Dec 04 2006

The New Litvinenko Timeline

Update:More reporting on the fact that Russia’s sole Polonium-210 reactor has been idle for two years and a review of stocks and transports of nuclear material in Russia show no missing material.

Major Update: Breaking news says the hunt is on for more contamination sites in hotels. I was about to predict this (and should have) when compiling this post. If we have a smuggling ring that Lugovoi coordinates (he has been to London 12-13 times in the last year meeting with Litvinenko and possibly Berezovsky some number of times) then we would expect to see these hot spots in hotels where the material was being divided and distributed. This would probably put the nail in the assassination theories if more hotel sites were identified as hot spots and we find Litvinenko and Lugovoi associated with these spots. – end update

It is clear the Polonium trail spans several days from Oct 25th to Nov 3rd (which appears to be traces of Polonium coming into Russia and then traces outbound with Lugovoi). And there appears to be locations Litvinenko did not visit which were contaminated (the Hotel Rooms at the Sheraton Park). And there seems to be two hot spot hotels and numerous men ferrying between Russia and London associated with these hot spots. One would almost say there was a smuggling ring, and one would have to realize that the smuggling may have been intended to be INTO Russia to establish enough Polonium-210 for Chechen terrorists there. One thing is for sure, the amount of Polonium 210 we are seeing in Litvinenko and Scaramella alone is probably on the order of $50+ million dollars worth of material, and I would not be surprised if the total traces found could add up to twice that amount. With that much valuable material in play, anything is possible.

So Let’s look at the new Timeline as reporting in the last few days has attempted to lay it out.

October 25th – 28th: First is the earliest confirmed contamination at the Sheraton Park Lane Hotel,plus contamination possibly on flights coming from or going to Moscow:

…Mr Lugovoi says he returned to London on a BA flight on October 25. He again met Mr Litvinenko at the Sheraton Park Lane hotel. He returned to Moscow on October 28,…

It seems the Sheraton Park Lane Hotel is one of these major hot spots:

Police have also linked Mr Lugovoi to several locations across London which tested positive for polonium 210.

He visited the offices of security firm Erinys on October 16. They tested positive.

He is believed to have stayed at the Sheraton Park Lane hotel. The eighth floor was sealed off last week after it tested positive.

It is rumored that s many five rooms were contaminated as much of the 8th floor was cordoned off:

On the eighth floor of the Sheraton a policeman last week stood guard just outside the lift. To the left, the entire corridor was sealed off by a barrier. Behind it investigators were hard at work.

According to a note given to guests at the hotel, police had discovered traces of polonium-210 in five rooms.

Lugovoi and Litvinenko had many meetings during this trip (per the last link), according to Lugovoi:

“In the evening [of the next day] I met with Litvinenko in the lobby of the hotel and we had a drink together at the bar,” he said.

He met Litvinenko again in the hotel bar on the following evening. “Then early in the morning the next day October 28] I flew back to Moscow on BA, the flight which leaves either at 8 or 9am.”

If this was a smuggling effort which was being coordinated by Lugovoi for Berezovsky and others, and Berezovsky used Litvinenko as a messenger and mule for most contacts with Lugovoi then this could be an earlier transaction to move Polonium-210. The key here is the five rooms. There is no need to have that much movement of a material you are trying to keep secret for an assassination. I cannot see Lugovoi going from room to room showing off his secret assassin’s weapon. But I can envision a shipment of Polonium-210 being split apart so it could travel in smaller amounts to where it was suppose to go (it could be going to multiple ‘customers’). Update: Reader Crosspatch (who knows his chemistry for sure) notes that it is possible this was a location to combine small amounts being smuggled by many people as well. Point taken. – end update. One thing is for sure, if Lugovoi wanted to kill Berezovsky and Litvinenko, he had an opportunity during this trip which he would not have again when he came in for the Arsenal – CSKA Moscow soccer game on November 1.

