Commentaires client les plus utiles sur Amazon.com
4,2 sur 5 étoiles
4,0 sur 5 étoilesDissident Murder A Bridge from Yeltsin to Vladimir Putin's Russia
2 juillet 2017 - Publié sur Amazon.com
I read this after reading Masha Gessen's The Man Without a Face and Steven Lee Myers' The New Tsar. I found it hard to get into but, past the first two chapters, I found it really gripped me. The co-author is the widow of Alexander Litvinenko, the dissident mentioned in the title--although the primary author Alex Goldfarb has also served as a dissident and reporter on Putin's reign. Alexander Litvinenko is a former FSB (KGB) officer who took seriously the reforms that Gorbachev and Yeltsin moved to instill in the Russian Federation after the fall of the USSR. He kept records on actions that he thought were illegal and stubbornly refused to let anything go. The wikipedia entry on Litvinenko says that US diplomats credited him with coining the phrases for this era the "Mafia state." "In November 1998, Litvinenko and several other FSB officers publicly accused their superiors of ordering the assassination of the Russian tycoon and oligarch Boris Berezovsky." Litvinenko and his wife fled to London where he was poisoned by Polonium-210, a rarely occurring radioactive material which is created artificially in Russia. Investigations into his death began in January 2015 and concluded in January 2016. They concluded "that Litvinenko's murder was an FSB operation, that was probably personally approved by Vladimir Putin." Excellent book for those of us obsessed with what Putin has done to Russia and with this "bridge character" from the old oligarchs and the new Putin oligarchs.
5,0 sur 5 étoilesThe victim of the first nuclear terrorist attack!
25 janvier 2008 - Publié sur Amazon.com
This is the story of former Russian intelligence officer Alexander "Sasha" Litvinenko, who in November 2006, was poisoned by the rare radioactive element polonium. Polonium is so rare that it is very hard to detect. In fact, in radioactive cases, hospitals do not try to search for it, and most health officials do not even know of it. It has also never been used in war or assassinations by any organization, whether governmental or terrorist. Russia is known to possess polonium, but according to the author, it is very hard to get a hand on it by individuals or terrorist organizations not supported by the Russian government. Polonium is only dangerous if ingested; it can thus be transported without risk. Only a minute amount is necessary to kill an individual. There are no antidotes. The reason it was detected in Litvinenko was because of his resilience and his survival time of a few weeks, which gave British health officials more time to solve the puzzle and detect polonium. Should Litvinenko have died quicker, the cause of death would probably never have been known.
Livinenko, who defected from Russia and became a British citizen, became the first man in history to be the victim of a nuclear terrorist attack. Within days, because of the nuclear radiation, he had aged almost 20 years! A few weeks later he died at a London hospital. The FSB, the successor to the KGB, and the Putin regime were suspected. Traces of polonium radiation were found on some airplanes originating from Russia, suggesting the terrorists had traveled from there. A pub and the Sushi restaurant where Sasha was poisoned were closed due to traces of radiation. You may recall in the news seeing British personnel in yellow protective suits (to protect them from radiation) searching the sushi restaurant.
Sasha's wife, who tended to her husband and was exposed to his vomit, was found to have been exposed to polonium. But the exposure was minimal and did not pose an immediate health risk to her. His children however were not exposed to polonium. According to the author, Scotland Yard knows who the terrorists are, and who is behind them, but the information is classified. Is it because of the political ramifications? Should such information be withheld from the public?
Ever since 1998, when Litvinenko denounced the FSB for ordering him to assassinate tycoon Boris Berezovsky (who's story is told of how he made his billions), he had set out to exposing the FSB's darkest secrets. According to Litvinenko, the FSB were responsible for the assassinations of oligarchs (government by the few), politicians, and journalists. He believes that the FSB were also behind the assassination of Ukrainian presidential candidate Viktor Yuschenko who was poisoned during his campaign. He also exposes the dirty deeds of the FSB during the war in Chechnya. Litvinenko warns the west that the KGB is back with a vengeance. For these reasons, many in Putin's government viewed Litvinenko as a traitor, and, according to the author, may have wanted him killed.
In an address to the Russian people, Putin flatly denied having been involved in the murder of Litvinenko, saying that Litvinenko is insignificant. But then all politicians lie, don't they? It is part of their job description.
The book revealed to me so many traits about Putin that I never knew, but I don't want to use this book to pass judgment on the man. After all, the author does say that the beliefs and conclusion of the book are those of Litvinenko and his own, and that he does not claim to be a neutral observer.
According to the author, Putin was on holiday during the Russian submarine accident that made headlines throughout the world. The west volunteered to help, but Putin refused any kind of help until it was too late. All sailors on board the submarine died many days later. They could have been saved by an immediate rescue attempt. During the whole incident, Putin remained on holiday. I found this shocking. Do his people mean so little to him?
The author reveals more of Putin's character during the Chechnya war and the atrocities that took place there. He also accuses Putin for the Moscow bombings and killings of innocent Russians. Again, we should not take the author's word, but we should keep an open mind.
The author also says that Putin never liked the west but only pretended to, and that when the occasion arises, he would separate from them. He also says that it was the Americans who kept him in power. You may recall hearing in the news a few months ago that Putin resumed his nuclear air patrol to protect Russia from a possible nuclear attack from the west. Is the tension of the cold war repeating itself?
I really enjoyed this book, and it opened many questions I never thought of before. I don't want to use this book alone to pass judgment on Putin and the Russian government. This book opened for me a door to learn more about this ex-superpower that might turn out be a sleeping giant.
This book also exposed to me the evil that man can do in the name of power. Do politicians sleep peacefully at night? Would the world be a better place without politicians? One thing is certain: in the name of power, man is capable of untold atrocities!
5,0 sur 5 étoilesYears have passed and times have changed however the age ...
23 mars 2015 - Publié sur Amazon.com
Years have passed and times have changed however the age old proposition of getting rid of opposition through poisoning is as valid now as it was in the times of Catherine Deshayes. "Death of a Dissident" is quite illustrative of the dark political forces behind the murder of Alexander Litvinenko as well as the extraordinary resources at hand to fulfill such criminal act. Very interesting.