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Russia Mulls Libel Suits Over International Coverage of Litvinenko Affair — Report

Created: 10.12.2006 15:24 MSK (GMT +3), Updated: 10:55 MSK


Russia Today TV, Moscow’s English-language satellite television channel, reported that Russian government officials are considering filing libel suits against international journalists over their reporting on the poisoning death of former Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko.

Shortly before he died in London from radiation poisoning in late November, Litvinenko, who was a strong critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin, accused him of ordering his assassination. Putin and other Russian officials strongly denied any prior knowledge of a plot to kill Litvinenko.

According to a report posted late Friday on the Russia Today TV web site, the Federal Agency for Press and Mass Media is gathering publications worldwide to be studied for libelous and offensive comments against Russia in their coverage of the Litvinenko’s case.

Russia Today TV reported that the Russian government intends to file law suits for libel against international media if there is evidence of journalistic misconduct.

In a Voice of America interview shortly before he was poisoned by a radioactive substance polonium-210, former Russian spy Litvinenko had accused President Putin of ordering the murder of Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya to silence her and intimidate other independent journalists. She had been killed by an unknown assailant in Moscow in early October.

The Russian government’s warnings aimed at international journalists follow President Putin’s largely successful efforts to bring major media outlets in Russia under government control and to limit media criticism of his policies.

Reporters Without Borders, a Paris-based nongovernmental organization, has called Mr. Putin one of the world’s top “Predators of Press Freedom.”

President Putin, on his part, insists he is a strong supporter of democracy and press freedom. In a speech to Russian television broadcasters in late November 2006, Putin said that the development of Russian state and society would be unthinkable without independent media, without the possibility of listening to different points of view, and without television.


10.12.2006 13:27 MSK, MOSNEWS.COM

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10.12.2006 13:18 MSK, MOSNEWS.COM

Jailed Russian Dissident Names FSB Colonel in Litvinenko Poisoning Plot

09.12.2006 18:19 MSK, MOSNEWS.COM

Radiation Traces Linked to Poisoned Ex-FSB Agent Found in Germany

09.12.2006 17:17 MSK, MOSNEWS.COM

Russians to Probe Ex-FSB Officer Death in U.K.

09.12.2006 13:03 MSK, MOSNEWS.COM

British Channel 4 Commissions Litvinenko Drama

08.12.2006 18:10 MSK, MOSNEWS.COM

Litvinenko Contact, Witness in Ex-Spy’s Murder Case Suffers Acute Poisoning — Agency

08.12.2006 13:38 MSK, MOSNEWS.COM

Pro-Moscow Chechen Strongman Denies Zakayev’s Claim Russia Used Polonium 210 Against Militants

07.12.2006 19:07 MSK, MOSNEWS.COM

Poisoned Russian Agent Buried in London

07.12.2006 16:30 MSK, MOSNEWS.COM

Russian Prosecutors Launch Own Probe Into Litvinenko Murder

07.12.2006 15:08 MSK, MOSNEWS.COM

Ties Between Russia, Britain Not Affected by Litvinenko’s Case — Lavrov

07.12.2006 14:13 MSK, MOSNEWS.COM

Litvinenko Friend, Chechen Separatist Zakayev Slams West for Backing Putin’s Regime

07.12.2006 09:33 MSK, MOSNEWS.COM

Russian Investigators Start Questioning in Litvinenko’s Case

06.12.2006 22:24 MSK, MOSNEWS.COM

Litvinenko Poisoning Case Upgraded to Murder Inquiry — Scotland Yard

06.12.2006 19:31 MSK, MOSNEWS.COM

UK Police Question Key Witness in Litvinenko Poisoning Death Probe

06.12.2006 16:19 MSK, MOSNEWS.COM

Russia Should Carry Out Own Probe Into Litvinenko’s Death — Official

06.12.2006 13:08 MSK, MOSNEWS.COM

Deadly Polonium Detected at British Stadium

06.12.2006 09:54 MSK, MOSNEWS.COM

Litvinenko’s Italian Contact Says Ex-FSB Agent Poisoned by “Clandestine Organizations”

05.12.2006 16:22 MSK, MOSNEWS.COM

Top Prosecutor Says Litvinenko Murder Suspects to Face Trial in Russia

05.12.2006 11:19 MSK, MOSNEWS.COM

Russian Authorities Rule Out Jailed Agent Meeting British Investigators in Litvinenko Case

05.12.2006 10:39 MSK, MOSNEWS.COM

British Police See FSB as Prime Suspect in Litvinenko Poisoning — Paper

04.12.2006 23:43 MSK, MOSNEWS.COM

Former Russian PM Gaidar Discharged From Hospital — Spokesman

04.12.2006 19:22 MSK, MOSNEWS.COM

Russia’s Foreign Minister Lavrov Warns Against “Politicizing” Litvinenko Affair

04.12.2006 18:18 MSK, MOSNEWS.COM

Italy to Ask Russia for Help in Poisoning Probe — Minister

04.12.2006 17:45 MSK, MOSNEWS.COM

Jailed Russian Security Officer Eager to Testify in Litvinenko Case, Pledges Help to Scotland Yard

04.12.2006 14:48 MSK, MOSNEWS.COM

Poisoned Former Agent Litvinenko Asked for Muslim Burial — Father

04.12.2006 12:15 MSK, MOSNEWS.COM

British Investigators to Fly to Moscow to Seek Clues in Litvinenko Case

04.12.2006 11:21 MSK, MOSNEWS.COM

Litvinenko’s Friend Unveils Name of Poisoner

03.12.2006 13:40 MSK, MOSNEWS.COM

Slain Agent’s Italian Contact Says Poisoned Over Shared Secrets

03.12.2006 13:07 MSK, MOSNEWS.COM

Litvinenko’s Book Price Grows 30 Times



Russia Loses Multibillion Chinese NPP Tender to U.S. Firm

Photo from

U.S.-based corporation Westinghouse Electric Company has won $8 billion international tender for construction of four new nuclear power plants in China. The tender also included Russia’s state-controlled company Atomstroyexport and French firm Areva. Atomstroyexport has already built a nuclear power plant in China, but this time it lost the tender.



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Russia’s Israeli Prisoners as Bargaining Chips

Leonid Nevzlin / Photo from

Moscow has continuously denied four Israeli nationals convicted in Russia permission to serve their terms at home unless Israel extradites Jewish Russian-born entrepreneur Leonid Nevzlin, once the second-in-command of Yukos and business partner of the jailed Russian tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky, Yedioth Ahronoth reports.


Guide to Russia



Litvinenko’s Business Contact Denies Role in Poisoning Plot

Photo: AP

Andrei Lugovoi, the former Federal Security Service of Russia (FSB) operative and the businessman now reported by the Western media to be linked to the poisoning and death in the UK of his former colleague Alexander Litvinenko, refuted those allegations in an exclusive interview to Russia Today.




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Image by MosNews

The �2008 question� increasingly being put to Vladimir Putin is important not only for because it will decide who will lead Russia until 2012, but also because of its symbolic significance. Will the constitution be changed?



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West Has Failed to Learn From 9/11 — Russian Pundit

Sergei Karaganov / Photo from

Despite isolated tactical victories in fight against terrorism, the West has failed to learn the lessons of September 11, Russian pundit Sergei Karaganov is convinced.


Russia’s Largest Wargame Festival

Every October Russian wargame fans gather near Moscow for the year’s biggest event — the “Moscow Lies Behind”. Thousands look on as the Red Army inevitably beats Wehrmacht, enjoying both the victory and the scrupulously reconstructed World War II uniforms and arms.


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