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Murder Most Foul: the Death of Litvinenko
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Did Russia’s president Vladimir Putin approve the murder in London of Alexander Litvinenko? The renegade Russian FSB agent died an agonizing death after being poisoned in late 2006 with the deadly radioactive isotope, Polonium 210.

So charged an official British inquiry chaired by Sir Robert Owen after years of investigation. Owen also accused former FSB chief Nikolai Patrushev and two former FSB agents, Andrei Lugovoi and Dimitri Kovtun.

As the first western journalists to be invited to interview KGB’s then chiefs at their Lubyanka headquarters in Moscow, I’ve naturally been closely following the Litvinenko case since it began. Here are my views as a long-time intelligence specialist:

KGB, its predecessors, Cheka, OGPU, NKVD, MGB, and successor SVR(foreign intelligence), FSB (internal security) and military intelligence GRU, had a long tradition of liquidating defectors, turncoats and “traitors.” The notorious hit squad “SMERSH” was created to kill renegades and “enemies of the state.” Its most famed victim was exiled Soviet leader, Leon Trotsky.

A top secret department, “Kamera,” was created to produce a wide range of hard-to-identify poisons, many used to murder Ukrainian nationalist leaders. A leading Bulgarian defector, Georgi Markov, was murdered in London by means of a deadly ricin capsule shoved into his leg.

State-sponsored murders were not just confined to the Communist bloc. The US tried to kill Cuba’s Fidel Castro over one hundred times, using poisons, assassins even an exploding cigar. US Predators roam the skies murdering Washington’s enemies.

Britain’s agents tried to assassinate Libya’s Khadaffi in Benghazi with a car bomb. French agents also tried to kill Khadaffi – eventually succeeding in 2011. Israel has assassinated almost the entire Palestinian leadership over past decades.

But the Soviets/Russia were always grand masters of liquidation. The gruesome murder of Litvinenko is perfectly consistent with this tradition.

Litvinenko had defected to Britain and thrown his lot in with shady Russian exile Boris Berezovsky, who was intriguing to seize power in Moscow from Putin with the help of Britain’s MI6 intelligence service. During the early 1920’s, Britain intelligence had tried precisely the same thing, using fabled British agent Sidney Reilly.

Worse, from Moscow’s point of view, Litvinenko had published a damning book, “Blowing Up Russia,” that accused the FSB and its new star Vladimir Putin of blowing up apartment buildings in 1999 in three Russian cities. Three hundred and seven people died, 1700 were injured, and panic spread across Russia. The attacks were blamed on Chechen “terrorist” though a FSB team was caught planting explosives. The stage was set for a strongman to enter. That, of course, was Vladimir Putin. He ordered the invasion of breakaway Chechnya.

The entire apartment bombing business was a prelude to the 9/11 attacks on the US two years later that boosted far right neocons into power and led to the invasion of Iraq.

Litvinenko went on to openly accuse Putin of murdering the renowned Russia anti-war writer, Anna Politkovskaya. Shortly before her death, this courageous woman predicted to me that she would shortly be murdered by Russian gangsters sent by friends of the Kremlin.

Next, Litvinenko claimed that Putin had been a child molester, a claim that clearly sealed his fate. He wrote that Russia was being run by former KGB hard men and Russian gangsters.

The murder of Litvinenko was no surprise. But who did it? The British tribunal’s claim that Putin “may” have authorized the murder are not credible unless parts of the inquiry held in secret are revealed.


Soviet/Russian intelligence tradecraft always covered up its chain of command and “special operations.” I don’t see how Putin could be accused short of wire taps and defector testimony. Or unless MI6 has a mole in the Kremlin or FSB HQ – which is not impossible. But from knowledge of KGB, it is highly professional and always careful to cover its tracks.

It’s wrong to accused President Putin without real proof and should be seen as part of the anti-Putin propaganda war waged by the US and Britain.

But I would not be surprised if senior Russian intelligence officials conspired with mobsters to liquidate the irksome Litvinenko. The accusation of child molesting is the very worst charge one can imagine in child-crazy Russia. The two Russians accused of poisoning Litvinenko, Lugovoi and Kovtun, are central casting Russian thugs.

