The BBC’s Big Scoop on Litvinenko

The biggest Russia news of the day comes not from the G8 meeting in Japan but rather from the BBC, which is reporting to have interviewed “a senior security official” from Whitehall about the murder by poisoning of Alexander Litvinenko, who has a dropped a bomb by disclosing that there are “very strong indications it was a state action.

Our source said: “We very strongly believe the Litvinenko case to have had some state involvement.” Newsnight has also learned that officers at MI5 believe they thwarted an attempt last summer to kill another Russian dissident, Boris Berezovsky. The BBC’s source said the Berezovsky incident showed “continued FSB willingness to consider operations against people in the West”.

A must-watch video news clip of this piece can be viewed here. Coincidentally, BusinessWeek has recently published extended excerpts of Steve LeVine’s new book precisely on this subject.