There is some confusion as to when Lugovoi met with Berezovsky, but it seems he may have been the initial person leaving traces of Polonium-210 around London – not Litvinenko. Per the last link again:

A further mystery arises because of conflicting evidence about Berezovsky’s Mayfair office, which is near the Sheraton. One source last week claimed that Lugovoi had visited the office during his trip to London between October 25 and 28. But another well-informed source said that Lugovoi had visited it on October 31 or November 1.

The timing is important, because whenever Lugovoi did visit the office he appears to have been strongly radioactive — traces have been found there.

He and Berezovsky greeted each other with a hug and Lugovoi sat on a sofa while they drank white wine. The source said: “When investigators later tested for radioactivity, the maximum activity was on the cream-coloured sofa where Lugovoi was sitting while he drank wine.”

I am sure many people sat on that couch, including Litvinenko. Berezovsky’s office still remains a key element of this puzzle. Recall the Goldfarb has already confirmed Litvinenko visited the office, supposedly after the meeting with Scaramella. It seems many of the new people of interest are associated with the Sheraton Park and this initial period of contamination.

October 31st – November 1st: This is the period we all focused our attention on up until recently because of the remnants of the assassination theory which began when Thallium was the suspected poison. While many continue to follow that line of thinking, the dual contamination sites (and the shear amount and expense of the Polonium in question) seems to continuously erode that theory. But it is still hanging on and cannot be dismissed. During this period we get our second hotspot, and it is also in a hotel where Lugovoi is staying:

…[Lugovoi] flew to London three days later with his wife and son to watch the Arsenal-CSKA Moscow match on November 1. They stayed at the Millennium Hotel, opposite the US embassy in Grosvenor Square, and met Mr Litvinenko there again on November 1. They returned to Moscow along with several Russian acquaintances on November 3.

And again Litvinenko seems to be ‘checking in’ on Lugovoi while he slides in a last minute request for a meeting with Scaramella:

ON the morning of November 1 Litvinenko was given a lift into the centre of London by car. No trace of polonium has been found in that vehicle — an indicator that Litvinenko had not yet been poisoned.

Given the high radiation he suffered, he would have fallen ill rapidly. “It would have been within hours, a day at most,” said a source at the HPA. It was the evening of November 1 that he first became sick.

His movements that day are the subject of dispute. According to Oleg Gordievsky, a friend of the victim and former KGB officer, Litvinenko met Lugovoi and Kovtun in the morning.
Lugovoi and Kovtun, however, say this is not so: they met in the afternoon.

“In the morning my family went off on a London tour,” said Lugovoi. “Dimitri and I went to a business meeting. I had spoken to Litvinenko and we had agreed to meet that day. He told me that he was first seeing an Italian acquaintance.”

Again we see conflicts as to when Litvinenko met Lugovoi and when either or both met Berezovsky. It is important to note Litvinenko spent hours retracing his steps that fateful day. And cell phone records and CCTV cameras will have outlined much of his movements. And it seems evidence shows Litvinenko visited and contaminated Berezovsky’s office – and note the confirming witness present:

The documents passed between Scaramella and Litvinenko at Itsu also appear to have been contaminated.

After the meal, the Russian hurried to Berezovsky’s nearby office where he appeared, according to a well-informed source, in an “agitated” state.
He showed the documents to Berezovsky, who skimmed through them and passed them to a colleague. Litvinenko then photocopied them. Tests later found traces of radiation on the photocopying machine.

The Millenium hotel, as I mentioned, was the second hot spot found. What is interesting is we find these hot spots in Hotels which cater or are hosting a lot of Russians at the time of the contamination. Again this looks more like a smuggling effort to divide up a Polonium shipment amongst multiple folks. So did Litvinenko meet Lugovoi before he met Scaramella and that is when the ‘spill’ happened in the Millenium Hotel room? There was not enough time after the Scaramella meeting (ended around 3:45 PM) to go to Berezovsky’s office and then be at the Millenium hotel at 4:30.

