Until Today, I Assumed Putin’s Russia Had Litvinenko Killed … Then I Looked for Myself

I’ve always assumed that Putin’s KGB (now called the FSB) killed Alexander Litvinenko.

But today’s announcement by the British that Putin “probably” approved Litvinenko’s murder made me curious enough to take a look for myself.

Initially, Litvinenko was poisoned with radioactive polonium as he sipped tea in an upscale London hotel. The report makes it sound like only Russia had access to polonium, but it’s actually available online to anyone.

Antiwar notes:

If the Russians wanted to off Litvinenko, why would they poison him with a substance that left a radioactive trail traceable from Germany to Heathrow airport – and, in the process, contaminating scores of hotel rooms, offices, planes, restaurants, and homes?  Why not just put a bullet through his head? It makes no sense.

But then conspiracy theories don’t have to make sense: they just have to take certain assumptions all the way to their implausible conclusions. If one starts with the premise that Putin and the Russians are a Satanic force capable of anything, and incompetent to boot, then it’s all perfectly “logical” – in the Bizarro World, at any rate.

The idea that Litvinenko was a dangerous opponent of the Russian government who had to be killed because he posed a credible threat to the existence of the regime is laughable: practically no one inside Russia knew anything about him, and as for his crackpot “truther” theories about how Putin was behind every terrorist attack ever carried out within Russia’s borders – to assert that they had any credence outside of the Western media echo chamber is a joke.


The meat of the matter – the real “evidence” – is hidden behind a veil of secrecy. Lord Owen’s inquiry was for the most part conducted in secret closed  hearings, with testimony given by anonymous witnesses, and this is central to the “evidence” that is supposed to convict Kovtun, Lugovoy, and the Russian government. Lord Owen, explains it this way:

“Put very shortly, the closed evidence consists of evidence that is relevant to the Inquiry, but which has been assessed as being too sensitive to put into the public domain. The assessment that the material is sufficiently sensitive to warrant being treated as closed evidence in these proceedings has been made not by me, but by the Home Secretary. She has given effect to this decision by issuing a number of Restriction Notices, which is a procedure specified in section 19 of the Inquiries Act 2005. The Restriction Notices themselves, although not, of course, the sensitive documents appended to them, are public documents. They have been published on the Inquiry website and are also to be found at Appendix 7 to this Report.”

In other words, the “evidence” is not for us ordinary mortals to see. We just have to take His Lordship’s word for it that the Russian government embarked on an improbable assassination mission against a marginal figure that reads like something Ian Fleming might have written under a pseudonym.

So who killed Litvinenko ?

Well, Mario Scaramella met with Litvinenko during the meal when Litvinenko was poisoned. Scaramella didn’t eat or drink a thing during the lunch, and then himself came down with a mild case of polonium poisoning.

La Republica (one of Italy’s largest newspapers)  wrote in 2006 (English translation) that Scaramella was a bad guy who may have worked with the CIA:

Mario Scaramella is suspected of arms trafficking. Earlier this year, the public prosecutor of Naples has written for this offense to the docket and, soon after, had to stop the investigation. [He was convicted in Italy for selling arms (original Italian).]


Sources found to be very credible by the prosecutor recalled that investigators suspected that Scaramella was actually in close relationship, if not actually working for, the CIA and that his ECPP could be a front company of the agency’s Langley.

Antiwar notes:

As I pointed out here:

“Litvinenko was an employee of exiled Russian billionaire Boris Berezovsky – whose ill-gotten empire included a Russian syndicate of car-dealerships that had more than a nodding acquaintance with the Chechen Mafia – but was being slowly cut out of the money pipeline. Big-hearted Boris, who had initially put him on the payroll as anti-Putin propagandist, was evidently getting sick of him, and the out-of-work “dissident” was reportedly desperate for money. Litvinenko had several “ business meetings ” with Lugovoi in the months prior to his death, and, according to this report , he hatched a blackmail scheme targeting several well-known Russian tycoons and government officials.”

Indeed, Litvinenko, in the months before his death, had targeted several well-known members of the Russian Mafia with his blackmail scheme. That they would take umbrage at this is hardly shocking.

Alternatively, Litvinenko may actually have accidentally poisoned himself.  Antiwar again:

Furthermore, there are indications that Litvinenko was engaged in the smuggling of nuclear materials. That he wound up being contaminated by the goods he was peddling on the black market seems far more credible than the cock-and-bull story about a vast Russian plot originating in the Kremlin,. Apparently Lord Owen has never heard of Occam’s Razor.

