He was the ex-Russian spy whose poisoning by radioactive polonium in London sparked accusations of a Kremlin-sponsored murder.
But six years after Alexander Litvinenko’s death, his father has dramatically withdrawn such claims and branded his son a traitor who may have been working for the UK, and if so deserved to die.
Valter Litvinenko fled to Italy with his family after his son’s high-profile death. Now a widower, saying he is living in poverty, he spoke to Russian TV, begging Moscow for forgiveness and saying he wants to go home.
“It is cold. Nobody needs us here. If you die, they just take you away. My wife always asked to go back to Russia. She said: ‘I want to go home’ and she cried. Nobody wants us here,” he sobbed.
A propaganda coup for the Kremlin or a genuine case of remorse?
Yet another mystery now surrounds the Litvinenko case, with Russia still refusing to extradite the intelligence agent the UK suspects of involvement.