Analysis: If Putin ordered assassination, why would he take such a risk?

January 22, 2016 5:03 AM

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A highly anticipated British inquiry into the 2006 killing of Russian Alexander Litvinenko has reached a remarkable conclusion: Russian President Vladimir Putin likely approved the poisoning of the former KGB operative, who died after radioactive polonium was slipped into his cup of green tea at London’s Millennium Hotel.

If the Kremlin is really behind Litvinenko’s death, it’s worth asking a big question: Why? Why would Putin approve such an aggressive and risky act on a foreign nation’s soil? What had Litvinenko, a former Russian intelligence officer who was a British citizen at the time of his death, done that mer...

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