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Russians 'set up hit squad to kill London dissidents' - LIVE THREAD
The Evening Standard ^ | December 1, 2006 | Staff

Posted on 12/01/2006 11:25:16 AM PST by MadIvan

A secret assassination squad was set up to poison former Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko, it was claimed today.

The allegations are contained in two letters smuggled out of a Russian jail and passed to a close friend of Mr Litvinenko.

The letters were apparently written in jail by Mikhail Trepashkin, a former Russian intelligence officer. In one, Mr Litvinenko is warned that both he and his family are at risk. Mr Litvinenko's friend Alex Goldfarb said scans of the letters came into his possession yesterday and he passed them to Scotland Yard.

In 2004 Mr Trepashkin, who worked for the KGB's successor the FSB until 1997, was accused of being a British spy and passing secret information to Mr Litvinenko and his close friend tycoon Boris Berezovsky, both exiled in London. He is currently serving a four-year sentence.

In a message to Mr Litvinenko on 20 November, Mr Trepashkin recalls a conversation in August 2002 in which he warned Mr Litvinenko - already living in London - that he and his family were at risk from the FSB.

Mr Trepashkin tells his friend that he had met an FSB contact in Russia who told him that a "very serious group" had been set up, which "will knock out all those associated with Berezovsky and Litvinenko".

"My understanding then was that they were planning to take out your relatives quietly, without much fuss," he wrote.

Mr Goldfarb said the other letter, addressed to him and written on 25 November this year, detailed an offer to be a witness in the British investigation into Mr Litvinenko's death.

Following fresh poisoning claims involving former Russian prime minister Yegor Gaidar, the Foreign Office said today that it was not linking the two cases.

A Foreign Office spokeswoman said today: "We have noted the reports of Yegor Gaidar's illness and wish him a speedy recovery. We know of no information which suggests any connection with the Litvinenko case and will continue to follow any developments closely."

Among those caught up in the radiation scare was Culture Secretary Tessa Jowell who, along with London 2012 Olympics organising committee chairman Lord Coe, flew to Barcelona last month on a BA jet checked for contamination.

"I'm feeling absolutely tiptop," she said today. "This was a scare that never was."


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; Front Page News; Russia; United Kingdom
KEYWORDS: dissidents; litvinenko; russia; uk
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What a surprise.

Regards, Ivan

1 posted on 12/01/2006 11:25:20 AM PST by MadIvan
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To: Mrs Ivan; odds; DCPatriot; Deetes; Barset; fanfan; LadyofShalott; Tolik; mtngrl@vrwc; ...

Ping!


2 posted on 12/01/2006 11:25:47 AM PST by MadIvan (I aim to misbehave.)
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To: MadIvan

Just reported on FOX that an adult member of Litvinenko's family tested positive for a small amount of radiation, as well, a hotel is being evacuated for radiation testing.


3 posted on 12/01/2006 11:28:06 AM PST by sissyjane (Don't be stuck on stupid!)
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To: MadIvan
>A secret assassination squad was set up to poison former Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko, it was claimed today

If they wanted to
keep the whole thing secret then
why not just hit him

with a car?! People
get run over all the time . . .
Why use fairy dust?!

4 posted on 12/01/2006 11:28:34 AM PST by theFIRMbss
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To: sissyjane
This is very messy stuff they used. Fortunately it's only harmful if directly ingested - however, I'm not pleased with whoever (and it seems likely it's the FSB) dumped radioactive poisons on my country.

Regards, Ivan

5 posted on 12/01/2006 11:29:42 AM PST by MadIvan (I aim to misbehave.)
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To: theFIRMbss
Because a car hitting someone could be construed as an accident - this is a message from the Russian government to dissidents, potentially, which says no matter where you are, no matter what you do, we can get you.

Regards, Ivan

6 posted on 12/01/2006 11:30:46 AM PST by MadIvan (I aim to misbehave.)
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To: MadIvan

not if you leave a bumper sticker on the victim that reads 'KGB'


7 posted on 12/01/2006 11:33:29 AM PST by CottShop
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To: MadIvan
Yes, and I just received the following:

"Brits are reporting traces of Polonium in Zakaev's car."
8 posted on 12/01/2006 11:35:31 AM PST by GarySpFc
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To: MadIvan

Call me contrary... I'm still not convinced it was an operation by the Russian government....rogue agents yes....but not the government.


9 posted on 12/01/2006 11:36:52 AM PST by Dog (Hey Red Sox forget the Japanese pitchers for $42mil I'll talk to you for $10 million.)
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To: GarySpFc

Who is he?


10 posted on 12/01/2006 11:37:15 AM PST by Dog (Hey Red Sox forget the Japanese pitchers for $42mil I'll talk to you for $10 million.)
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To: GarySpFc

Who is Zakaev, please? I can't remember.


