Although the story itself is still unfolding, the sudden “illness” of a former Russian spy in the United Kingdom evokes memories of the eerily similar circumstances that would ultimately lead to the death of former Russian intelligence officer, Alexander Litvinenko over a decade ago in 2006.
The strange and sudden collapse of a one-time Russian intelligence agent, himself part of a complex trading of spies between the United States, the United Kingdom, and Russia is currently taking center stage in many conspiracy circles. Quite possibly because it contains all the hallmarks of other, all-but-proven assassinations of one-time Russian agents in the past.
Perhaps these events will prove to be evidence of the dark underbelly of Russian intelligence, and indeed intelligence services overall. Or maybe it will ultimately hint towards the painting of “an enemy” in a certain light. One where blame is placed at their feet for wicked acts.
We are bound to revisit this incident and any fallout from it in future articles. For now, we will look at just some of the reasons people are so suspicious of these events in the first place. Before we do, however, the video below is a brief look at Sergei Skripal.
Sunday 4th March 2018, Salisbury, England
During the afternoon of Sunday 4th March 2018 came the discovery of a man and a woman, apparently unconscious, on a bench in the Maltings Shopping Centre in Salisbury, England.
The man would ultimately prove to be sixty-six-year-old Sergei Skripal, a high-profile Russian spy, who received asylum status in the United Kingdom as part of a “spy-swap” with the United States in 2010. Shortly after, the young woman was confirmed to be his thirty-three-year-old daughter, Yulia.
All we know at this stage is that both remain in “critical condition” after “suspected exposure to an unknown substance!” At the time of writing, the Zizzi restaurant in Salisbury appears to be the suspected location of the “substance” coming into contact with the Skripals.
The war of words between the United Kingdom and Russia, however, has quickly moved up a notch or two. At this stage, there is no proof of anything untoward (at least going by the knowledge that is in the public arena). A quick look at some of the “conspiracies” surrounding Russian intelligence, however, and it is easy to see why many are immediately suspicious of this ongoing situation. In particular, the similarities to the death of Alexander Litvinenko.
Before we look at some of those in more detail, check out the short video below. It is one of the many news clips of the strange “illness” of Sergei Skripal.
The Death Of Alexander Litvinenko, 2006
Following a meeting with two former members of the KGB, Andrei Lugovoy and Dmitry Kovtun, at the Pine Bar of the Millennium Hotel in London’s Mayfair district on 1st November 2006, fellow former KGB agent, Alexander Litvinenko began to feel intensely ill. It is not clear why Litvinenko, who received political asylum in the United Kingdom in 2001, was meeting with the two Russians in question. However, many intelligence and conspiracy researchers believe he was “active” with MI6, at least since his arrival in the United Kingdom.
He was having lunch with his friend, Mario Scaramella, a nuclear waste expert, when a sudden feeling of nausea and trouble walking took hold. He would make his way to a nearby hospital – checking in under the name of Edwin Carter. An examination would show him to have a severely blistered and swollen throat. All indications were he had suffered some kind of poisoning.
Litvinenko eventually spoke to senior doctors, telling them his real name, and that they should contact New Scotland Yard. After initially suspecting him of being delusional, they did as he asked.
Just over three weeks later on 22nd November, Alexander Litvinenko died. Technically the cause of death was heart failure. However, at the time he died, he had over two-hundred times the lethal amount of polonium in his system.
Litvinenko was no stranger to revelations. Indeed, it was his revelations that would lead him to the United Kingdom in the first place. And before he died, what little more he could tell investigators managed to paint a clear and chilling picture of that fateful day.
Revelations From Russia
In the 1980s, Alexander Litvinenko was a stellar KGB agent. Following the fall of the Soviet Union in the early-1990s, with the KGB morphing into the Federal Security Service (FSB), his performance continued to impress. That is until he began speaking out against eventual Russian President, Vladimir Putin, who at the time was the head of the FSB.
