Radiation Poisoning, Elections and Corruption

June 5, 2013
Alexander Litvinenko/Natasja Weitsz/Getty Images

Here’s a quick summary of today’s biggest news:

-The intrigue surrounding former KGB official Alexander Litvinenko’s 2006 assassination by radiation poisoning continues with the coroner overseeing the investigation into Litvinenko’s murder calling for a public inquiry. The coroner is calling for a public inquiry in response to British Foreign Secretary William Hague demanding that the previously proposed inquest keep “certain information secret.” The Guardian is reporting, “Sir Robert Owen, presiding over the inquest into Litvinenko’s death, has written to the justice secretary after previously ruling he could not hear evidence linked to the alleged involvement of the Russian government in public.”

Putin has thrown his support behind Sergei Sobyanin to receive another term as mayor of Moscow. Putin accepted Sobyanin’s resignation and wished him luck on the upcoming snap elections to be held as a result of his resignation. Analysts have suggested that this is a carefully constructed maneuver designed to give Sobyanin an advantage against any opponents due to his high popularity and the fact that there is a small timeframe between now and the elections. RIA Novosti reports, “Russian President Vladimir Putin accepted the resignation of Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin on Wednesday and wished him success in his run for re-election in a snap vote in September.”

-A corruption watchdog group has recently released a report examining a $750 million corruption scandal between officials in the Angolan and Russian government. The scale and pervasiveness of the scandal illustrates the continuing acceptance of corruption at the highest levels of the Russian government. The Moscow Times reports, “Russian and French arms dealers got away with $263 million, Angola’s president reportedly stashed away more than $36 million, and three Angolan officials and a former Russian legislator got away with smaller amount. Another $400 million is unaccounted for, according to Corruption Watch UK and Angola’s Clean Hands, or Maos Livres association of human rights lawyers.” The full report and executive summary can be found here.