Alexander V. Litvinenko is dead after suffering an extensive illness he believed was caused by poisoning. A former KGB agent, Litvinenko had become critical of the Russian government. He began feeling ill after meeting in London with two Russians and an Italian security specialist.

New York Times:

“Despite extensive tests, we are still unclear as to the cause of his condition,” Dr. Geoff Bellingham, chief of critical care at the hospital, told reporters. He ruled out two earlier hypotheses: that he had been poisoned by thallium, a toxic heavy metal, or by a radioactive material.

Mr. Litvinenko, who told the authorities that he fell ill on Nov. 1 after meeting with two Russians, and then with an Italian security consultant, became sicker as the weeks went on.

Friends of Mr. Litvinenko, a onetime K.G.B. agent who became a vocal opponent of the Russian government, say that Russian agents killed him. He was silenced, they say, because of his continual digging into Russian affairs. Both the Kremlin and Russia’s foreign intelligence service have denied being behind Mr. Litvinenko’s fatal illness. A Kremlin spokesman called the accusations “sheer nonsense.”


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