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  • Joel W

    I always assumed CIA, MI6 or Mossad did it to make Putin look bad. The way I saw it was the world already had their eyes on him and he was being demonized left and right so it made no sense for him to do something like that (sort of like Assad being accused of gassing civilians).

    • Julie Harbinger

      The CIA appears to have these shadow organisations, probably several of them comprised of islamomarxists, who are working to overthrow governments in order to install islamic states instead. These enemies of humanity have figured that the fastest way to destroy the west and russia, is to pit them against each other. The last thing these muslims, marxists and masons seek is a friendship of trust between Russia and the West. They have succeeded in appropriating the resources and lives of the USA through the muslim allies. America currently has a muslim running the show, and they don’t even know it, chronic deception.

      • David Sendero Del Santos

        Right Wing Dings of modern sensibilities learned to substitute Moslem for Jew in their nonsensical hate rants. You sir are singing an old song with updated lyrics to appeal to a more modern demographic. That does not make your tune any less nauseating as you are still an anti semite and Brother John Birch took out a copyright on this version of the tune sixty years ago.

    • JoshLyons

      Exactly. Like saying Assad is buying his own oil from ISIS and funding their war chest…against himself. All bollocks!

      • Joel W

        Oh yea I liked that one too. Laughed my ass off.

      • tom

        But just consider, for a moment, how deep the elite’s contempt for us peasants must be to think we would believe such transparent lies.

  • hidflect

    Stocks of Polonium, a vital component in nuclear triggers, is rigidly monitored to the microgram by the IAEA. It is only made via the slow decay of a higher isotope and so is extremely rare. The only country that could therefore remove some from their stockpile to enact such a bizarre murder would be a nuclear power that is not a signatory to inspections (unlike Russia). Of course, they’d have to have a pretty powerful secret service and it would only make sense if there was an axe to grind with Russia. And then it would be a real two-fer to silence Litvinenko if he was also blackmailing a powerful business person from said country, threatening to expose their corrupt dealings. Nah… it’s Putin!

    • Julie Harbinger

      Why would Putin take 6 years to murder someone who represented such a potential threat?

    • kimyo

      speaking of ‘bizarre murders’…..

      Yasser Arafat may have been poisoned with polonium, tests show

      The first forensic tests on samples taken from Yasser Arafat’s corpse have shown unexpectedly high levels of radioactive polonium-210, suggesting the Palestinian leader could have been poisoned with the rare and lethal substance.

      The Swiss scientists who tested Arafat’s remains after the exhumation of his body in November 2012 discovered levels of polonium at least 18 times higher than usual in Arafat’s ribs, pelvis and in soil that absorbed his bodily fluids.

      The Swiss report said that even taking into account the eight years since Arafat’s death and the quality of specimens taken from bone fragments and tissue scraped from his body and shroud, the results “moderately support the proposition that the death was the consequence of poisoning with polonium-210”.

      • hidflect

        Oh, wow.

  • slorter

    Another political construct coming out of the United Kingdom! How many assassinations have both the United States and Britain and France been involved, we could have a field day with that one!

  • ClubToTheHead

    Top dogs always kill.

    Even Popes.

    So it always was a big nothing for me on whether or not Putin had a hand in it.

    Anyway, it’s always fun to watch the top promoters of WWIII embarrass themselves in their efforts to demonize and justify another bloody mass massacre of sheeplike people who are not involved in any way with palace intrigue, but are just stupid enough volunteer to play sacrificial lamb in the patriotism game.

  • Brabantian

    GW, tho the Western propaganda against Putin is 75% bullshite, you are quite blind & un-learned in the history of Russia & Putin, and how the murdered Litvinenko is believed even by many Russians to be correct in accusing Putin of false flag ops murdering innocent people in connection with Chechnya, which took place in the same period as USA 11 Sep 2001. Remember that your friend Putin is very publicly ANTI-9-11-TRUTH.

    The West indulged Putin’s brutal & horrific crushing of Chechnya as the West also opposes Chechens being independent & prosperous. Russia seized Muslim Chechnya from Iran in 1813 after a war, & over 200 years has repeatedly mass-murdered Chechens on a level that is almost genocidal, so most Chechens want no part of Russia. Chechnya declared independence in the 1990s, but given the petroleum there & in next-door also-Muslim Dagestan, Russia killed as many as 100,000 to crush the secession. The ‘justification’ for these wars was ‘terrorism’ attacks which most Chechens & many Russians view as false flags, the only way Putin could justify denying Chechens’ self-determination. Of course Putin has his ‘loyal pro-Putin Chechens’ profiting.

