novaya Gazeta, Politkovskaya's newspaper, dies after a brief, mysterious ailment that causes him to loose his hair and suffer severe skin problems. Colleagues claim he was poisoned and that his autopsy was not released to relatives.
April 17th, 2003: Sergei Yushenkov, a liberal lawmaker and vocal critic of Putin, the Federal Security Service and the war in Chechnya, is gunned down in Moscow in a killing colleagues called an attack on democratic ideals. Mikhail Kodanyov, chairman a rival branch of his Liberal Russia party backed by self-exiled tycoon Boris Berezovsky, is convicted ordering the slaying and sentenced to 20 years in prison.
It was a message that was effectively delivered. I know you don your kneepads for Putin on a daily basis, but no one should let you get away with passing this lie off.