(Republished from by permission of author or representative)
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: Litvinenko, Russia, Vladimir Putin 
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  1. mikhas says:

    “But from knowledge of KGB, it is highly professional and always careful to cover its tracks.”

    -hence leaving a carefully laid trail of Polonium from London to Russia? That is rather an insult to the Hollywood-esque image of Russian intelligence that Margolis is trying to peddle, but say´s a lot more on the real suspect Margolis decides to omit in his piece: Boris Berezovsky…

  2. alexander says:

    Dear Mr Margolis,

    There is so little credibility left, within the engines of power, of what substitutes today for the “West”and all the decent things we stood for before the Neocon coup d’ etat ,that can any really accept, without a healthy dose of disdain, the incessant peppering of Mr Putin with pernicious propaganda?

    There are over fifty nine “million” refugees, whose lives have been utterly destroyed by our force-fed ,fifteen year affair with Neocon wars of aggression and their illegality…..yet not one of those lives….not a one……has there been an accounting for.

    It all feels like a big Neocon joke,now, …..when Mr Putin is taken to task (falsely or otherwise)…..

    One big Neocon joke.

  3. the real question is: why did the British cucks dredge up this decade-old mud now? Apparently the Zionists, in whose globalist shoe Putin’s Russia is a sharp White stone, are running low on ammo

  4. But who paid the thugs?

  5. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Sorry, but any person or media outlet that runs this story loses all credibility with me. They aren’t serious. The guy was a stone-cold nut job blaming Russian FSB and Putin for eveything. The Danish Muhammed cartoon controversy? He says it was Russian FSB. London bombings? Russian FSB. Al Qaeda? Supported by Ruusian FSB. And Russian FSB was behind all the Muslim terrorist attacks in Russia as well (Beslan, Moscow theatre, apt. bombings, et al.). The guy makes Glenn Beck look like the epitome of sanity. Litvinenko was fully disembarked from the shores of sanity. He ended his life by committing suicide with radioactive Polonium and converting to Islam. The U.K. has been a sad and pathetic country, coming out with this bogus judicial decision in the same week as the vote in Parliament to ban Trump.

    • Replies: @LondonBob
  6. Richard S says:

    Berezovsky, however, died of natural causes of course. He betrayed Russia, so it was only natural he’d die!

    • Replies: @Avery
  7. mo says:

    Here we come again with the SMERSH nonsence. What Mr. Margolis wrote about SMERSH is a pure fiction straight from the James Bond spy novels that is unworthy of “a long-time intelligence specialist.” Wikipedia article ( ) correctly describes this so-called SMERSH as “a fictional Soviet counterintelligence agency featured in Ian Fleming’s early James Bond novels.”

    The English ( ) and especially Russian ( ) Wikipedia articles provide more accurate information on real SMERSH. There were actually three different SMERSHes that existed from 1943 through 1946, so none of them could assassinate Trotsky in 1940. Their real function was conducting routine counterintelligence activities during the WW II:

    “The official statute of SMERSH listed the following tasks to be performed by the organisation: counter-intelligence, counter-terrorism, preventing any other activity of foreign intelligence in the Red Army; fighting “anti-Soviet elements” in the Red Army; protection of the front lines against penetration by spies and “anti-Soviet elements”; investigating traitors, deserters and self-harm in the Red Army; and checking military and civil personnel returning from captivity.”
    (Source: English Wikipedia)

  8. Avery says:
    @Richard S

    I hope FSB arranged for Boris Abramovich Berezovsky to die of natural causes.
    If they didn’t, shame on FSB.

    The gangster stole 10s of billions of Russia’s national wealth, tried to overthrow the duly elected Russian government while in Russia, and continued his campaign to overthrow President Putin from London, under the protection of MI5 and MI6.

    Meanwhile, President Obama openly ordered the assassination of a US citizen and his 16 year old son, and boasted about it. So what crime was Anwar Al-Awlaki convicted of ? None: he was proselytizing – only proselytizing – against US. So constitutional lawyer Obama had him murdered extrajudicial.

    btw: father of nut-job traitor Litvinenko told British investigators he believes Litvinenko’s former boss Boris Berezovsky and one of his associates murdered his son.

