Further evidence shows Litvinenko worked for MI6 when killed
November 29, 2013 2 Comments
By JOSEPH FITSANAKIS | intelNews.org
In 2012, a court in the United Kingdom was told that former KGB officer Alexander Litvinenko, who died of poisoning in 2006, had been working for British and Spanish intelligence when he was killed. Now British newspaper The Independent says it has proof that the late Russian spy provided “expert analysis” on Russian politics for British intelligence, shortly before his death. Litvinenko was an employee of the Soviet KGB and one of its successor organizations, the FSB, until 2000, when he defected with his family to the UK. He soon became known as a vocal critic of the administration of Russian President Vladimir Putin. In 2006, Litvinenko came down with radioactive poisoning soon after meeting a former KGB/FSB colleague, Andrey Lugovoy, at a London restaurant. Many suspect that the Russian government is behind Litvinenko’s murder. But the dead spy’s family has argued for years that his killers did not only kill an intelligence defector, but also an officer of British intelligence. On Thursday, The Independent said it had seen a diplomatic memo that was given to Litvnenko for analysis by British external intelligence agency MI6. The document, known in the British Foreign Office lingo as a “diptel” (diplomatic telegram), was dispatched to several British embassies around the world in 2000. It includes a descriptive analysis of a confidential meeting in London between British intelligence officials and Sergei Ivanov. Currently a political powerhouse in Putin’s administration, Ivanon was at the time an unknown quantity in Western circles. He had entered politics after having spent nearly two decades working for Soviet and Russian external intelligence. The diptel seen by The Independent outlines the exchange of views between Ivanov and the British officials during the meeting, and evaluates his stance on a broad range of issues, ranging from the rise of Islamic militancy, to China, the Middle East, and the role of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. Many of those who point to the Kremlin as the culprit of Litvinenko’s assassination believe that the intelligence defector was killed for writing a book titled Blowing Up Russia. In the book, which he co-authored with Russian historian Yuri Felshtinsky, Litvinenko purports that the 1999 terrorist bombings in Moscow, which were widely attributed to Chechen separatists, were in fact perpetrated by the Russian intelligence services. The popular indignation and fear caused by these bombings, which killed over 300 people, were exploited by the government to propel Putin to power and launch a bloody war in Chechnya, the theory goes. The Independent spoke to Felshtinsky, now a resident of the United States, who told the paper that he did “not understand why there is a conspiracy of silence”, since “everyone knows Alex worked for MI6”. The British Foreign Office refused comment on the story.