Breaking the long arm of Kremlin corruption and abuse
In 2006, Alexander Litvinenko, a former officer of the FSB — the successor of the Soviet-era KGB — sipped on tea with two old colleagues at the Millennium Hotel in London. A few weeks later, he lay dying in a British hospital, doctors unable to treat the radioactive poison the agents had slipped into his cup.
Litvenenko, who once described Putin’s Russia as a “virtual mafia state,” had been exiled to the United Kingdom after exposing state-sponsored domestic terrorism and corruption within the Kremlin. As U.S. analyst Michael Weiss has written, “Litvenenko had come to believe that mobsters were functioning as quasi-state institutions” and that they “could murder and steal with impunity because they were also tasked with doing so by the FSB.”