    • Replies: @manton
  9. attonn says:

    Before writing this post, I was sitting for half an hour, trying to remember when the last time the British government said anything truthful…then gave up.

  10. Svigor says:

    Russian Nationalists deserve no help from anyone. They offer nothing to anyone (except leftists).

  11. mo says:

    Be careful: This article does not constitute an impartial analysis. It’s obvious that Mr. Margolis has his own barely masked sympathies and where they lie. He did not let the other side be heard as well; all what we learn about FSB and Putin is that they hated Litvinenko (probably true) and most likely organized the assassination (not proven beyond a reasonable doubt). The best that could be done under the curcumstances would be to lay out the arguments on both sides and leave a verdict “murder by person or persons unknown.”

    Paul Craig Roberts’ opinion piece also published today on sways in the opposite direction claiming “UK inquiry under orders from Washington.” Is there an evidence of such orders? If not we should give to UK authorities the benefit of doubt.

  12. manton says:

    So are you actually a traitor or do you just support and admire treason? If so, in all cases, or only against the US?

    • Replies: @Avery
  13. manton says:

    PCR is insane and not worth wasting time on.

    But I am curious about this case. I’ve read a lot about it and not made up my mind either way. Edward Jay Epstein’s writing on it has been very interesting, and he thinks it was not an assassination.

    However, one must wonder, if it wasn’t “official,” what was it? It’s not like 210Po is easy to get. You have to make it in a reactor. How many people have access to those, and how many of them are not with some government? The half life is very short–well under half a year. Once you have it, you must “use it or lose it.” That suggests some careful planning.

    Then there is the “travel trail” which seems to track quite closely with the two FSB agents identified in the report.

    Like I said, I’m not convinced either way, but the denial case that’s been made so far doesn’t seem all that strong. Basically it’s just the assertion of “Not proved!” without any acknowledgement of the strong circumstantial case.

  14. Avery says:

    The one who is a traitor is you.
    You are also an un-American idiot and a standard issue MSM ignoramus.
    You are also an anti-American Neo-Nazi, Fascist scum.

    Anti-Constitutional, Anti-American filth like you who prostrate themselves in front of unconstitutional lawbreakers like Obama, Bush Jr, etc are the reason all of us Americans are in danger.

    Educate yourself you ignorant scum, before you call me names.

    [Judge Napolitano: Killing US citizen Anwar al-Awlaki is Unconstitutional & Against American Values ]

    [Judge Napolitano: Obama Murders US Citizens! Anwar al-Awlaki Murdered by Obama! WILL YOU BE NEXT? ]

    In case you are too stupid to look him up, Judge Napolitano was a New Jersey Superior Court Judge, and now teaches constitutional law as a Distinguished Professor at Brooklyn Law.
    Which law school did you go to, you bird-brained idiot.

    • Replies: @manton
  15. LondonBob says:

    All of those stories have their origin with Berezovsky and his associates. The worrying thing is how they have been promulgated by the British media and have largely been accepted as fact.

    I agree with Mary Dejevsky, David Habakkuk and Edward Jay Epstein. Accidental poisoning whilst handling polonium 210 as part of a smuggling operation.

  16. Sean says:

    The FSB goons certainly did it and they were stupid enough to use a method that made that obvious, as anyone who reads of the radioactive trail of the FSB fools before they met Litvinenko knows. It is difficult to believe Putin gave any order or even knew about it until afterwards. He needs better people in the FSB, preferably ones that do not drink.

  17. manton says:

    Do you get this riled up when Islamic terrorists kill Americans? Or only when America shoots back?

    • Replies: @Avery
  18. Avery says:

    Did you get this stupid by natural progression, or you had to work at it you idiot.
    Are there any brain cells left in your vacuous reptilian cranium to comprehend what Constitutional law Judge Napolitano said about US Citizen Anwar al-Awlaki, or you are too stupid to even comprehend simple English ?

    Your MSM addled brain cells, the ones that have not been fried yet, are too deteriorated to comprehend anything. And filthy anti-American scum like you are the last scoundrels to preach anyone anything on behalf of America.
    Scum like you are the filth that have dragged the greatness of America through the muck.

