It's All About Boris
One Chechen rebel website has a complicated theory about the deaths of Alexander Litvinenko and Anna Politkovskaya. by BBC Monitoring 14 December 2006
A Chechen rebel website argues that the deaths of exiled Russian former security officer Aleksandr Litvinenko in London and journalist Anna Politkovskaya in Moscow and the poisoning of former PM Yegor Gaydar in Ireland are parts of one scheme designed by the Kremlin to persuade the UK and the West that exiled tycoon Boris Berezovskiy is a criminal and must be extradited to Russia. The following is the text of an article signed Russkiy Obyvatel (Russian Inhabitant) and posted under the headline "The nuclear ice-axe" on the Chechenpress website on 11 December 2006; subheadings have been inserted editorially:
All the latest killings are parts of one project because the probability of accidental coincidence is negligible. It is also obvious that they were organized by people having great state resources (judging by the scale of the cover operation, the killing instrument and methods and other circumstances).
The UK attitude is a significant factor in the investigation. [British PM] Tony Blair said this in the following way: "Concerns are mainly about damage the Litvinenko case may cause to relations with Russia. The most important thing is to settle the problem of relations with Russia". The murder masterminds reckoned on this predictable reaction to the case from Tony Blair and company.
RUSSIA, WEST, AND TERRORISM
Blair has voiced the fundamental position of the Western states. If they officially recognize the Kremlin's complicity in the assassinations, it would unambiguously prove that the international "antiterrorist" coalition's goals are just a myth and a cover for vigorous terrorist activity by its active ideologists. Such an admission would mean ideological disaster for the West, not to mention the spending of hundreds of billions in budget funds, the plenty of deaths and other things.
It might trigger interest in who are the real authors of this situation with well-equipped and organized militants in Iraq and [Hezbollah Secretary General Hasan] Nasrallah and others possessing uncountable amounts of weapons. Let alone "trifles" like an attempt on the life of [Ukrainian President Viktor] Yushchenko and the killing of [Chechen rebel warlord Zelimkhan] Yandarbiyev. Then all those Bushes, Blairs, Schroeders and others will obviously appear either as conscious co-authors of actual terrorism or worthless clowns in the expert hands of their "friend Vladimir" [Putin]. Both options are unpredictably dangerous for the bosses of western states.
Ridiculous as it is, those champions of human rights would rather benefit from admitting responsibility for these killings than investigate them and run their horns slap into the Kremlin. The West understands that the Kremlin is behind the murders of Litvinenko and others. The West also understands that the Kremlin understands that the West understand all that. Thus investigation into the murders is basically a period of time needed for the West and the Kremlin (with Germany?) to reach a compromise between their interests. The international community will recognize the bosses of any states if they enforce order on their respective territories (by keeping watch over their own population and not infecting others with their violence) and if they do not have too brazen ambitions to re-divide territories and spheres of economic influence.
KREMLIN'S SUPPOSED GOALS
The Kremlin is completely recognized but the message of its latest killings to the West is that the Kremlin is ready to maintain such international relations but it will go to any length to get back Boris Berezovskiy, first and foremost. In addition, the returnee must necessarily be presented as a criminal or, ideally, a terrorist. The situation is a headache for the West: it has never been talked to in such a cheeky manner since Hitler. More importantly, no price has been put on the gift - what and how much the West may get for its tacit understanding. On the other hand, if Russia is up for grabs, the West is to decide whether the time has come or they should wait a while. Judging by Blair (and the Pentagon's new chief [Robert] Gates going into raptures over Putin), the West has decided to take its time and meet the Kremlin's demands without losing face but getting something like energy in return.
In this context, all evidence in the Litvinenko murder case including the motives, instruments and persons involved, point to the Kremlin. Opinions about Litvinenko committing suicide or the wilfulness of some unruly security officers and that kind of stuff are just legends thrown in by the masterminds of the killings to provide what they think operational cover looks like. No-one but the Kremlin has any motives to kill Litvinenko, [investigative journalist Anna] Politkovskaya and other people belonging to the same bunch. No-one had the motive except the Kremlin. As regards the way it was done, the doers did their best: they had no-one to do it better.
The Kremlin being like Caesar's wife above suspicion, it takes time for everyone to sort out the case: examine the aircraft and the stadium, define the killing just as a "suspicious death" and other things. It takes time to reach accords for opposition forces in their respective states not to use Litvinenko's murder in their campaigns as it would allegedly damage statehood. It looks like they have sorted it out: the Kremlin will receive, together with Berezovskiy, the right to complete the investigation and, more importantly, hold the trial on the basis of confessions promptly obtained from suspects (who will survive until the trial in the interests of the case). [Russian prosecutor-general Yuriy] Chayka very timely replaced the loyal but primitive [former prosecutor-general, now justice minister Vladimir] Ustinov. The law on the prosecution of "terrorists" will also come in handy. The law was adopted very timely to the loud silence of the West.
The British investigation is rather a matter of sporting interest: just to see whose security guys are cooler. It was clear from the very outset that the murders of Litvinenko and Politkovskaya would lead to politically scandalous and unsafe consequences but the masterminds chose to do it because it was vital for them. An expectable scandalous effect is the main means to the real goal of the project: extradition of Berezovskiy as a criminal. (Scandal over [the 2003 murder of State Duma member Sergey] Yushenkov was probably not strong enough to achieve this goal.) Politkovskaya and Litvinenko were not killed in punishment but for a purpose.
