Lugovoi Faces Litvinenko Murder Charge

The BBC and others are reporting that the UK’s director of public prosecutions has recommended Russian former KGB officer Andrei Lugovoi should be charged with the murder of Alexander Litvinenko. Himself a former KGB member, Litvinenko had asylum in England and was killed by the radioactive substance Polonium-210. He died on November 23, 2006. The BBC has a complete timeline of the case. The UK Daily Mail has more context.
Of course, that timeline cannot include the moment when the orders were given for Litvinenko to be murdered. The Russian prosecutor’s office has already stated that Lugovoi will not be extradited, although in 2001 Russia signed the EU extradition convention. As with the assassination of Anna Politkovskaya, the murder of Litvinenko will never be solved in the mystery novel “whodunit” sense. We will never know for sure who gave those orders. What we do know, and no Fandorin is required here, is the return address on those orders. In a country where all power is centralized in the Kremlin, it would be a case of gross negligence by the Putin administration if the orders came from anywhere else. The original sin is the ruthless mentality that led to these murders. The system that encouraged these crimes, the logic that made them politically expedient for some of those in power, that is the true face of Mr. Putin’s Russia.