Thread: Russian poisonings...
11.30.06, 07:48 AM #1
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MOSCOW - Doctors treating former Russian Prime Minister Yegor Gaidar, who fell ill in Ireland last week, believe he was poisoned, an aide said Thursday.
"Doctors don't see a natural reason for the poisoning and they have not been able to detect any natural substance known to them" in Gaidar's body, spokesman Valery Natarov said. "So obviously we're talking about poisoning (and) it was not natural poisoning."
Gaidar, 50, was feeling better Thursday, Natarov said.
"His condition is stable and improving. Doctors say there is no threat to his life at the moment," the aide said.
Gaidar, one of the leaders of a liberal opposition party who served briefly as prime minister in the 1990s under President Boris Yeltsin, began vomiting and fainted during a conference in Ireland on Nov. 29, and was rushed to a hospital's intensive care unit.
Gaidar's illness follows the poisoning of former KGB spy Alexander Litvinenko, who died in London just one day before Gaidar fell ill.
Andrei Lugovoy, another former KGB spy who met with Litvinenko on the day he fell ill, served as Gaidar's bodyguard at one point.
LONDON (AFP) - The radiation scare triggered by the death of a Russian ex-spy has escalated as more radiation was found and more than 30,000 passengers were put on alert, with planes grounded in London and Moscow.
But Home Secretary John Reid insisted that the public health risk remains low, a week after the death of Kremlin critic Alexander Litvinenko, who blamed his death on the "barbaric" regime of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
"The risk to public health is, we believe, low," Reid told MPs Thursday, confirming that British Airways is seeking to contact some 33,000 passengers who may have come into contact with the radioactive substance polonium-210.
Litvinenko, a fierce Putin critic, fell ill on November 1 and died on November 23, with large quantities of polonium-210 having been discovered in his urine.
The investigation is gradually homing in on a string of London locations -- including two hospitals, a sushi bar and a hotel -- and planes used on London-Moscow flights, on two of which traces of radiation have been found.
Giving an update on the investigation to parliament, Reid said that traces of radiation had now been found at around 12 locations, out of a total of about 24 venues which were under investigation.
Previously five locations had been known to be being checked by police and health experts.
In addition, Reid said four aircraft were under suspicion -- one more than previously announced.
The two on which radioactive traces were found are grounded at London's main Heathrow airport, while one is grounded in Moscow and the fourth, a plane leased to the Russian airline Transaero, flew into Heathrow on Thursday.
In a fast-moving story, however, the British Airports Authority (BAA) said a short time later that the Transaero flight was clear of radiation and there was no risk to passengers.
A fifth Russian plane was also of interest, Reid said.
British Airways said it was doing everything it could, after taking calls from 2,500 concerned customers so far on its special helpline.
"The airline is continuing to make every effort to contact 33,000 customers who travelled on 221 European flights operated by the three aircraft identified by the investigation," the flag carrier said.
The planes went to 10 destinations and made 47 flights between London and Moscow -- more than any other route. Some 3,000 staff are also involved in the alert.
The earliest flight BA listed in its information on aircraft undergoing forensic tests was BA875 from Moscow to Heathrow on October 25.
"This reinforces the theory that the origin of this material that killed Alexander is in Moscow," Litvinenko's friend Alex Goldfarb said outside St Pancras Coroner's Court in central London.
He was speaking as the inquest into the defector's death was opened and adjourned while the police investigation continues.
A post-mortem was to be carried out on Litvinenko's body on Friday, the court heard.
Meanwhile Russia strengthened security measures over foreign airlines.
Moscow ordered regional and international airports "to strengthen controls on airplanes of foreign companies (regarding) transport of liquids, gels, and also control over radioactive security in the cockpits and passenger cabins."
The BA alert also came as a Russian newspaper reported that one of two Russians who met Litvinenko on the day he fell mortally ill was on one of the aircraft being tested for radiation.
Businessman Andrei Lugovoi, a former member of the Soviet KGB intelligence agency, told Kommersant that he flew from London to Moscow on one of the "contaminated" aircraft on November 3.
Lugovoi and his business associate Dmitry Kovtun met Litvinenko on November 1 in a central London hotel.
Traces of polonium-210 have been discovered at the hotel, and the central London sushi bar where Litvinenko met the Italian academic Mario Scaramella."Watch what people are cynical about, and one can often discover what they lack.” -- Gen. George S. Patton
11.30.06, 08:24 AM #2
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10.08.15 @ 02:17 PM
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Business as usual for the KGB I see. Wasn't one of their political candidates poisoned a couple of years ago as well? They seem to prefer poison for some reason. That's stupid b/c doctors can pick up on it and trace everything, from what I've read about Litvinenko.
Communism must be making a return, if it hasn't already. Why doesn't anybody prosecute Putin for these types of crime? I know, proof and all that. Just venting!!RIP - Classic Van Halen
"A lot of people take Van Halen more seriously than we do." The Diamond One
12.02.06, 05:25 AM #3
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03.07.10 @ 05:18 AM
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This is fucked up beyond reason: The New York Times is currently reporting that the remains of Litvinenko can not be cremated for twenty-two years because of potential radioactive health risks.
The Times also reported that the last person to have contact (and potentially is a suspect in the man's death) with Litvinenko has traces of radiation in his system, along with his wife.
Why is this assassination turning out to resemble an episode of "Get Smart"?"The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man."George Bernard Shaw
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