Marina Litvinenko: Putin's attitude to spy poisoning proves "he did it"
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The former Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko first made headlines in 2006 when he was photographed lying in a hospital bed on the brink of death having been poisoned with the highly dangerous substance, polonium-210. Then, in 2016, Mr Litvinenko’s name once again made headlines as an inquiry into his death revealed that he had made damning allegations against Vladimir Putin in the months before his murder. Now, his story is being hashed out again as David Tennant is starring in the new ITVX series which explores his death and the police’s hunt for his killers.
Sir Robert Owen’s inquiry, which concluded in 2016, found that Mr Litvinenko had written about how Putin was filmed abusing children while he was a student in the very flat where another politican had a threesome with sex workers.
In addition to this, in 2006, Putin was filmed walking through a Kremlin courtyard, greeting the public, when he knelt down and lifted a little boy’s shirt before planting a kiss on his stomach.
The gesture – which Putin told CBS in 2006 had “nothing behind it” — resulted in Mr Litvinenko accusing the Russian president of paedophilia while also discussing Yuri Skuratov, the former Prosecutor General of Russia, claiming it was Putin who leaked the sordid video of him with the sex workers.
Unlike the video of Mr Skuratov, Mr Litvinenko claimed that Putin deliberately sought out this alleged video of him with the children and destroyed it.
Mr Litvinenko, writing online, said: “’The world public is shocked. Nobody can understand why the Russian president did such a strange thing as kissing the stomach of an unfamiliar small boy.
“The explanation may be found if we look carefully at the so-called ‘blank spots’ in Putin’s biography.”
He explained that “among over things,” Putin “found videotapes in the FSB Internal Security directorate, which showed him making sex with some underage boys”.
Mr Litvinenko alleged that Putin “destroyed” any “compromising” materials found against him – but claims the 70-year-old held on to videos he would find more useful.
The former FSB agent then brought up Mr Skuratov, who fell victim to “kompromat”, when damaging information, typically about a politician, surfaces, resulting in negative publicity.
Mr Litvinenko claims that Putin leaked the video as he was following the orders of the former Chelsea FC owner, Roman Abramovich.
In 1999, a video of the former Prosecutor General in bed with two prostitutes was leaked. At that time, he had just launched a corruption probe into prominent figures in Russia. Although Mr Skuratov dismissed the video as “blackmail”, he resigned because of ill health.
Mr Litvinenko continued: “Later, in the famous scandal, Putin (on Roman Abramovich’s instructions) blackmailed Skuratov with these tapes and tried to persuade the Prosecutor-General to resign.
“In that conversation, Putin mentioned to Skuratov that he himself was also secretly video-taped making sex at the same bed. (But of course, he did not tell it was paedophilia rather than normal sex.)”
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The inquiry concluded that Putin was “probably” behind the assassination of Mr Litvinenko, and Sir Robert posed in his report: “It hardly needs saying that the allegations made by Mr Litvinenko against President Putin in this article were of the most serious nature. Could they have had any connection with his death?”
Mr Litvinenko’s article was released just months before he died and Putin kissed the young boy on the stomach.
On his deathbed, he accused the Russian President of ordering his murder, as seen in the first episode of ITVX’s new four-part drama.
A decade on from his death, at the age of 43 in University College Hospital, London, his wife Marina finally heard her husband’s suspicions when the inquiry found Putin “probably approved” it.
All episodes of Litvinenko are available on ITVX now.
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