Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Putin, Litvinenko and Heroin

Craig Murray has a fascinating post on murky goings on in Russia, Afghanistan, Uzbekistan...and Western complicity.

Insofar as people remember anything Litvinenko said, it is his alliance with Anna Politkovskaya on the issue of the apartment bombings in Russia in 2000 which were almost certainly the work of the FSB. One - in Ryazan - failed to go off because local residents found it and local bomb disposal defused it. That was indubitably planted by the FSB, who admitted it when their agents were caught, and claimed the bomb was a dummy. The bomb disposal team said it was a real bomb, and had the same chemical signature as the other, "Chechen" bombs.

But that wasn't actually what led Litvinenko to quit. I have a great interest in this, as he was working on a problem on which I was working from the other end. Vast amounts of heroin come from Afghanistan, in particular from the fief of (now) Head of the Afghan Armed Forces General Dostum, in North and East Afghanistan. Dostum is an Uzbek, and the heroin passes over the Friendship Bridge from Afghanistan to Uzbekistan, where it is taken over by President Karimov's people. It is then shipped up the railway line, in bales of cotton, to St Petersburg and Riga.

Litvinenko uncovered the St Petersburg end, and was stunned by the involvement of the city authorities and local police and security services, at the most senior levels. He reported in detail to Putin. Putin is of course from St Petersburg, and the people Litvinenko named were among Putin's closest political allies. That is why Litvinenko, having miscalculated badly, had to flee Russia.

Read further: Murky Murder

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