    You anti-American, un-American troglodyte.

    • Replies: @manton
  19. Kiza says:

    Margolis, the security expert, that is the CIA agent, is the usual himself here. This piece of garbage he wrote is in support of MI6 story about some guy who died from his association with gangsters. Russian mafiosi, such as Berezovsky are bad, unless they work for MI6 towards government change in Russia. But, ultimately all these human turds, such as Margolis, works for the Anglo-Zionist establishment. Oh yes, Margolis, forgot to mention that Putin is a predator pedophile because he touched some baby on a cheek one day (imagine what Western baby kissing politicians would then be). The story of Putin’s pedophilia goes together with his execution of this Russian ex-KGB mafiosi.

    Whoever reads Margolis, needs to have an IQ test.

  20. manton says:

    You sure are a credit to you’re side, I’ll give you that.

    Awlaki was a US citizen on paper only and only because of our idiotic, insane immigration policy.

    But even if he had been Andrew Andrews, of Puritan stock in Plymouth, Mass itself, he still would have been a traitor. “Traitor” has a rather simple definition. I suggest you look it up. Treason is also defined in the Constitution as “levying War against [the United States], or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort,” all of which Awlaki did.

    If you feel so much sympathy for Islamist enemies of the US and so much hatred for this who side with the American people against such enemies, what does that make you?

  21. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    What shill. Why on earth would they kill him with Polonium? He died of a botched smuggling operation end of story. I love how Eric just omits any mention of Berezovsky or Yukos thugs like Leonid Nevzlin and Alexander Gofstein.
    I explained what Really happened to Litvinenko last year and re-posted it two days before the Owen report.

    As for Anna Politkovskaya
    After Anna’s lawyer Stanislav Markelov was murdered in 2009 followed by the murder of one of her key informants in Chechnya Natalia Estemirova the same year, there was a retrial in Anna’s case which went to the Supreme Court. Chechen president Ramzan Kadyrov stirred up a public disgust when he said about Anna’s informant Natalia Estemirova on Radio Liberty “She was a woman…who had never possessed any honor, dignity or conscience.”

    The prosecution cornered Dmitry Pavliutchenkov a former policeman who in turn confessed Lom-Ali Gaitukayev was who negotiated the contract killing and behind him he suspected Boris Berezovsky. Dmitry was sentenced to 11 years in jail. Five men were found guilty in her murder. Three were the Chechen brothers who had been acquitted in the first trial and they went to prison.(Litvinenko worked for Boris)

    As for Bombing Apartments to start a war.
    …um you do know that the war started five months before the apartment bombings right?

  22. Personally, I also believe in the accidental self contamination while smuggling, with the addition that the Polonium was supplied by the Russians in a sting operation.

    The MI6 conducted considerable such Sting operations into Russia, claiming that these were not against Russia, but that they just wanted to know how some third party could get access to Russian fissile materials. The Russians regarded this as highly aggressive trolling on the highest level. They werent very keen on the British services openly colluding with the motley but rich assortment of exiles in London either, so they devised a cunning plan to really humiliate 2 birds with one stone.
    They gave the motley exile compartment the opportunity to get Polonium, intended to bust the transaction at the last moment in London, and thus achieve several goals:
    1: Get some of the motley exiles behind British bars.
    2: Get all of them under intense suspicion
    3: Have the MI6 answer some pointed question on why MI6 agents like Litvinenko were transporting radioactive materials through downtown London.
    4: Perhaps turn the greatest fear of the MI6 into reality. I am not talking about a suitcase nuke in London, but about being subjected to meaningful parliamentary control.

    In stark contrast to the pretty harebrained “Putin assassinated Litvinenko” bullshit, this operation actually happens to be consistent with something that Putin would actually do. No one would get killed, his enemies would be humiliated and foiled by their own petards, and he could sip Champagne in the Kremlin while watching the hilarious fireworks in London. From what I get, Putin likes irony and is a fan of “ironic justice” as well.

    What then happened is that Litvinenko was too unprofessional to handle Polonium, and accidentally offed himself, much to the Kremlins chagrin.

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