On November 1, 2006, journalist and Russian dissident Alexander Litvinenko was poisoned in London. Read more...
On November 1, 2006, journalist and Russian dissident Alexander Litvinenko was poisoned in London. He died twenty-two days later. The cause of death? Polonium--a rare, lethal, and highly radioactive substance. Here Luke Harding unspools a real-life political assassination story--complete with KGB, CIA, MI6, and Russian mobsters. He shows how Litvinenko's murder foreshadowed the killings of other Kremlin critics, from Washington, DC, to Moscow, and how these are tied to Russia's current misadventures in Ukraine and Syria. In doing so, he becomes a target himself and unearths a chain of corruption and death leading straight to Vladimir Putin. From his investigations of the downing of flight MH17 to the Panama Papers, Harding sheds a terrifying light on Russia's fracturing relationship with the West.
- ISBN-13: 9781101973998
- ISBN-10: 1101973994
- Publisher: Vintage
- Publish Date: January 2017
- Page Count: 480
- Dimensions: 7.9 x 5.1 x 1 inches
- Shipping Weight: 0.97 pounds
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2016-12-19
- Reviewer: Staff
Harding (The Snowden Files), a foreign correspondent for The Guardian, covers the 2006 poisoning of Russian exile Litvinenko in informative detail and sensationalist style. Drawing on interviews, original reportage, and a British public inquiry, Harding reiterates the inquirys findings: Litvinenko was the victim of a political assassination that was indistinguishable from a gangland hit. Born in 1962, Litvinenko had been an officer of the FSB, Russias national security service (and KGB successor), until he tipped off a friend, oligarch Boris Berezovsky, about a planned attempt on Berezovskys life. Fleeing the wrath of Berezovskys would-be assassins, in 2000 Litvinenko and his family found refuge in London, where Litvinenko became a security advisor, MI6 informant, and dissident speaking out against Russian president Vladimir Putin and his mafia state. A casual meeting with two business associates, Andrey Lugovoi and Dmitry Kovtun, cut short Litvinenkos activities. According to forensics experts following a trail of radiation, the two had been transporting polonium, which ended up in Litvinenkos tea, killing him within weeks. The public inquiry found that Litvinenko was certainly killed by Lugovoi and Kovtun, the flunkeys of an FSB operation that was probably approved by Putin. Harding suitably conveys the shocking, violent, and tragic story of a man whose murder has gone unpunished. (Feb.)