Brits: Russia Played Role in Ex-KGB Agent's London Murder

'Clear indications it was state action'
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 8, 2008 6:29 AM CDT
The Russian businessman whom Britain has named as a suspect in the killing of ex-KGB agent Alexander Litvinenko speaks during a news conference in Moscow, Thursday, May 31, 2007.    (AP Photo/Misha Japaridze)
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(Newser) – The murder of a former KGB agent in London 2 years ago was carried out with the support of the Russian government, British government sources have told the BBC. There are "very strong indications it was a state action," said one senior official. Alexander Litvinenko, who was mysteriously poisoned, was a fierce critic of Vladimir Putin.

British security agency MI5 believes it thwarted an attempt from Russia's FSB, heir to the KGB, to kill another Russian dissident last year, the sources said. MI5 officials have expressed concern that large numbers of Russian covert operations in the UK are continuing despite the end of the Cold War.