    GW you need to get more sophisticated about Putin. Sure the murdering West did the Kiev coup … but Putin’s crime was not defending his fellow Russians in Donbass & letting as many as 50,000 Russians in East Ukraine be killed by Nato-backed goons. Putin’s constant role seems to be posing as ‘opposition’ whilst increasing & prolonging conflicts that will help bring about an oligarchic New World Order. Remember how Putin betrayed Qaddafi & signed up for Nato’s war destroying Libya, too. Putin & the West link through Israel & Putin’s very good close friend Netanyahu.

    GW you have become blinded by your awareness of Western corruption, into believing in fake ‘opposition’ heroes, as in your long blind belief in the hoax of Dick Cheney & Zbig Brzezinski’s friend, Edward Snowden, whom every major European government recognises as a fraud, who has likely helped silence or even murder real whistleblowers duped into contacting his smily fake ‘brave journalist’, the Rothschild employee Glenn Greenwald.

    But you are also blind and not learned in the significant probability – as many Russians themselves believe – that Vladimir Putin is NWO, fake ‘opposition’ playing a game just like your Yank USA ‘Democrats’ & ‘Republicans’.

    • Dow Jones

      You have indeed drunk deeply of the Hegelian koolaid, amigo. Hope you savor it to the full because if you can’t grasp the bigger picture outside the Anglozionazi frame then surely your life is hardly worth living in that delightfully smug hamster wheel and cage you have so artfully constructed for yourself. JC Collins and Brandon Smith would indeed be proud of your perpetuation of their “thesis” conspiracy.

    • Julie Harbinger

      Glenn Greenwald works to use the Snowden leaks to sue the USA govt for discriminatory racial profiling against muslims etc etc. However, 9-11 TRUTH, as you call it, is also another false islamomarxist nazi propaganda story. The muslims and marxists and masons are all pagan satanists that share the exact same goal: one world government. Putin is, of course, right about being anti the attempt to obfuscate the fact that saudi arabians and other muslims were the perpetrators of 9/11. He is also right when he says that the US govt is implicated, since we all should realise by now that the islamist jihadists could never have carried off the atrocity without inside help. Unfortunately, because americans have failed to ask the right questions, or not received answers to their questions, from their govt, the very treasonous criminals are still at work in their govt.

  • Dow Jones

    Whatever the Anglozionazi Empire of Carnage touches it turns to shit. Instead of exhuming this radioactive cadaver for the umpteenth time ad nauseam let the Anglozionazis explain how they destroyed flight MH 17 over Ukropland, because the thinking world knows that Russia isn’t responsible for that mass murder. Sadly for the narrative framers they know quiet rightly they can no longer set the terms of the narrative on that mass murder stunt. Hence one final attempt to flog the cadaver of Litvinenko. The Britlanders have become so obviously desperate to please their Washing town masters that it is entertaining to watch. The Titanic sails on as always right on cue to its ignominious end but the elite will sip champagne and eat caviar until the lifeboats are ready oblivious as ever to the changing reality looming all around their collapsing world.



    • Julie Harbinger

      The illegal islamomarxist govt in Kiev shot down the MH17, not Russia. The objective remains the incitement of war between the West and Russia. This is the reason why Ukraine govt was overthrown. It is akin to the so called chemical weapons use by Assad. The civil war in Syria began in the same way as that in Ukraine. Snipers in disguise shooting both police and protesters.

  • Jan 20, 2016 The Debate – Growing Arms Sales to Saudi Arabia

    The headlines are increasing, and getting louder. UK arms sold to Saudi Arabia may breach international law in Yemen. David Cameron accused of silently taking Britain into a brutal war in Yemen by Saudi Arabia. Yemen: Britain and Saudi Arabia Shoulder to Shoulder in Atrocity. And these are all coming from western media outlets. The UK involvement in the illegal Saudi bombing campaign has become evident, especially the extent in which it is involved. IN this edition the debate, we’ll discuss why the UK is so adamant in supporting Saudi Arabia, which involves arms sales.


  • sveltesvengali

    What I find particularly interesting about the Litvinenko case is not even the “whodunnit?” aspect, but the degree to which Russia and other countries have been mutually willing to leave the matter at an impasse (see my comments):



    In any event, going off of much of this, I think certain interests in Russia had ample incentive to off Litvinenko, but so did many other players (and possibly for the same reasons).

    • sveltesvengali

      As an aside, I do not think that Taliban suppression of the drug trade is an incontrovertible fact as Murray alleges, even within the context of the reduced opium yields that preceded the 2001 war (see here: http://www.historycommons.org/context.jsp?item=a0700poppyban#a0700poppyban).