11 posted on 12/01/2006 11:37:51 AM PST by sissyjane (Don't be stuck on stupid!)
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To: sissyjane
The Chechen..
12 posted on 12/01/2006 11:38:34 AM PST by Dog (Hey Red Sox forget the Japanese pitchers for $42mil I'll talk to you for $10 million.)
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To: Dog

And the question is

What will be done about it


13 posted on 12/01/2006 11:39:03 AM PST by uncbob
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To: MadIvan

Fox just announced a family member has tested positive, also a hotel evacuated. So much constant breaking info on this, we need a live thread!


14 posted on 12/01/2006 11:39:07 AM PST by RDTF (Quote of the year: "Halp us Jon Carry - We R stuck hear n Irak.")
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To: RDTF

Start one...


15 posted on 12/01/2006 11:41:09 AM PST by Dog (Hey Red Sox forget the Japanese pitchers for $42mil I'll talk to you for $10 million.)
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To: sissyjane; MadIvan

Just reported that Litvinenko's wife has tested positive.


16 posted on 12/01/2006 11:41:19 AM PST by Oorang (Tyranny thrives best where government need not fear the wrath of an armed people - Alex Kozinski)
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To: MadIvan

So much for Trepashkin. Hope he has his own affairs in order.


17 posted on 12/01/2006 11:41:34 AM PST by shezza (God bless our military heroes)
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To: Oorang
You would expect the wife would become ill.....why I can't understand they didn't have the family in protective suits to protect them from the PO-210 is a mystery ..
18 posted on 12/01/2006 11:44:27 AM PST by Dog (Hey Red Sox forget the Japanese pitchers for $42mil I'll talk to you for $10 million.)
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To: MadIvan
"The letters were apparently written in jail by Mikhail Trepashkin, a former Russian intelligence officer. "

Hope this guy has his will written. Good job evening standard. I hope the editor knows he has blood on his hands.

19 posted on 12/01/2006 11:44:40 AM PST by jjm2111 (http://www.purveryors-of-truth.blogspot.com)
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To: Dog

This is from an interview conducted by Newsweek of Zakaev.



>>Assuming the Russians were involved in Litvinenko’s death, why do you think there might have been a change in tactics?


First of all, I need to say that I am now a witness in the investigation, and I cannot comment on [specifics] in the press because I told openly what I think to the investigating team, to the police, but I cannot go against that. What I think happened is that they got Alexander in part because once he got his British citizenship this year, he became too relaxed and perhaps he was not as ready and cautious as he could have been. And also I think the Russian special forces did not expect the Brits to figure out what killed him, because look at all the evidence, a country with all its expertise and technology, it took them three weeks to figure out what poisoned him. Only about three hours before he died they figured out it was polonium. I do not think that the special forces thought people would figure out exactly what killed him. It also helped build this image of this secretive and unknown force that killed him.<<
<<


20 posted on 12/01/2006 11:44:49 AM PST by sissyjane (Don't be stuck on stupid!)
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To: sissyjane

Zakaev is the Chechen, both Litwinenko and Zakaev worked for Berezovsky.


21 posted on 12/01/2006 11:46:21 AM PST by GarySpFc
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To: Dog; MadIvan

Hey Ivan, want to start a live thread on this?


22 posted on 12/01/2006 11:48:40 AM PST by RDTF (Quote of the year: "Halp us Jon Carry - We R stuck hear n Irak.")
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To: MadIvan

Turn this into the live thread. Then all the info will be in one place. Just a thought.


23 posted on 12/01/2006 11:49:50 AM PST by sissyjane (Don't be stuck on stupid!)
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To: sissyjane; Admin Moderator

Admin - what do you think, should this be the live thread on developments on Litvinenko?


24 posted on 12/01/2006 11:51:13 AM PST by MadIvan (I aim to misbehave.)
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To: sissyjane

I think it's pretty sure that they would have inspected his corpse until they found the substance which was responsible.


25 posted on 12/01/2006 11:53:26 AM PST by Schweinhund
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To: Dog; Oorang; MadIvan
You would expect the wife would become ill.....why I can't understand they didn't have the family in protective suits to protect them from the PO-210 is a mystery ..

Because they didn't know what poison was used till a urine sample taken not long before he died tested positive for Po210. Considering how much polonium was in his body, I wouldn't be surprised if she got contaminated just by kissing him.

26 posted on 12/01/2006 12:03:57 PM PST by Paleo Conservative (Karl Rove isn't magnificent.)
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To: MadIvan

Litvinenko's wife not ill. Radiation just on her clothing.


27 posted on 12/01/2006 12:10:25 PM PST by sissyjane (Don't be stuck on stupid!)
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To: MadIvan
Ivan I found this snip in a Daily Mail article..