Add to this one more important fact – apparently Russia stopped producing Polonium-210 two years ago and there is no missing Polonium-210 from their stocks presumably (which would be recorded and monitored by the IAEA). So we need to re-assess which path the Polonium-210 was transversing. Was it coming from Russia or going into Russia? And we should never forget Polonium-210’s use in crude nuclear bomb triggers. It is therefore considered a key element to a nuclear bomb. One of the few which needs to constantly be replaced given its short 138 day half life.

73 responses so far

73 Responses to “The New Litvinenko Timeline”

  1. jerry says:

    Haha, well that’s a good point. I’d guess they probably were as bad with radiation safety around the 17th and 25th, and before, as around the 1st. Maybe a leaking container, yet more bungling there… maybe it’s like those poor people that used polonium batteries for warmth in Siberia and played with cobalt in Brazil ’cause it glows so nicely.

  2. clarice says:

    I remember as a kid playing with mercury when the thermometer broke..

  3. Barbara says:

    AJ said that air pressure on the plane could have broken the seals on these shipment and these people might not have realized it which would account for so many spills.

  4. Barbara says:


    I did that too. It was fun to see mercury roll around. Also I once, very young, swallowed the red stuff in temperature gauges.

  5. jerry says:

    I forced my innocent mother to get the skeptical pharmacist give me some mercury!!! Probably explains my symptoms today…..

  6. clarice says:

    No wonder we think alike–Mercury poisoning.. Also everyone smoked inside. There was lead in the gas. No safety belts and I rode standing up in the (this dates me –rumble seat). Lots of food coloring and food additives. Nothing organic ever. Good did I make it? LOL

  7. Barbara says:

    If this is a smuggling ring, I’ll bet the smugglers are having fits. Also the sellers. Well, everyone involved one way or another. And even other smuggling rings.

  8. mariposa says:

    Barbara, whatever it is, smugglers or killers, I would bet that somebody is having more than a few fits.

    Hey, Clarice, and our mothers drank martinis and highballs when they were pregnant!

  9. clarice says:

    Yes..and smoked then, too!

  10. jerry says:

    Standing up in the rumble seat… wheee! I’m someone who thinks that there was a much healthier alcohol attitude in the 40s and 50s. On the other hand, and perhaps positively, mixed drinks are making a comeback from what I read. Good on ’em.

  11. clarice says:

    With lots of wild theories floating around (many no doubt originating with Russian operatives), the finger of suspicion for the Litvinenko assassination remains pointed at state organs of Russia:

    [quote]Intelligence services in Britain are convinced that the poisoning of Alexander Litvinenko was authorised by the Russian Federal Security Service.

    Security sources have told The Times that the FSB orchestrated a “highly sophisticated plot” and was likely to have used some of its former agents to carry out the operation on the streets of London.

    “We know how the FSB operates abroad and, based on the circumstances behind the death of Mr Litvinenko, the FSB has to be the prime suspect,” a source said yesterday.

    The involvement of a former FSB officer made it easier to lure Mr Litvinenko to meetings at various locations and to distance its bosses in the Kremlin from being directly implicated in the plot.

    Intelligence officials say that only officials such as FSB agents would have been able to obtain sufficent amounts of polonium-210, the radioactive substance used to fatally poison Mr Litvinenko only weeks after he was given British citizenship.


    According to this report, former FSB officer, now Russian multimillionaire, Lugovoy, remains the most significant figure of interest.,,2-2487000,00.html

    Jerry I went to the Univ of Wis, we had beer in all the Univ eating places, dorms and frat/sorority houses.

  12. Spy-Games: The Russians Did It?…

    Anyone going to really be surprised? Early morning reports indicate that despite denials and expressions of sympathy, and wishes for a speedy recovery, that the Russian Security Service ‘Led Poison Plot’.Intelligence services in Britain are convinced…

  13. clarice says:

    “Mr Lugovoi is reported to have been tested for radiation contamination in Russia, but found to be clear.

    However, Russia’s Kommersant daily today quoted the businessman’s lawyer, Andrei Romashov, as saying he had checked into a hospital for further tests. ”