VIDEO: What the Litvinenko assassination accusation means for the Kremlin
PBS interviews former Ambassador Mike McFaul and Steven Lee Myers of The New York Times about a British investigative report into the assassination of former Russian agent Alexander Litvinenko, including implications for the Russian government and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Video below; click here for original post and transcript.
MICHAEL MCFAUL…: … it’s very important, even if nothing more comes of it, that somebody went to the trouble to document all this for history … it just puts together the circumstantial evidence, which is to say that these two agents came from Moscow … [and] had polonium, something you can’t just buy on the streets. They poisoned him. They went back to Moscow and … have been protected by the Russian state …. Putin has given … Lugovoi a state award. … it’s based on that, that they come to their conclusions, and it’s pretty damning conclusions, therefore, for
* * *
… he [Litvinenko] worked for the KGB, then the FSB, the same organizations that Mr. Putin and Patrushev worked for.
He then defected. He then made these claims … that the FSB orchestrated terrorist attacks against Russian citizens back in … 1989 … to rally Russians around the flag and support … Putin. …
… there’s no doubt that they hated him. … And they were sending a signal. And I want to point out, there’s been a lot of assassinations, there’s been a lot of killings. Just last year, the leading figure of the opposition, Boris Nemtsov, was murdered, assassinated just a few feet from the Kremlin walls, again, with all this ambiguous notion, actually who ordered it, who didn’t.
… it’s a pattern … not just a one-off. And … I want to remind you … even if somehow this was a rogue operation, that’s also pretty damning. That means … Putin is not in charge of his state … that people within the regime can carry out assassinations without his blessing. That’s also not a very good message about his control within Russia.
[featured images are file photos]