The story took on a new twist today when the Health Protection Agency confirmed that one more person has tested positive for polonium poisoning.

An HPA spokesman said the quantity of Polonium 210 in the unnamed person's body were "likely to be of concern for their immediate health".

Someone has been poisoned enough to die.

28 posted on 12/01/2006 12:14:54 PM PST by Dog (Hey Red Sox forget the Japanese pitchers for $42mil I'll talk to you for $10 million.)
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To: Dog

FOX just reported that it's the Italian, and that he is in immediate danger.

Sounds like he's on the way out as well, doesn't it?


29 posted on 12/01/2006 12:16:21 PM PST by sissyjane (Don't be stuck on stupid!)
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To: sissyjane

Yup.


30 posted on 12/01/2006 12:16:56 PM PST by Dog (Hey Red Sox forget the Japanese pitchers for $42mil I'll talk to you for $10 million.)
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To: Dog

From Reuters--


>Litvinenko family member also exposed to polonium
Fri Dec 1, 2006 7:32 PM GMT
Email This Article | Print This Article | RSS [-] Text [+]
LONDON (Reuters) - A female adult relative of poisoned Russian Alexander Litvinenko has been exposed to radioactive polonium 210 but is not in any short-term danger, officials said on Friday.

Home Secretary John Reid told Sky News: "It is a fraction of the lethal dose that Mr Litvinenko himself had."

A spokeswoman for the Health Protection Agency said the isotope had shown up in a urine test.

"The levels are not significant enough to result in any illness in the short term, and the results are reassuring in that any increased risk in the long term is likely to be very small," she said, adding that the woman was not in hospital.



Litvinenko, a former Russian spy who became an outspoken Kremlin critic, was poisoned by polonium and died last week.<<


31 posted on 12/01/2006 12:21:12 PM PST by sissyjane (Don't be stuck on stupid!)
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To: MadIvan
Is this near you? They are looking for PO-210 here also..

Officers went to the Ashdown Park Hotel and Country Park in Wych Cross, near Forest Row, East Sussex to "assist in minimising the risk to the public", a spokesman for Sussex Police said.

The hotel is set in 186 acres of landscaped countryside in the heart of the Ashdown Forest.

32 posted on 12/01/2006 12:29:38 PM PST by Dog (Hey Red Sox forget the Japanese pitchers for $42mil I'll talk to you for $10 million.)
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To: Dog
It's a little under 50 miles from my present location.

Regards, Ivan

33 posted on 12/01/2006 12:31:10 PM PST by MadIvan (I aim to misbehave.)
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To: MadIvan

Ivan it's in Wych Cross....is that near the entrance to the Chunnel?


34 posted on 12/01/2006 12:39:53 PM PST by Dog (Hey Red Sox forget the Japanese pitchers for $42mil I'll talk to you for $10 million.)
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To: Dog
No, it's not.

Regards, Ivan

35 posted on 12/01/2006 12:41:28 PM PST by MadIvan (I aim to misbehave.)
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To: MadIvan

There goes that theory...:-)


36 posted on 12/01/2006 12:42:43 PM PST by Dog (Hey Red Sox forget the Japanese pitchers for $42mil I'll talk to you for $10 million.)
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bookmark


37 posted on 12/01/2006 12:42:57 PM PST by Eurotwit (WI - CSC)
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Comment #38 Removed by Moderator

Comment #39 Removed by Moderator

Comment #40 Removed by Moderator

To: MadIvan

Well, D'UH Jose!!


EU Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso voiced concern about the case. "We have a problem with Russia. In fact, we have several problems. Too many people have been killed and we don't know who killed them," he said on Thursday.

link: http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2006/12/2/worldupdates/2006-12-01T224400Z_01_NOOTR_RTRJONC_0_-278627-4&sec=Worldupdates


41 posted on 12/01/2006 1:08:51 PM PST by eyespysomething
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To: MadIvan

Like, we are supposed to be surprised? Communism is alive and well in Russia, home of the bolsheviks.


42 posted on 12/01/2006 1:13:49 PM PST by Sword_Svalbardt (Sword Svalbardt)
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To: MadIvan
So, to speculate on future defections of Russians with knowledge of or witnesses to crimes: you're not safe in England.

Would someone in British intelligence sell them out? Would it be for money or ideas? Was the dead ex-Russian spy sloppy or too homesick for friends that revealed his location perhaps?
43 posted on 12/01/2006 1:34:49 PM PST by SaltyJoe ("Social Justice" for the Unborn Child)
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To: Lizarde

http://www.freerepublic.com/%5Ehttp://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory?id=2693213


44 posted on 12/01/2006 1:56:21 PM PST by sissyjane (Don't be stuck on stupid!)
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To: jjm2111
Hope this guy has his will written. Good job evening standard. I hope the editor knows he has blood on his hands.

