COVID-19 has claimed the death of one of the men who were accused of assassinating Alexander Litvinenko, London.
Andrei Lugovoy and Dmitry Kovtun are alleged to be the two men who carried out the 2006 murder for Russia’s Federal Security Service.
According to the Russian TASS news agency, Kovtun was found dead in a Moscow Hospital on Saturday.
Lugovoy, a prominent Russian parliamentarian, stated that he was grieving the loss of a “close friend and faithful friend”, according to the agency.
Litvinenko is a British citizen. He was a former KGB agent and went on to work at MI6 after fleeing from Russia.
He was also a vocal critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
After his London tea was laced by Polonium 210 (a radioactive isotope that is rare and potent), he died in agony.
He accused President Putin of ordering his murder from his deathbed. However, the Kremlin has always denied any involvement.
In 2016, a British judge concluded that the murder was a Russian operation by Russia’s FSB spy agencies. This was likely approved by Nikolai Patrushev (at the time its director) and President Putin.
The inquiry revealed that Lugovoy, a former KGB bodyguard, and a fellow Russian Kovtun were responsible for the murder.
British investigators discovered traces of polonium in London locations where the men were, including offices and planes, as well as the Arsenal football stadium.
They denied the poisoning and Russia refused to extradite to face trial.
Tensions between President Putin and Mr Litvinenko date back to 1998’s only face-toface meeting, when Mr Putin was the head of the FSB while Mr Litvinenko was pushing reforms of intelligence service.
Read more: Alexander Litvinenko Murder – A Timeline
The death of Mr Litvinenko sparked international outrage and further tension between Moscow and West.
The Kremlin was again targeted for poisonings on British soil in 2018. In 2018, attempts were made to assassinate Sergei Skripal and Yulia with a nerve agent.
Three Russians have been charged with the Salisbury poisonings, but British authorities have yet to bring them to trial.