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Ex-spy's widow blames his death on Russians

She says her husband knew from the start that he had been poisoned.

December 11, 2006|From the Associated Press

LONDON — The widow of slain former KGB agent Alexander Litvinenko said Sunday that she thought Russian authorities were behind the poisoning of her husband, and that Russian President Vladimir V. Putin had created an atmosphere that made it "possible to kill a British person on British soil."

Marina Litvinenko told the TV channel Sky News in an English-language interview that her husband, who had fled Russia in 2000 and obtained British citizenship this year, "openly went out from system and accused the system of killing people, of kidnap."

"System never forgive you about this," she said.

A friend of Litvinenko accused Russian authorities Sunday of hampering the British investigation of the poisoning by preventing two key figures in the case from being questioned. He also warned that the pair could be in danger.

In interviews with two newspapers and Sky News, Marina Litvinenko recalled the days leading up to the Nov. 23 death of her 43-year-old husband by polonium-210 poisoning.

"Marina, I love you so much," she recalled her husband saying in the last hours of his life. She said they were his last words.

Litvinenko fell ill Nov. 1, a day the couple celebrated because it was the anniversary of their arrival in Britain. She said he vomited repeatedly and told her "everything was strange, looked gray. He said, 'It looks like someone has poisoned me. When I was in military school, I learned about this.' "

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