More details are emerging about the circumstances believed to surround the alleged poisoning of a Russian dissident in London. Alexander Litvinenko is in a serious but stable condition in hospital, protected by armed guards. Tests show he has ingested Thallium, an odourless, colourless and tasteless toxin which causes massive organ failure. The 43-year old former KGB colonel is a critic of President Vladimir Putin and the Russian authorities. His friend, the exiled Chechen separatist Akhmad Zakayev, says the Kremlin is to blame:
“This happened on British soil and is the result of the condoning and lacklustre attitude of western governments to President Putin and the state terrorism policy perpetrated by Russia”, he told reporters.”
Alexander Litvinenko fell ill after meeting a mysterious contact at a Sushi bar in Central London. He has told friends that an Italian, known only as Mario, handed him a dossier containing the names of those allegedly responsible for the death of journalist Anna Politkovskaya. Politkovskaya, a vocal critic of the Kremlin, was shot dead outside her Moscow apartment last month. Mr Litvinenko was close to the reporter and had begun his own investigation into her killing.