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Post-Communist Political Violence: The Poisoning of Aleksandr Litvinenko

  • John B. Dunlop

Abstract

In 1954, in the period following the death of Stalin, Nikolai Khokhlov, a captain in Soviet state security and a trained assassin, received an order from his superiors to travel to West Germany and kill a Russian émigré, Georgii Okolovich, who was the head of NTS, a well-known anti-Soviet organization. Khokhlov was ordered to murder Okolovich with a silenced pistol that had been made especially for him at the Lubyanka so that it would look like a pack of cigarettes. Instead of assassinating Okolovich, however, Khokhlov decided to defect and to cooperate with West German and American intelligence. At a press conference held shortly afterwards, Khokhlov detailed the history of his life and the plan for the assassination and showed the press the special pistol that he had been given.

Keywords

Press Conference Military Family Security Company Secret Service British Citizen 
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Notes

  1. 1.
    Arcadi Vaksberg, Le laboratoire des poisons: De Lenine a Poutine (Paris: Buchet/Chastel, 2007), pp. 224–225. The author would like to thank Martin Dewhirst of the University of Glasgow, Peter Reddaway of George Washington University, and Edward W. Walker of the University of California at Berkeley for their most helpful comments on a draft of this essay. The responsibility for the final version of the text is, of course, mine alone.Google Scholar
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    Igor’ Korol’kov, “Zapasnye organy,” Novaya gazeta, January 11, 2007.Google Scholar
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    Alex Goldfarb with Marina Litvinenko, Death of a Dissident: The Poisoning of Alexander Litvinenko and the Return of the KGB (New York: Free Press, 2007), p. 124. Italics in the original. Goldfarb is, of course, recalling here what Litvinenko related to him. For the book mentioned by Kamyshnikov, seeGoogle Scholar
  4. Pavel Sudoplatov and Anatoli Sudoplatov, Special Tasks: The Memoirs of an Unwanted Witness—a Soviet Spymaster (Boston: Little, Brown, 1994). The book contains a foreword by Robert Conquest. In his book, Sudoplatov writes that his best estimate is that Raul Wallenberg was poisoned by Grigorii Maironovskii.Google Scholar
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    For a detailed discussion of Litvinenko’s complex relationship with Berezovskii, see Martin Sixsmith, The Litvinenko File: The True Story of a Death Foretold (London: Macmillan, 2007), passim. Sixsmith served as a BBC correspondent in Moscow and was from 1997 to 2002 Director of Communications for the British government.Google Scholar
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    Boris Volodarskii, “Dva fil’ma—odna sud’ba,” svobodanews.ru, January 23, 2007. The active planning for the assassination presumably began several months before Lugovoi’s telephone call to Litvinenko.Google Scholar
  19. 62.
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  27. 80.
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Copyright information

© Paul Hollander 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • John B. Dunlop

There are no affiliations available

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