Litvinenko was silenced because he was exposing Kremlin terror psyops on the Russian people.
Kremlin denies link with training
British police ‘will seek explanation’
They were the best of the best of Russia’s special forces — and they were shooting at Alexander Litvinenko.
Images of elite Spetsnaz troops using pictures of the murdered former Russian spy for target practice prompted fresh accusations yesterday that the Kremlin was behind his killing.
The pictures were taken at a training camp outside Moscow where 90 troops from the Interior Ministry’s Vityaz (Hero) brigade were competing to earn the coveted maroon beret of the special forces.
Footage from the Vityaz training centre, filmed for publicity purposes, shows young soldiers weaving through an obstacle course before a live-fire exercise, in which they pump rounds from revolvers into a photograph of Litvinenko. His face was quickly riddled with 9mm bullet holes.
Russia’s third most senior politician, Sergei Mironov, chairman of the Federation Council, presented the maroon berets to nine successful candidates in the competition last November, six days after Litvinenko was poisoned in London with radioactive polonium210. “This just proves the point that Alexander Litvinenko was No1 one on the hit-list of the Russian security services,” Alexander Goldfarb, a spokesman for Litvinenko’s family, told The Times. “He was their archenemy.”
Spy pointed the finger at Russia’s special forces
The name of Sergei Lysiuk, the former head of Russia’s Interior Ministry special forces, who now runs the Vityaz training centre, features prominently in Alexander Litvinenko’s book Blowing Up Russia.
In the book Litvinenko accuses the FSB of being behind bombings in Moscow apartment buildings in September 1999 that killed 300 people.
Vladimir Putin, then Prime Minister, blamed Chechen terrorists and ordered the Russian Army into Chechnya soon after. Litvinenko described Mr Lysiuk as one of the Kremlin’s most trusted officers who was “the founder and first commander of the Vityaz interior forces’ special operations unit”.
As the founder of the Vityaz brigade, Mr Lysiuk created the tradition of the maroon beret as a mark of the Interior Ministry’s most elite special forces.
The author claimed that he worked closely with the FSB after retiring to set up his own Vityaz company. Litvinenko described Mr Lysiuk as a secret KGB agent controlled by the head of Russia’s military counter-intelligence unit. He went on in the book: “Operational information indicates that the commercial activities of Lysiuk’s firm included training contract killers . . . but Lysiuk himself might not have known anything about that.”