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Dead Russian spy planned blackmail: acquaintance ['60 minutes' working for Putin]
Reuters ^ | January 05 2007 | unknown

Posted on 01/06/2007 2:12:56 AM PST by AdmSmith

NEW YORK (Reuters) - An acquaintance of a former Russian agent killed by radiation poisoning in London said in a television interview that Alexander Litvinenko, who accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of ordering his murder, had planned to blackmail a wealthy Russian businessman.

Russian Julia Svetlichnaya said she was a graduate student in London when she spoke to Litvinenko -- a former Russian state security officer who died on November 23 in London after ingesting polonium 210 -- about a book she was writing.

"He told me ... he's doing a project for blackmailing one of the Russian oligarchs (exiled Russian businessmen) ... in U.K.," Svetlichnaya told CBS television's "60 Minutes" in a program to be aired on Sunday.

"He thought that it was actually an OK thing to do because this particular person, as Litvinenko claimed, had a connection with ... Putin," she said.

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TOPICS: Extended News; Foreign Affairs; Russia
KEYWORDS: espionage; litvinenko; putin; russia; spies; spy; yukos
'60 Minutes' is obviously working for Putin as they are using Julia Svetlichnaya as a witness. She is probably hired by Kremlin:

Svetlichnaya, 33, told The Observer that she had made contact with Litvinenko in connection with a book she was allegedly writing about the breakaway republic of Chechnya.

Svetlichnaya characterized Litvinenko as a paranoid and pathetic figure fighting a private war with the Kremlin, trying to relieve his penniless existence via blackmail, and said he invited her to take part in his plots.

Aftenposten has seen an email from a British human rights activist and Professor of Russian, and member of Litvinenko's network, who claims to have information that Svetlichnaya was acting on instructions from "a special bureau" - a reference to the secret service FSB - to study in London in order to have easier access to exiled Chechen leader Akhmed Zakayev.

Russian Investors The Observer followed her lead and described her as a student at the University of Westminster in London, but there is no mention made in the articles of her background as information chief for a Russian investment firm.

On Monday Aftenposten discovered her name on a web site for the Russian investment company "Russian Investors". Hidden on a page listing the company's "philanthropic" activities in equestrianism, she stands listed by name and with a company email address.

Aftenposten's London correspondent phoned the investment company's managing director Alexei Yashechkin to learn more about Svetlichnaya and her relationship to the company.

The conversation with Yashechkin was hesitant and occasionally self-contradictory. The director both denied and admitted that Svetlichnaya had connections to the company.

He also said it must be a case of a "another girl with the same name", without any mention that the call had anything to do with the Svetlichnaya in the news who claimed to be a student. After many much stammering and several pauses the obviously nervous director finally ended the conversation and hung up.

Skeptics The British professor of Russian, who insisted on remaining nameless on this matter, accuses Svetlichnaya of being part of a "massive disinformation campaign" about the Litvinenko affair.

Human rights activist Maria Fuglevaag Warsinski called the accusations of secrecy and blackmail into question, citing Litvinenko's efforts to publicize information he gained.

"He wanted to spread this information to as many as possible and was pleased by the help he got to disseminate this to human rights activists and advocates of democracy," Warsinski said.

1 posted on 01/06/2007 2:12:58 AM PST by AdmSmith
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To: AdmSmith


2 posted on 01/06/2007 2:13:58 AM PST by AdmSmith
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To: lizol; Tailgunner Joe; TigerLikesRooster; nuconvert


3 posted on 01/06/2007 2:21:42 AM PST by AdmSmith
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To: AdmSmith
Re #3

Planting a mole in London is no sweat for FSB. I suppose Sharapova is more credible as an witness than this broad.

4 posted on 01/06/2007 2:27:20 AM PST by TigerLikesRooster (kim jong-il, kae jong-il, chia head, pogri, midget sh*tbag)
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To: MadIvan
Dissidents worried about KGB spies, ex-Communists infiltrating BBC Russian Service

Leading dissidents from the former Soviet Union have demanded an examination of what they claim is a string of examples of pro-Putin bias on the taxpayer-funded British Broadcasting Corporation's (BBC) Russian Service, The Daily Telegraph reports.

