Putin and a ruth­less mur­der

The Denver Post - - OPINION -

The wheels of bu­reau­cracy grind slowly in­deed in Bri­tain, but the govern­ment’s con­clu­sion this week that the mur­der of ex-Rus­sian spy Alexan­der Litvi­nenko nearly a decade ago was per­son­ally ap­proved by Vladimir Putin is yet more proof of the Rus­sian pres­i­dent’s ut­ter ruth­less­ness.

There are many ways the Rus­sians could have as­sas­si­nated Lit- vi­nenko, but they se­lected a spec­tac­u­larly painful one: poi­son­ing him with the ra­dioac­tive sub­stance polo­nium-210.

They wanted to make an ex­am­ple — and maybe sat­isfy a per­sonal grudge of Putin’s, of­fi­cials say.

If so, Putin achieves the du­bi­ous dis­tinc­tion of re­call­ing Stalin, who also took a per­sonal in­ter­est in how his en­e­mies were killed.

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