Let the Litvinenko murder inquiry inspire more investigations of the Kremlin’s ugly tactics.
On Thursday, a British inquiry into the polonium poisoning death of former Russian agent Alexander Litvinenko in 2006 implicated Russian President Vladimir Putin in the murder. The announcement was the first step toward justice not just for Litvinenko but for all of the victims of Russian state terror.
|Alexander Litvinenko Before and after Poisoning|
The evidence that Litvinenko was killed by the Russian regime was overwhelming from the beginning. But the inquiry’s conclusion that Mr. Putin “probably” approved the murder beforehand is the first instance of an official body connecting Mr. Putin personally to the murder of a member of the Russian opposition. The finding was made possible because the crime was committed not in Russia but in England, and it was the British authorities not the Russians who investigated.
It is now imperative not only for the West but for the future of Russia that the Litvinenko inquiry set a precedent for the objective international review of the cases of political terrorism in Russia. These include the bloody sieges at Moscow’s Dubrovka theater in 2002 and at a school in Beslan in 2004, the assassinations of journalists and opposition leaders and, above all, the deadly 1999 apartment bombings that helped bring Mr. Putin to power.
In the Litvinenko case, the alleged assassins, Andrei Lugovoi and Dmitry Kovtun, were accused by the British inquiry of slipping polonium-210 into Litvinenko’s tea. A radioactive trail was left all over London. Traces of polonium were found in Mr. Lugovoi’s hotel room, at a sushi restaurant where Litvinenko dined with the two men, and on the seat occupied by Mr. Lugovoi on a British Airlines flight from Moscow to London.Read the rest of this WSJ op-ed HERE, Follow a link to a related story, and view a related video below:
Putin ‘Probably’ Approved Litvinenko Poisoning, U.K. Inquiry Says
If you like what you see, please "Like" us on Facebook either here or here. Please follow us on Twitter here.