The Kremlin cannot get rid of its "birth trauma". The blown-up blocks of flats, arranging the second Chechen war and the clumsy actions in Nord-Ost and Beslan just aggravated that "birth trauma". Berezovskiy most probably was personally involved in the labours of Putin's making as a statesman. (He kept silent for one year after the blasts and then it suddenly "dawned" on him.) He is not only a living eyewitness of Putin's making. Maybe he even recorded his contacts with Putin on data storage media. This is why the physical elimination of Boris Berezovskiy could not settle the problem of the Kremlin's "birth trauma" (the only reason why Boris Berezovskiy is still alive). The only way to make the books, evidence and other documents activated by Boris Berezovskiy politically and legally negligible is by moulding Boris Berezovskiy into a recognized international criminal (thank Iosif [Joseph Stalin] for schooling). With no post-presidential security guarantees, many people in the corridors of power have reasonable fears both about the "birth trauma" and the possibility of losing billions taken away from Yukos [oil company] and others. It would hardly be more difficult for his entourage to bump off Putin than, say, Tsepov or Litvinenko: he drinks tea, too.
Litvinenko and Politkovskaya were killed in order to make the international community itself present Boris Berezovskiy as a dangerous criminal and international adventurer. The murder victims themselves did not trouble the Kremlin essentially: they had told everything, had no money or anything. The Kremlin has confirmed that Politkovskaya had no significant political weight in the state. But they were well-known and had contacts with Boris Berezovskiy. Such is the logic underlying the project. [Former PM Yegor] Gaydar "suitably" turned up in Ireland [where he was allegedly poisoned]. (They returned him alive but with much ado and all tests on the case being in their hands.) He is part of the cover called to amplify the scandal, divert attention, make the scheme look illogical and accidental and other purposes. It is a fifth trump hidden in the sleeve which may come in handy if something does not add up.
The covering operation is to suggest the following scheme. Litvinenko is a "dirty and aggressive bloke" who had got an assignment and money from Boris Berezovskiy's to do "dirty things" and make a "dirty bomb": hence the radioactive traces left by him and his "accomplices" all around. Yet he got poisoned "out of stupidity or greediness" (or alternatively fell out with Berezovskiy who poisoned him incompetently using polonium which happened to be at hand). Politkovskaya had allegedly found out a thing or two about Berezovskiy's dealings. Being pathologically scrupulous and meticulous, she might turn him in. So they unpretentiously did away with her allegedly as a witness and at the same time discredited the hateful Kremlin. "Dirty bomb" traces may "incidentally" turn up in the houses or other property of Berezovskiy. (The former prosecutor-general told MPs from the parliamentary rostrum recently that the authorities knew everything about Berezovskiy, even "what he eats for breakfast").
The role of polonium was to link those involved to the "dirty bomb" and international terrorism and to make sure the "case" would produce a scandal. [Litvinenko's contact, businessman Andrey] Lugovoy and his "friends" may give well-timed confessions and thereby reasons for the investigation to be given over to the Kremlin. Given their "frank confessions" and international reverberations of the case, the West will gladly give away at least Berezovskiy. If something does not add up and the extradition does not take place, the Britons will have an unsolved case with players being out of reach and facts unavailable. The Kremlin will be able to argue that Boris Berezovskiy is a terrorist while the British investigators are dupes incapable of protecting their citizens and others. Thus the Kremlin will look whiter and, if crisis emerges, they will recall this unsolved crime. Whatever turns the "case" may take, it is a win-win situation for the Kremlin let alone other great benefits.
Agents are working hard in western media for the Kremlin to cite "international opinion before its population". Some damsel has testified that Litvinenko, hardly having made her acquaintance (last April), suggested setting up a business to "blackmail and sell secret information about Russia's influential people, swamping her with hundreds of (fake) reports, photos and other things. The TV air is full of well-organized loud noise; the Italian [?Litvinenko's contact, journalist Mario Scaramella] is reported now poisoned, now OK, now the murder victim [Litvinenko] is announced to have allegedly confessed his dirty dealings to him...[ellipsis as published] all that is called to arouse aversion in the average man for the "case" and those killed in order to say in the end: "Didn't we tell you that Boris Berezovskiy did all that and therefore we always tell the truth".
The information cover of a crime unmasks its masterminds as well as does the crime itself. Russian TV channels are tripping over one another in staging shows with opinions" being voiced by well-chosen "specialists" and actuality shots slinging mud at Litvinenko and Boris Berezovskiy. Such "documentary" films cannot be made, especially so quickly, without the involvement of interested forces. [Russian actor Rolan] Bykov once said that documentary films are the most dishonest. BAB, BAB, BAB [abbreviated from: Boris Abramovich Berezovskiy], the host of pro-Kremlin media suggest to the audience through the lips of politicians, observers and prosecutors ... [ellipsis as published] To hell with BAB: let them tackle their problems themselves, but Politkovskaya and [journalist Yuriy] Shchekochikhin are regrettable losses.
Thus the crime has its motives, victims, murder instruments and players but there is no-one to be interested in its real solution. Therefore this "case" is just an "exercise" for the West and past history for the Kremlin.