Tue, 13 Mar 2018 23:02 UTC
Counter-terrorism police have opened an investigation into the “unexplained” death on British soil of an arch enemy of Vladimir Putin, just eight days after the nerve gas assassination attempt on a Russian double agent.
Nikolai Glushkov, 68, the right-hand man of the deceased oligarch Boris Berezovsky, Mr Putin’s one-time fiercest rival, was found dead at his London home on Monday.
A Russian media source said Glushkov, the former boss of the state airline Aeroflot, who said he feared he was on a Kremlin hit-list, was found with “strangulation marks” on his neck.
The inquiry into Glushkov’s death was announced hours before a midnight deadline for the Kremlin to explain how Russian-made nerve agent came to be deployed in the assassination attempt on the double agent Sergei Skripal in Salisbury.
Russia appeared to suggest it would be unwise for Britain to provoke a fellow nuclear power and threatened to retaliate against sanctions, which Theresa May is expected to announce today.
A foreign ministry spokesman said: “Any threats to take ‘sanctions’ against Russia will not be left without a response. The British side should understand that.”
Mrs May gained the support of Western leaders including Donald Trump and Angela Merkel for reprisals against the Putin regime that will include sanctions and the expulsion of spies based in the Russian embassy in London.
The White House issued a statement saying the US “stands in solidarity with its closest ally” and condemning the use of “heinous weapons in flagrant violation of international norms”.
A Downing St spokesman added: “President Trump said the US was with the UK all the way, agreeing that the Russian Government must provide unambiguous answers as to how this nerve agent came to be used.”
Boris Johnson, the Foreign Secretary, warned Russia not to underestimate British outrage at the attack and refused to rule out a retaliatory cyber strike.
The death of Glushkov came as Amber Rudd, the Home Secretary, announced a joint MI5 and police inquiry into the deaths in the UK of at least 14 people, including Berezovsky, said to have fallen foul of Mr Putin and Russian crime gangs linked to the Kremlin.
An anonymous acquaintance of Glushkov told Russia’s Kommersant newspaper that signs of strangulation had been found on the body, which was found by his daughter at his home in New Malden in south London on Monday evening. It was unclear whether the death was a result of suicide or murder, the paper’s source said.
Alex Goldfarb, a Russian dissident and friend of Glushkov, said: “It clearly looks suspicious in the wake of the poisoning of Mr Skripal. He (Glushkov) was a public figure in Russia and he was one of the closest partners of Mr Berezovsky.”
“His death will be perceived in Russia as yet another victory for Mr Putin in getting to fugitives.”
Marina Litvinenko, widow of Alexander Litvinenko, the former FSB spy poisoned by the radioactive substance polonium in 2006, said she was a good friend of Glushkov and upset by his death. “We have to wait and see exactly what has happened,” she said.
Glushkov had claimed that Berezovsky, who was found hanged in his bathroom, had been murdered on Mr Putin’s orders. Glushkov had claimed to have seen a scarf close to Berezovsky’s body, and said in one interview: “There were traces of him being strangled around the neck.”
Suspicions also surround the death of another of Glushkov and Berezovsky’s friends, Badri Patarkatsishvili, 52, a Georgian who died at his home in Surrey of an apparent heart attack in 2008. Andrey Lugovoy, who is blamed for the murder of Litvinenko, was at one time Patarkatsishvili’s chauffeur and security adviser to Glushkov. He is now a Russian MP and supporter of Mr Putin.
What an incredible spasm of anti-Putin propaganda we are witnessing coming from London these days.
WMDs, chemical weapons, the War on Terror, directed mass immigration, proxy wars in the Middle East, economic sanctions… it’s all connected.
And underlying it appears to be a Global Cultural War in which Russia has found itself the prime obstacle in the way of locking down a totalitarian Western-controlled world order ruled by fear and terror.
According to Fort Russ:
Berezovsky’s friend killed during gay sex game in London
68-year-old friend of the late Boris Berezovsky, Nikolai Glushkov, was found dead on March 13 in London. It is said that the night before his death, was spent with his young lover.
A Russian man around the age of thirty, Denis, was in Glushkov’s house at the time when he died.
“I think the police are determining whether he could have died during a sex game that went monstrously wrong,” said a friend of the family.
Glushkov was found dead in his rented house in the New Malden area in south London. According to medical experts, death happened as a result of “squeezing of the neck.” The police are investigating the case as a murder. According to the main version of events, someone strangled Glushkov with a dog lead to stage suicide.
As explained in Scotland Yard, the investigators did not find any signs of penetration into the home by force, having come to the conclusion that Glushkov could have known his killer. The police stressed that they do not associate this case with the case of the poisoned Sergei Skripal.