The authors of an open letter, published this week in British media, complained about the allegedly pro-Kremlin tone of the BBC programs, amid fears that former and current agents of the Russian secret services and ex-Communists infiltrated the broadcasting organization.
It is worth mentioning that the BBC Russian service went off air in Moscow and St Petersburg, two major radio markets, around a month ago, soon after the murder in London of Alexander Litvinenko, a former FSB officer. "Unexplained technical difficulties" with the BBC's local partners were reportedly blamed, but there is still no service in Moscow, MosNews writes.

The dissidents, led by Oleg Gordievsky, the former KGB spy turned MI6 agent, and Vladimir Bukovsky, an author who spent 12 years in Soviet prison camps, are particularly angered by the unexpected axing of a programme presented by Seva Novgorodsev that had run for 19 years, MosNews marks. Novgorodsev, who still broadcasts on the Russian Service, received the MBE from the Queen in 2004, the online paper adds. His programme regularly had guests who were enemies of the Moscow regime, such as Litvinenko and the investigative journalist Anna Politkovskaya who both were murdered in November 2006.

"At a time when Britain needs a strong voice in Russia more than at any point over the past decade, the taxpayer-funded BBC Russian Service radio seems to have considerably mellowed in its tone towards the Russian government," The Daily Telegraph quoted the letter as saying. "By design or by neglect, it has become more accommodating of Russian government views, dispensing with difficult questions and denying a platform to some critics."

Online paper BosNewsLife meanwhile alleges that at least one senior Russian editor had links with the former Soviet Union regime and the KGB. Andrey Ostalski, the editor-in-chief of the BBC Russian Service in London, admitted in an article on the network's Russian website that he had worked for a decade for the Soviet news agency TASS, seen as a mouthpiece of the Kremlin and the Communist Party. On the eve of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979, Ostalski said he was asked, and agreed, to closely cooperate with the chief of the analytical department of the KGB, a certain Nikolai Leonov. Ostalski, moved to the United Kingdom soon after the collapse of the Soviet Union, in the early 1990s. BosNewsLife also claims that several other editors and producers of the service received prestigious Communist-era education in Moscow, in the educational establishments that were closed for dissidents, their children, or those who were not loyal to the regime.
At the same time the chief of the Russian service, Sarah Gibson, has a limited knowledge of the Russian language and she doesn't even speak good Russian, BosNewsLife writes, referring to an anonymous source from the BBC.
The BBC has reportedly received also a protest letter signed by 1,000 listeners around the world. A BBC spokesman strongly denied that the company was silencing critical voices.
5 posted on 01/06/2007 2:31:41 AM PST by AdmSmith
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To: AdmSmith
Julia Svetlichnaya doesn't want to end up fried from the inside like Alexander Litvinenko, or shot in the right eye while walking down a Moscow—or London!—street.
6 posted on 01/06/2007 2:55:11 AM PST by snarks_when_bored
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To: AdmSmith

Somehow, i belive that.
basicaly, vast majority of former KGB agents (not just from Russia, but most of all from former Soviet republics) went to "Privateers", e.i. mafia.

As in this case, and most of the casess, Russian "buissnissmen" hade their own private KGB agents, and Litvinenko was probably one of them.

Where is the money, there is the mafia, where is the mafia, there is power, where is power, there are former KGB agents needed.

7 posted on 01/06/2007 4:14:14 AM PST by kronos77 ( and Save Kosovo from Islam!)
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To: kronos77; TigerLikesRooster
I agree with you. The problem with Russia is that there are no trust in the judiciary. The only working law is the Law of Gravity. Read this:

Russian ex-spies put skills to work in security companies
Continuing a series of articles on activities of Russian secret services and ex-KGB spies, the Los Angeles Times has interviewed Vladimir Lutsenko, a former military intelligence (GRU) officer, "one of the top go-to guys for "security" advice in today's Russia".

