The Russian Roulette

The fatal poisoning of an outspoken former KGB agent adds to the chill of Vladimir Putin's Russia

The former spy lay dying in a London hospital--of what he didn't know. (It wasn't until after his death that Scotland Yard realized that the rare compound killing Alexander Litvinenko, 43, had left traces of radioactivity nearly everywhere he had been on Nov. 1.) But Litvinenko wanted the world to know who killed him, not how it was done or where. In a statement released after he died last week, the fierce critic of Russia's government directly addressed the man he said was responsible for his death: "You may succeed in silencing one man, but the howl of protest from around the...

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