      However, that is just a minor nitpick on my part that does not detract from the overall content of the article.

  • par4

    I listened to ‘Gary Brecher’ and Mark Ames yesterday and they believe all “intelligent” people know Putin did it. I was, to say the least, amused that some liberals found a conspiracy theory they could embrace.

  • Itsover2016

    This is our bull…This is another stupid attempt by UK to try to do “what”…right now our concern is why the U.S. is making the UK to even bring forth this story? Right now, the U.S. and UK are the enemy of the world, world war three is coming and it’s not Putin who starts it, it’s Obama, the Muslim brotherhood and the UK…so get busy and protect your citizens and quit trying to make a nothing story into something that has no legs.

  • travis690

    [Regarding the final comment] Nah…that would be too easy for him to understand. Lord Owen, it would seem, is more interested in attaching a person to the death of another, than he is at finding the truth to the situation.

    Both criminal prosecutors and corrupt, uninformed lawmakers need to make sure that punishment is distributed against a living person or group of persons. It does them no good if the result was accidental death or suicide, since they don’t have anything to do with a large, well-publicized case. The prosecutor needs someone to jail. The lawmaker needs some additional minor act to criminalize, which would also make the prosecutor’s job easier, since the new law will be based upon a trivial act.

    But in this case, I have a better piece of advice for those that may think about the act: Be careful if you handle radioactive poisonous ingredients.

  • renevers

    The CIA /Mossad/MI6 as an integrated power nucleus, is using foodtoxins Sarin,VX and other nervegasses, standard in their assassination programs, whole over Europe. Objects can be: politicians, journalists, bloggers, military leaders , witnesses, “wrong” but influential opinion makers,innocent bystanders. The deaths of the victims is hidden in the “natural death” class, as no police force in the world will look for these poisons or investigate these deaths where there is a body found without traces of wrongdoing. The proof of wrongoing evaporates away quickly The innocent mass of people is unaware that these poisions can be used. THe masses see the use as unhuman so “conformation bias” against their use via protecting international laws against their usage makes them an unlikely weapon to them.

    In fact , the present practice in the western “free world” is NOT ,that the secret services are under control of their government, but that the secret services control their government and influence politics and important decision taking by doing so. Nowadays all western secret services are in fact working as ONE big integrated and centrally coordinated institution,guided from the power centres that steer the American Zionist empire and their Brittish ancestors. The main centre is the innercircle of the CIA and Pentagon, together with Zionist /Marxist interest groups within the Israeli politics and where “world” policy is dictated for ANY country in the world. Secret service and secret service assassination is one of the most underestimated powertools inside their toolbox of dirty tricks. It is “propaganda and secret murder” to influence and direct policy over other areas outside the USA.
    The Litvinenco case is strange as polonium210 is easily traceable and very difficult to get. It could have been a Western or Iraeli secret service that tried to kill Litvinenco if he would have been blackmailing or damaging Western or Zionist intelligence cq. economic interests, in Russia. The choice of weapon here , could also have been , a false flag towards the Russian FSB . The remarks in the press of Britannia shows the lack of understanding of what is going on in the hidden world of politics of empire. Or it is mere hypocrisy, when they DO know. The story here, is possible as well. At least the CIA connection is visible.

    I am targeted with toxins by these secret organisations : I know first hand what is going on. Contact me for details and google me on Youtube for some comments with details. Rene Verstraeten Aalter Belgium.

  • K. Chris C.

    Cannot be, as according to my secret evidence, it was Professor Plum in the study with the candlestick.

    I also have secret evidence that it was indeed Mickey Mouse on the Grassy Knoll that day in ’63.

    An American citizen, not US subject.

  • Suzana Malenovic

    I don’t believe in US involvement, influence perhaps but not involvement. I am not US citizen. But what I do believe is that both US and UK government wanted this poisoning to be connected to Mr.Putin to serve as a path to loss of credit. They hate Putin, everybody knows that.
    I believe that true murderer is a mystery to all. Rest is all speculation…propaganda and a battlefield for political influence.

  • Quest

    In those days following the Soviet collapse, information used for blackmail purposes was how the likes of Poroshenko and Kolomoisky thrived.

  • Becky Weller

    Putin killing this guy was mainstream media propaganda.

  • tom

    “But today’s announcement by the British that Putin “probably” approved Litvinenko’s murder made me curious enough to take a look for myself”.

    As the great Claud Cockburn advised us, “Never believe anything until it has been officially denied”. Of course, it also works in reverse: never disbelieve anything until it has been officially asserted.