You might want to take a look at this link, and scroll down to Berezovsky Has “Scanned” Letters On Litvinenko.

You will have to scroll down half way for this article. Note his comments:

Update: The letters referred to below were ’smuggled’ out of Russia.

And detectives are investigating letters smuggled out of Russia which purport to show the existence of a secret squad set up to target Mr Litvinenko and others. Scotland Yard has been passed copies of two letters apparently written in jail by former Russian spy Mikhail Trepashkin, one of which warns Mr Litvinenko that both he and his family are at risk.

Why smuggled? Why not passed through channels? And we know one letter was penned after Litvinenko got sick and the other after he died (I suspect they were both penned recently). So why smuggle what could be a simple attempt to get some publicity from a criminal? This smells too much like a stages act.

Update: Here is a good, sane, measured report on what is known and not known. It clearly shows the Ishu Sushi Bar being the first contamination site and explains how the Russians who met with Litvinenko were possibly secondary carriers after being contaminated by Litvinenko. - end update

The evidence pointing towards an assassination (and away from Berezovsky) is getting quite thin this morning, as scans of letters (aka, copies - not originals) of letters purported to have warned Litvinenko he was in trouble (duh! - he had arrest warrants out for him) are made available by - surprise! - Berezovsky’s spokesman Alex Goldfarb (the man of a million alibis):

Detectives are investigating letters smuggled out of Russia purporting to show the existence of a secret squad set up to target poisoned spy Alexander Litvinenko and others.

Scotland Yard has been passed copies of two letters apparently penned in jail by former Russian intelligence officer Mikhail Trepashkin, in one of which Mr Litvinenko is warned that both he and his family are at risk.

Mr Litvinenko’s London friend Alex Goldfarb said scans of the letters came into his possession on Thursday and he passed them to Scotland Yard.

Mr Trepashkin, who worked for the KGB’s successor the FSB until 1997, was tried in 2004, accused of being a British spy and passing secret information to Mr Litvinenko and his close friend the tycoon Boris Berezovsky, both exiled in London.

Wonder how much Berezovsky promised to Trepashkin to pen these letters since Litvinenko died? Scans of letters from a Berezosvky ally? And they just came into Berezovsky’s possession (Goldfarb works for Berezovsky and has been spokesman on this incident since Berezovsky brought in his PR firm to help manage communications)? Pullleeease! How very, very convenient. And no custody trail for the authorities to confirm. Berezovsky is getting nervous. In fact, these letters are incredibly convenient and timely since they reflect the same “rogue group” theory leaked to the media yesterday:

The letters include one to Mr Litvinenko which he never received, as well as one to his friend Mr Goldfarb. In the message to Mr Litvinenko on November 20, Mr Trepashkin recalls a conversation in August 2002 in which he warned Mr Litvinenko - already living in London - that he and his family were at risk from the FSB.

Mr Trepashkin tells his friend that he had met an FSB contact near a railway station in Russia who told him that a “very serious group” had been set up, which “will knock out all those associated with Berezovsky and Litvinenko”.

The letter says that Mr Trepashkin was urged to co-operate with the group and provide information on Mr Litvinenko and members of his family. Mr Goldfarb said the other letter, addressed to him and written on November 25, detailed an offer to be a witness in the British investigation.

The “Rogue Agents” theory come out yesterday in this same paper, and now Goldfarb announces to the media (and I suppose the police as well) these confirming letters he just received? Did I mention the PR firm Berezovsky brought into this matter before Litvinenko died?
45 posted on 12/01/2006 2:11:08 PM PST by GarySpFc
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To: GarySpFc

If you're maintaining a Russian ping list, can you add me to it?

Thanks.


46 posted on 12/01/2006 2:17:06 PM PST by jjm2111 (http://www.purveryors-of-truth.blogspot.com)
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To: GarySpFc

Interesting points. What would Berezovsky have against Litvinenko?


47 posted on 12/01/2006 2:20:15 PM PST by jjm2111 (http://www.purveryors-of-truth.blogspot.com)
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To: Dog; MadIvan



http://www.ashdownpark.com/


48 posted on 12/01/2006 3:29:47 PM PST by brityank (The more I learn about the Constitution, the more I realise this Government is UNconstitutional.)
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To: brityank; Lizarde
That is no cheap hotel....that is a five star...hmmmmmm.

Liz...check out the hotel they check out today.. follow the link in post 48.

49 posted on 12/01/2006 3:39:14 PM PST by Dog (Hey Red Sox forget the Japanese pitchers for $42mil I'll talk to you for $10 million.)
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To: theFIRMbss
'Why use fairy dust?!"
To send a message, dear Watson, to send a message. The value of the whole affair in the putinoidal frame of reference is Litvinenko 1%, message 99%.
50 posted on 12/01/2006 3:47:03 PM PST by GSlob
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