Who poisoned Alexander Litvinenko? – The Sun | The Sun

ALEXANDER LITVINENKO died in 2006 but the European Court of Human Rights only made a ruling on who was responsible in 2021.

The poisoning, and subsequent death, of Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko made headlines around the world and the case has since been explored in a number of documentaries as well as a 2023 ITV series.

Who was Alexander Litvinenko?

Alexander Litvinenko was a former Russian spy who was killed in London in 2006.

He had been an officer with the Federal Security Service (FSB) – the successor to the KGB – but fled to Britain with his family to seek political asylum after criticising Russian president Vladimir Putin.

Litvinenko worked in the UK as a journalist and writer and, after his death, it was revealed he had been paid by MI6.



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Who killed Alexander Litvinenko?

On September 21, 2021, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) found Russia was responsible for Litvinenko's death.

His murder was suspected to have been personally signed off by Putin, something the Kremlin has repeatedly denied.

Dmitri Kovtun and Andrei Lugovoi, who both face US sanctions, are the two men wanted in the UK for Litvinenko's murder.

The pair are suspected of assassinating Litvinenko by poisoning.

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The court said in a statement on its ruling: "Russia was responsible for the assassination of Alexander Litvinenko in the UK.

"The Court found in particular that there was a strong prima facie case that, in poisoning Mr Litvinenko, Mr Lugovoi and Mr Kovtun had been acting as agents of the Russian State."

Alleged poisoner Kovtun died following Covid complications at the age of 56, in June 2022, with claims he was assassinated.

Lugovoi is reportedly still working in Moscow and was part of a team investigating the poison attack of Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny in 2020.

Litvinenko's death was dramatised for the 2023 ITVX series Litvinenko, with former Doctor Who star David Tennant playing the lead role.

The four episodes follow the group of detectives investigating the fatal poisoning.

How was Alexander Litvinenko poisoned?

Litvinenko began vomiting in his home an hour after drinking tea with Lugovoi and Kovtun at the Millennium Hotel in London's Mayfair.

He died an agonising death after three weeks in hospital and a later investigation revealed his tea had been spiked with a dose of polonium-210.

A radioactive trail around London was also found by investigators.

Before his death, the former KGB spy reported his own murder to the police, saying he had been assassinated on the orders of Putin.

Russia refused to extradite Kovtun and Lugovoi to face trial in Britain.

What were Alexander Litvinenko's last words?

Litvinenko's final conversation before his death was with his wife, Marina.

She told a public inquiry into his killing that his last words to her were: "I love you very much."

She has also said her late husband uttered a final message to Putin before succumbing to the poison in his body, which was: "You may succeed in silencing me but that silence comes at a price."

Who is Alexander Litvinenko's wife and did he have children?

Litvinenko was married to Moscow-born former ballroom dancer Marina.

The couple first met in 1993 and fled Russia together in 2000, moving to the UK.

Marina and Alexander had one son, Anatoly.

Since her husband's death, Marina has been a staunch advocate for justice and in 2007 she established the Litvinenko Justice Foundation.

In 2020 she sued Russia for £3.1m through the ECHR.

The ECHR concluded that Russia had to pay €122,500 in costs and other damages to Marina but as of 2023 it had not yet done so.

Where is Alexander Litvinenko buried?

Alexander is buried at Highgate Cemetery in North London.

Due to the radiation, his body is kept in a lead-lined coffin.

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