‘UK investigators set to hide the truth, not find it’ – Litvinenko’s father on Skripal case
Fugitive Russians in the UK are effectively "hostages" of Western spy agencies, the father of Alexander Litvinenko, an intelligence officer who was poisoned in London a decade ago, told RT, sharing his insight on the Skripal case.
Walter Litvinenko used to support the theory of Russia's involvement in the 2006 poisoning of his son, Alexander, in London; but he changed his mind after years of analyzing inconsistencies in the investigation. London said that the fugitive Russian intelligence officer was poisoned with highly radioactive Polonium-210. Despite an inconclusive investigation, it pinned the blame on Moscow, while the incident was branded as the first ever act of "nuclear terrorism." Russia has vehemently denied allegations of its involvement in the incident.
The poisoning of former double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in Salisbury on March 4 was, in turn, labeled "the first offensive use of a nerve agent in Europe since World War II." While it bears similarities to the poisoning of Litvinenko, it was handled with different tactics, Walter Litvinenko told RT.
Litvinenko Senior says the poisoning of his son was designed as a widely publicized false-flag operation to show the world that Moscow was extremely "cruel," and the way that it allegedly "deals with its enemies." The ongoing Skripal scandal was launched to provoke a reaction from Russia, he believes.
"They realized that they have screwed up big time [with the Litvinenko poisoning] and decided to change their tactics a bit. Therefore, they do not show [any evidence] now, but keep it all in secret waiting for Russia to react to it. If there was, as they say, the 'Russian trace' there, everything would have been clear long time ago," Litvinenko said.
He believes that, given the different goal, the ongoing investigation is significantly less transparent than it was back in 2006, since it is easier to hide the truth from the beginning than to try and swipe it under the rug afterward.
"It's the same with Sasha [Aleksandr], if there was the 'Russian trace,' everything would have become clear a long time ago. But Scotland Yard was not looking for a criminal. Scotland Yard was covering the tracks," Litvinenko stated. "Now they do not want to show these tracks altogether, since they know they will have to cover them up the same way as with Sasha."
The Skripal scandal will eventually backfire on those who initiated it, Litvinenko said. "It will be very difficult to hide it all. And they will eventually fail. They will be caught, and Theresa May will be very ashamed. And this clown, their foreign minister [Boris Johnson] – he will be very ashamed too."
Litvinenko, who lost his son after the former officer of the Russian security service FSB fled Russia for London and cooperated with MI6 and Spanish police, says people like Alexander find themselves in a situation where they effectively become hostages of foreign governments and intelligence agencies. He said it applies to both the rich and powerful who have left Russia after having run-ins with the law, such as the late oligarch Boris Berezovsky, as well as less prominent citizens such as Sergei Skripal.
"They are hostages, all of them are hostages of the American authorities, who strive for the world dominance. As long as that's the case – they will kill the Russians, they'll kill anybody who's against it," Litvinenko said. The wealthy Russians in the UK "are all dependent on the authorities... They are being kept only for their money. And when something happens, they will be blatantly robbed, like it happened to Berezovsky."
The fugitive oligarch, once one of the wealthiest Russians, was found dead at his home in the UK in 2014. The investigation did not conclusively determine whether he hanged himself with a scarf, or if he was strangled. Prior to his mysterious death, Berezovsky had lost most of his assets and his wealth waned.
Given the previous suspicious deaths of Russian nationals on British soil, Skripal's fate looks quite grim, Litvinenko believes. The daughter of the former double agent, Yulia, however, might get out of this situation alive, as she was seemingly in the wrong place at the wrong time. Assuming she was of no interest to the intelligence services, the recent reports on Yulia's conditions improving do not look that "miraculous," Litvinenko said.
"It's not beneficial for them if Skripal stays alive. And this girl – she knows nothing. Skripal knows. She simply came to visit her father and got into this," Litvinenko said. "They'll let his daughter walk away, probably. But if she knows anything, she won't get out of it either."
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