Skip to comments.Murdered spy was a thief and a thug, Putin insists
Posted on 02/01/2007 3:37:04 PM PST by xcamel
*Litvinenko 'did not have to flee'
*Reporters told of crimminal oligarchs
Alexander Litvinenko, the former spy who was murdered in London, was a thug and a thief who had no need to flee to Britain because he was so insignificant, President Putin said yesterday.
Litvinenko had not been privy to state secrets and was dismissed from the Federal Security Service (FSB) “for beating people during detentions when he was a security service officer and for stealing explosives”. Mr Putin said: “He got a three-year suspended sentence and there was no need for him to flee. He had said all the negative things he could say about his service, so there could not be anything new in his actions .”
The President pulled back from previous Kremlin accusations that exiled opponents of his regime were behind the murder of Litvinenko and the investigative journalist Anna Politkovskaya.
Mr Putin attacked “fugitive oligarchs” who had committed crimes in Russia and were hiding abroad. He said, however, that there was no evidence of a conspiracy against Russia. He declined to speculate on why Litvinenko was poisoned with radioactive polonium-210.
It emerged this week that Russian special forces had used a picture of Litvinenko for target practice.
Mr Putin’s harsh assessment came at his annual Kremlin press conference to more than 1,200 Russian and foreign journalists — a marathon that lasted three hours and 32 minutes as he responded to 65 questions. Mr Putin joked and even flirted with reporters. Maria Solobyova, a newspaper editor from Vladivostok, began a question on corruption with: “Hello, incomparable Vladimir Vladimirovich.” She went on: “You know everything. You can do everything — how are you going to save us from these bandits?” When another young woman journalist from Murmansk invited him to go skiing at a local resort, Mr Putin asked her name and whether she was making a personal invitation.
However, Mr Putin, 54, repeatedly ducked attempts to get him to name a favoured successor or to say what he would do after his second term ended in March next year. The Constitution bars him from seeking a third term. He rejected Western criticism that Russia was using energy as a weapon, after confrontations with Belarus, Ukraine and Georgia.
He triggered renewed nervousness in the European Union, however, over its dependence on Russian energy by commenting favourably for the first time on setting up an Opec-style group of gas producers. Russia, the world’s top gas exporter, has recently held talks with Iran and Algeria, both major producers.
Mr Putin threatened a response to US plans to establish anti-missile defence systems in Eastern Europe, saying Russia did not believe Washington’s claim that they were to counter threats from Iran or terrorists.
Blame the victim.
I don't think you really wanna go there, Pootie-Poot.
"...Rule # 1. Not a single word passing the lips of a kegebun can be trusted, and that includes the pauses the kegebun has to make to catch the breath or to swallow the saliva..."
Putin is busy murdering critics of his kleptocracy. "Thief and thug" are projections of Putin's own criminality.
I doubt he was clean but that's a little like Baca calling Sanchez a whore.
I used to think Putin was good for Russia. No longer.
This reminds me of the day we heard that Bonnie Lee Bakely had been killed. Robert Blake's friends were interviewed and all they could talk about was how evil she was, and pretty much said that she needed killing.
Putin knows, there is no talking back.
Dismissed for beating prisoners and stealing explosives??? This qualifies him as Putin's successor, not target. Damn, am I glad my parents and I left that land almost 27 years ago.
(Plus, I cannot imagine what a "suspended sentence" in former-Soviet Russia entails - my imagination only goes so far.)
Oh, we can help you with that!
Trying to justify himself amounts to an admission.
Takes one to know one.
Okay. You caught us, Pooty.
They're really to counter threats from Russia. Satisfied?
There was no need for him to run.
We could have killed him here just as easily./