Russia 'backed Litvinenko murder'
A report by the BBC last night revealed that the UK government has concluded that the Russian state was behind the murder of Russian citizen Alexander Litvinenko in London in 2006. Litvinenko was poisoned with plutonium, leading to a complex investigation which led to a man in Russia whom Russia has refused to extradite. The ioncident has resulted in festering hostility between teh two countries.
The order for the killing is believed to have come from the FSB, the intelligence agency which is the successor to the KGB. It is debatable whether the Kremlin has control over certain parts of the FSB, and the killing may have been undertaken without their permission or knowledge.
The murder of former Russian agent Alexander Litvinenko was carried out with the backing of the Russian state, Whitehall sources have told the BBC.
A senior security official told Newsnight there were "very strong indications it was a state action".
Mr Litvinenko, who was a fierce critic of former Russian President Vladimir Putin, was poisoned in London in 2006.
UK investigators suspect former KGB agent Andrei Lugovoi of the murder, but he has always denied any involvement.
The BBC has been told that Russia's internal security organisation, the FSB, operated under Mr Putin with far more autonomy than the organisations usually entrusted with foreign espionage operations.
Our source said: "We very strongly believe the Litvinenko case to have had some state involvement."