Poisoned umbrellas and polonium: Russian-linked UK deathsThe Guardian
March 13, 2018
Salisbury's former spy is not the first Russian to fall ill in Britain in mysterious circumstances.
Georgi Markov, September 1978
In one of the most chilling episodes of the cold war, the Bulgarian dissident was poisoned by a specially adapted umbrella on Waterloo Bridge. As he waited for a bus, Markov felt a sharp prick in his leg. The opposition activist, who was an irritant to the authoritarian communist government of Bulgaria, died three days later. A deadly 1.7mm-wide pellet containing the poison ricin was found in his skin. His unknown assassin is thought to have been from the secret services in Bulgaria, which was then in the orbit of Soviet Russia.
Alexander Litvinenko, November 2006
The fatal poisoning of the former officer with the Russian spy agency FSB sparked a major international incident. Litvinenko fell ill in November 2006 after drinking a cup of tea laced with radioactive polonium. He met his killers in a ground-floor bar of the Millennium hotel in Mayfair, central London. The pair were Andrei Lugovoi - a former KGB officer turned businessman, who is now a deputy in Russia's state Duma - and Dmitry Kovtun, a childhood friend of Lugovoi's from a Soviet military family. Vladimir Putin denied all involvement and refused to extradite either of the killers from Moscow.
German Gorbuntsov, March 2012
The exiled Russian banker survived an attempt on his life as he got out of a cab in east London. He was shot four times with a silenced pistol. He had been involved in a bitter dispute with two former business partners.
Alexander Perepilichnyy, November 2012
The businessman collapsed while running near his home in Weybridge, Surrey. His death was initially attributed to natural causes, but a pre-inquest hearing heard evidence that traces of a chemical that can be found in the poisonous plant gelsemium were later found in his stomach. Before his death, Perepilichnyy was helping a specialist investment firm uncover a $230m Russian money-laundering operation, a pre-inquest hearing was told. Hermitage Capital Management claimed that Perepilichnyy could have been deliberately killed for helping it uncover the scam involving Russian officials. A further pre-inquest hearing heard that he may have eaten a popular Russian dish containing the herb sorrel on the day of his death, which could have been poisoned. The inquest is continuing and is due to resume next month.
Boris Berezovsky, March 2013
The exiled billionaire was found hanged in an apparent suicide after he had spent more than decade waging a high-profile media battle against his one-time protege Putin. A coroner recorded an open verdict after hearing conflicting expert evidence about the way he died. A pathologist who conducted a postmortem examination on the businessman's body said he could not rule out murder.
Scot Young, December 2014
An associate of Berezovsky whom he helped to launder money, was found impaled on railings after he fell from a fourth-floor flat in Marylebone, central London. A coroner ruled that there was insufficient evidence that his death was suicide. But Young, who was sent to prison in January 2013 for repeatedly refusing to reveal his finances during a public divorce row, told his partner he was going to jump out of the window moments before he was found.