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The KGB's Poison Factory (Hardback)

From Lenin to Litvinenko

Frontline Books True Crime Frontline: General History Cold War

By Boris Volodarsky
Frontline Books
Pages: 288
ISBN: 9781848325425
Published: 30th November 2009



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In late November 2006 the world was shaken by the ruthless assassination in London of Alexander Litvinenko, a former Lieutenant Colonel of the Russian security service (FSB). The murder was the most notorious crime committed by the Russian intelligence services on foreign soil in over three decades.

The author, Boris Volodarsky, who was consulted by the Metropolitan Police during the investigation and remains in close contact with Litvinenko’s widow, is a former Russian military intelligence officer and an international expert in special operations. His narrative reveals that since 1917, beginning with Lenin and his Cheka, the Russian security services have regularly carried out bespoke poisoning operations all over the world to eliminate the enemies of the Kremlin.

The author proves that the Litvinenko’s poisoning is just one episode in the chain of murders that continues until the present day. Some of these assassinations or attempted assassinations are already known; others are revealed here for the first time. Uniquely Volodarsky has had a personal involvement in almost every each of the twenty or so cases covered in detail, from the radioactive thallium poisoning of the Soviet defector Nikolai Khokhlov in Frankfurt in September 1957 to the ricin umbrella murder of the Bulgarian dissident Georgi Markov in London in 1978.

As featured in

The Insider

As featured in: 'Was Roman Abramavich Poisoned?'

The Sunday Times

As featured in

The Times

Referenced in article: 'An Enemy of the Kremlin Dies in London' featured by

The Atlantic, January/February 2017 - words by JEFFREY E. STERN

As featured in

The Times 7/3/18

This book is riveting for anybody interested in delving into the murky world of international espionage.

LSE Connect

This will fascinate students as well as general readers interested in international espionage.

Library Journal

This is an important book that should appeal to a wide readership, not least because of the publicity surrounding the Litvinenko case

Fire Trench website

About Boris Volodarsky

Boris Volodarsky is a former captain of the GRU Spetsnaz, a member of the World Association of International Studies and co-editor of the International Personal Files intelligence magazine.

He is the author of Nikolai Khokhlov: Self-Esteem with a Halo and The Orlov File: The Greatest KGB Deception of All Time. He is also an advisor to the film director Michael Mann.

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