Asked about allegations, made by the former Russian security service agent Alexander Litvinenko before he died of radiation poisoning last November, that his men were hired out to do dirty work for the Russian special services, Lutsenko shrugged and laughed. Litvinenko believed the FSB was operating contract death squads among the various security companies and veterans organizations that allowed for the elimination of major criminals and extremists without the necessity of arrest and trial.
The paper marks that the poisoning case shines light on a shadowy world in which former agents cash in on old contacts. It notes that Russia is awash in companies like Lutsenko's, stocked with veterans of the Russian intelligence services.

Los Angeles Times underlines that in one of his books, Litvinenko accused Lutsenko's private security and analysis company, Stells, of operating "under the roof" of the FSB. He wrote that one of Stells' employees had acknowledged to Litvinenko's source that his job was to study the entrances of certain apartment buildings, along with possible approach and exit routes. One such report he prepared, Litvinenko said, was on the apartment building where popular former ORT-TV director Vladislav Listyev was shot to death in 1995. The killing has never been solved.

Lutsenko dismisses such speculation as the stuff of spy movie plots. These days, he said, one of the biggest sources of business for KGB-veteran companies such as his is the "unfriendly merger," the Russian equivalent of a hostile takeover, in which a company may buy 5% of the stock of another company, stage a fake meeting of stockholders, bribe court officials in a remote Russian town into issuing a document recognizing new owners, throw the previous owners into the street, then immediately proceed to sell the company.

Yuri Drozdov, a former commander of undercover operations for the KGB, who now runs his own security company in Moscow, and swears by his fellow KGB employees, told the daily that the ex-KGB men had a sense of discipline and were used to very strict order. "These people have the expertise to be prepared to work under any conditions you can imagine." The one thing he's sure of, Drozdov said, is that none of his former colleagues would have agreed to poison a former comrade, even one seen as a traitor.
At the same time Los Angeles Times refers to the former Soviet intelligence officer Boris Volodarsky who said he had identified 20 KGB poisonings since 1921, all marked with the same signs - meticulous planning and massive public disinformation.
8 posted on 01/06/2007 4:33:33 AM PST by AdmSmith
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To: AdmSmith

There were rumors while he was in the hospital that he had been trying to blackmail people.
It's all very interesting and yet not surprising. Especially the part about 60Minutes and the BBC being pro Putin. The BBC is also pro Iranian regime.

BBC Russian has been off the air for a month due to technical difficulties. LOL. Yeah right.

9 posted on 01/06/2007 5:44:36 AM PST by nuconvert ([there's a lot of bad people in the pistachio business] (...but his head is so tiny...))
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To: sidegunner; outofstyle; quesney; Brad's Gramma; OriginalChristian; Huber; Think free or die; ...
Eastern European ping list

FRmail me to be added or removed from this Eastern European ping list

10 posted on 01/06/2007 6:29:25 AM PST by lizol (Liberal - a man with his mind open ... at both ends)
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To: TigerLikesRooster
I suppose Sharapova is more credible as an witness than this broad.

If you discount witnesses for one side and believe witnesses for the other, you get the results who wanted from the beginning.

If she supported Litvinenko claims, would you see her in more favorable light?

11 posted on 01/06/2007 7:54:48 AM PST by A. Pole (Lavrenti Beria: "Show me the man, and Iíll find you the crime.")
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To: AdmSmith

60 minutes working for Putin ---

what else is new.

12 posted on 01/06/2007 7:54:53 AM PST by spanalot
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To: A. Pole
Re #11

Depends on whether she has ties to FSB.:-)

13 posted on 01/06/2007 8:38:54 AM PST by TigerLikesRooster (kim jong-il, kae jong-il, chia head, pogri, midget sh*tbag)
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To: AdmSmith
'60 Minutes' is obviously working for Putin

It's CBS, of course they're gonna work for the communists.
14 posted on 01/06/2007 8:41:03 AM PST by G8 Diplomat
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