Thursday, March 12, 2015

NBC: "The Real Blacklist" looks at the Litvinenko polonium poisoning case

Thursday night, NBC Dateline aired an episode of a new subsubseries, “The Real Blacklist”, covering the murder of former Russian agent, Alexander Litvinenko.  On Jan. 21, 2014 I had reviewed “Poisoned by Polonium: The Livinenko File” on my Movies blog.
Litvinenko was poisoned by polonium 210 in his tea at the Pine Bar in the Millennium Hotel in London in 2006. He literally burned to death from the inside.  Other people in the hotel would have been exposed to lower amounts and would face increased cancer risks.  This was essentially a mini dirty bomb in downtown London.
Much of the documentary concerned suspect Andrey Lugnovy.  He claims not to have known about the poison. He lost most of his hair himself temporarily.
The main link is here. Note the map of the Pine Bar and the results of detailed swabbings.
The report believes that a hit like this has to have come from the very top  -- Vladimir Putin.

Polonium 210 is extraordinarily expensive even for organized crime, and would normally be available only with the assistance of a nuclear state.  Putin probably thought that the cause of the death would go undetected for a long time, but Litvinenko lived and suffered much longer than usual.  

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