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After the Russian defector Alexander Litvinenko, who would endure a lingering death from drinking green tea laced with radioactive polonium in a London hotel, fled Moscow in 2000, he first applied for political asylum in the U.S.
He and his family had travelled to Ankara, the Turkish capital, and he had presented himself at the American embassy.
Dark - Past - FSB - Russian - Service
However, due to his dark past in the FSB, the Russian secret service, the Americans turned him down.
Today, as the police and intelligence services investigate yet another possible assassination attempt on British soil, the consequences of the laissez faire attitude of successive governments to the flood of dirty money and unsavoury individuals from Russia (and elsewhere in the world) is writ large.
Foreign - Secretary - Boris - Johnson - Statements
Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson made some bold statements in Parliament yesterday, but he and Home Secretary Amber Rudd will need to deliver more if it does transpire that ex-spy Colonel Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia are the victims of a sophisticated hit by Russian agents.
The Russians have made an indelible mark on London in particular, buying our newspapers, football teams and property in the most upmarket areas.
Harrods - Bond - Street - Boutiques - Children
They shop at Harrods, keep Bond Street’s boutiques afloat, send their children to our best schools and provide endless work for lawyers, private equity fund managers, bankers and gossip columnists.
But, sometimes, to use Boris’s own words, Russia acts as a ‘malign and disruptive force’, too.
Point - Fall - Soviet - Union - Federation
To understand how we have arrived at this point, we must look back to the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991. As the newly created Russian Federation underwent a dramatic transition from a planned economy to a market economy, a vacuum was created that allowed criminality to thrive.
This was the era of gangster capitalism when Moscow and St Petersburg were a cross between a war zone and a permanent Bacchanalian orgy.
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