Litvinenko first appeared on Putin’s radar it would seem due to meetings he had with former Soviet agent residing in the UK, Boris Berezovsky, in line with his intelligence work. According to Litvinenko, he received orders to assassinate Berezovsky, as well as Mikhail Trepashkin (another intelligence officer out of favor with the regime). He would make the announcement at a press conference in front of the world’s media.
This would result in his immediate dismissal from the FSB. Fearing incarceration (or worse) he would make his way to the United Kingdom where he would find asylum.
Among a barrage of revelations from Litvinenko was that the FSB was behind a series of deadly bombings at apartment blocks in 1999. The aim of these false flag events was ultimately, to bring Putin into power as part of a coup.
He also alleged that the FSB was training Al-Qaeda fighters, as well as having involvement in the 9/11 attacks. Further still, he would claim the FSB to be behind the 2002 Moscow Theatre incident. An eventual massacre following a standoff at a school in Beslan in 2004, also bore all the FSB hallmarks. Perhaps most damaging were claims of Putin’s involvement in drug smuggling through the FSB.
Following Litvinenko’s admittance into hospital investigators would retrace his movements for clues. The polonium was indeed traced back to the two KGB agents Litvinenko had met. And in turn, it had originated at the Ozersk nuclear power plant in Russia.
The UK government would request Lugovoy’s extradition from Russia regarding the death of Litvinenko. The request was refused. Meanwhile, Kovtun was already under investigation by the German authorities for smuggling plutonium. However, the charges suddenly vanished and he returned to Russia in 2009, safe from UK authorities.
There was also interesting information, and clues, left at the Pine Bar where the three former KGB agents had met. Residue of polonium was on the wall where the head barman, Noberto Andrade, said Litvinenko was sitting. Investigators would suggest the poison entered the drink via some kind of aerosol device (which explained the residue).
Andrade himself would become ill for several weeks following his exposure to the cups and teapot the three men used. He would claim to having cleared a “sludgy brown” substance from the teapot following the three men leaving the bar. Contamination of the substance came to light in the dishwasher, sink, and pipes of the kitchen to the bar.
Perhaps most telling are the comments made by Russian representative, Sergei Abeltsev, who would refer to Litvinenko as “the traitor” and that he had received his “deserved punishment!” He would go on to say that Litvinenko’s death should be a “serious warning to all traitors!” Most unnerving, as we will look at shortly, were his comments about Boris Berezovsky. He would advise him to “avoid any food at the commemoration for his accomplice Litvinenko!”
The video below looks at the case of Alexander Litvinenko in a little more detail.
Other Deaths of the “New” Cold War?
We have written before of the truly bizarre case of Gareth Williams, whose dead body was discovered locked inside a hold-all bag. Although the cause of death is officially “accidental” there are numerous points of interest to the case. Perhaps not least, are the claims of connections to Russian intelligence services.
The case of Alexander Litvinenko is no different.
Regarding the aforementioned, Boris Berezovsky, after surviving several suspected assassinations against him – including one apparently proven conspiracy in 2008 by the BBC’s “Newsnight” program – he died in extremely suspicious circumstances in March 2013. Despite this, there was a quick return verdict of suicide. Even a US security analyst, Paul Joyal, was shot at outside his home in Maryland. This, after his belief that Litvinenko was the victim of an assassination.
Although not specifically connected to the Litvinenko case, in 2012, Alexander Perepilichny – a Russian billionaire who resided in the UK after divulging documents that accused “senior Russian officials” of grand fraud of the Russian Treasury – collapsed and died of a sudden heart attack. Many people would claim poisoning – in the same manner as Litvinenko. Furthermore, there were accusations against the UK government of trying to sweep the incident under the carpet.
Only time will tell if Sergei Skripal is another victim of the long reach of someone’s dark intelligence service. As it stands right now, all the signs are there that he is. You can check out the video below that looks at such cases involving Russian intelligence services.