Shock: Brit cops set to name mystery man as Litvinenko killer

You’ve got to be kidding.

Police have identified the man they believe poisoned Alexander Litvinenko. The suspected killer was captured on cameras at Heathrow as he flew into Britain to carry out the murder.

Friends of the ex-spy say that the man was a hired killer, sent by the Kremlin, who vanished hours after administering a deadly dose of radioactive polonium-210 to Litvinenko.

He arrived in London on a forged EU passport and reportedly slipped the poison into a cup of tea he made for Litvinenko in a London hotel room. Litvinenko was reportedly able to give vital details of his suspected killer in a bedside interview with detectives just days before he died on November 23 at University College Hospital…

According to police sources, until now it has not been revealed that Litvinenko visited a fourth-floor room at the Millennium Hotel to discuss a business deal.

He had gone to the room with Mr Kovtun and another former Russian agent, Andrei Lugovoy.

The three men were joined in the room later by the mystery figure who was introduced as “Vladislav”.

The airport cameras caught him on November 1, the day the poisoning supposedly happened, arriving on the same flight as Kovtun from Hamburg. As you may recall, Kovtun has an apartment in Hamburg and had been leaving traces of polonium around the city before November 1. He may have rendezvoued with Mr. X there to plan the hit and procure the material. But what about the double-poisoning theory, which holds that there was an earlier hit on Litvinenko in London in mid-October that for some reason failed to bring him down, thereby necessitating the second hit on November 1? Maybe Kovtun and Lugovoy tried to handle it themselves, botched it, and then brought in an expert, i.e., Mr. X, to get it right.

As for “Vladislav,” any idea who he might be? Yeah, actually — although you have to go back to the first days after Litvinenko’s death for a clue.

THE former Russian spy who died last week from radiation poisoning named a senior Kremlin agent as the man he believed responsible for targeting him.

Alexander Litvinenko, who died after mysteriously absorbing polonium210, a rare and highly toxic radioactive material, said in his last full interview from hospital that he knew he was an “active case” for Russian intelligence.

He named the agent in charge of monitoring him as “Viktor Kirov”. A man called Anatoly V Kirov worked at the Russian embassy in London, where he was listed as a diplomat, until late last year.

He is believed to have left the diplomatic service in October 2005 and returned to Russia. But Litvinenko claimed just days before he died that Kirov was an intelligence agent who continued to target him.

Note: he didn’t accuse Kirov of having been the trigger man, just the one who was targeting him. “Vladislav” might simply be Kirov’s toady.

Or, of course, he might be someone else altogether. He’s described in the Times’s piece as “tall and powerfully built, in his early thirties with short, cropped black hair and distinctive Central Asian features.” We know he’s been to Hamburg, where the 9/11 hijackers plotted. I wouldn’t rule out A.J. Strata’s theory just yet, although the fact that the poison was found in a teacup certainly does cut against it. Sharply.

Ed Morrissey Jan 28, 2022 8:31 AM ET