27.01.2007 – Eurasian Secret Services Daily Review

REVIEW TOPICS:
Litvinenko’s murder reportedly disclosed, suspect denies role in poisoning
Uranium smuggled into Georgia may have come from Russia
     
Principal version of Yushchenko’s poisoning appeared deadlock, Ukraine’s ex-security service chief says
SBU Vice Chairman says secret service did not bug parliament’s speaker 
Ukraine’s minister who helped Turkmen oppositionists says SBU is manipulated
National Academy of Security Service of Ukraine celebrated its 15th anniversary

Litvinenko’s murder reportedly disclosed, suspect denies role in poisoning 

   
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  Andrei Lugovoy 

Russian secret services are behind the killing of the former FSB officer Alexander Litvinenko and Russia has financed the murder, the British investigators have concluded.
ABC television, referring to a high-ranking British source, said the police have cracked the murder-by-poison case of the ex-agent and the organizers of the crime were Russian secret services, which operated following the instruction of the Russian authorities. ABC said Moscow acknowledged the murder to have been badly bungled because it took more than one attempt to administer the poison, and traces of polonium-210 have been scattered all across Europe. It is underlined in London that the Russian authorities did not expect that the source of poisoning would be ever discovered.
The sources of the press in the British security agencies have repeatedly reported that Andrei Lugovoy and Dmitry Kovtun were considered as direct executors of a poisoning. They met Litvinenko on November 1in London and, according to the Scotland Yard, put a lethal dose of radioactive polonium-210 in a porcelain teapot.
Lugovoy, 41, a former bodyguard with the KGB, called the reports in Britain’s daily The Guardian and Sky News TV channel that he is a suspect in the murder, “all lies, provocation and government propaganda by the United Kingdom.” According to the British media, Scotland Yard has finalized a report on Litvineko’s murder. Sky News and The Guardian reported yesterday that police were focusing on Lugovoy and British prosecutors believed they had sufficient evidence to charge him.
In his turn, Lugovoy told The Associated Press that he viewed this as an attempt by the British authorities to make up for the lack of evidence against him. “They are trying to make up for their weak hand,” he is quoted as saying today. In an interview with the Russian news agency Interfax yesterday, Lugovoy said he had given “exhaustive answers” to Scotland Yard detectives when they visited Moscow last December. He also said he had not received any official statements. “However, if it happens I am ready to protect my reputation in any court.” 

Uranium smuggled into Georgia may have come from Russia 

   
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Oleg Khinsagov  

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, speaking with reporters in Russia’s eastern city of Vladivostok, denounced arrest of a Russian citizen by Georgia last year for trying to sell enriched uranium as “a provocation,” Russian news agencies reported today.
Oleg Khinsagov, 50, a Russian citizen, was arrested in a “sting” operation orchestrated by the US and the Georgian secret services last year, in an attempt to smuggle 100 grams of weapons-grade uranium from Russia into Georgia via breakaway South Ossetia, though details have only just become public. Khintsagov’s three Georgian accomplices were also arrested by the Georgian security forces. Nikoloz Rurua, the vice chairman of the Georgian parliament’s Committee for Defence and Security, told Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty‘s Georgian Service that there had been “a request by our American colleagues — not to publicize this information due to certain considerations related to the operation.”
Lavrov dismissed Georgian Interior Minister Vano Merabishvili’s allegations that Moscow was not cooperative to investigate the case. “Our experts from FSB [Federal Security Service] and Rosatom [Russia’s Federal Agency for Nuclear Energy] visited Tbilisi, met with this citizen [Khintsagov], but he failed to say anything intelligible,” Lavrov is quoted by the Civil Georgia online magazine as saying. Merabishvili, however, had a different story. He said he was revealing the case out of frustration with Russia’s lack of cooperation in the investigation that followed the arrest. According to him, Russia hampered Georgia’s attempts to determine whether Khinsagov had access to larger quantities of uranium, as he had boasted prior to his detention.
American nuclear experts have claimed that the uranium originated within Russia itself, though Russian scientists have said it is “impossible” to determine its origin. Laboratories in both the US and Russia have confirmed that the substance seized was indeed highly enriched weapons-grade uranium and that it was processed about 10 years ago.
Reuters reported it had seen a document, marked confidential, saying the Russian who smuggled weapons-grade uranium into Georgia in his pockets may have obtained it in the Siberian city of Novosibirsk. The document, dated May 2006, appeared to be a fax sent by Russia’s Federal Security Service to the Georgian Interior Ministry in response to a Georgian request for help in investigating the smuggling case. The fax said the FSB were checking Khintsagov’s testimony about the possible acquisition by him of the uranium in Novosibirsk. There was no further evidence of a direct link to Novosibirsk, though it said that Khintsagov had booked flights to two nearby cities in 2000. A Georgian Interior Ministry official told Reuters the document was genuine, including the reference to Novosibirsk. The FSB declined immediate comment.
Vladimir Chuprov, the chief nuclear expert at Greenpeace’s Russian office, told RFE/RL that security at Russian nuclear facilities remains deplorable. According to Chuprov, poor working conditions and rampant corruption in Russia’s post-Soviet nuclear sector continue to provide a fertile breeding ground for nuclear contraband. 

Principal version of Yushchenko’s poisoning appeared deadlock, Ukraine’s ex-security service chief says 

   
 

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  Igor Smeshko 

Former Chairman of the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU), Igor Smeshko, stated in an interview to newspaper Fakts, that investigation of the case about poisoning of the current President of Ukraine, Viktor Yushchenko, on September 5, 2004, at a summer residence of ex-Deputy Chairman of the SBU, Vladimir Satsyuk, has appeared deadlocked. “From the legal point of view the Yushchenko’s version during two years of investigation of the case has appeared so deadlocked that, as a matter of fact, he involuntarily has become its political hostage”, Smeshko said. In his opinion, “it is impossible to claim that there are any proofs which would connect that dinner on September 5, 2004, at Satsyuk’s summer residence with the fact of deterioration of Viktor Yushchenko’s state of health in the autumn of 2004”.
The former head of the SBU noted that for 1.5 hours before the meeting at Satsyuk’s place, Yushchenko had dinner at a summer residence of one of the heads of Foxtrot firm, where he was even served a separate dish, a trout. Besides Yushchenko had problems with health till September 5, 2004 and because of them Smeshko’s meeting with Yushchenko was transferred from September 4 to September 5.
Smeshko was asked for his comments on the last version of anonymous “leadership of security services”, published by the newspaper Segodnya on December 28, 2006, that Yushchenko could be poisoned eating plov (rice pilaf), served by an unnamed security guard of Satsyuk, at the same summer residence on September 5, 2004.
Smeshko referred to the statement of the acting SBU Chairman Valentin Nalivaichenko at a press conference on December 28, 2006, when he personally publicly commented the given publication. He stated that “as far in this case there is no moral right of any department to declare that it has achieved success” and called to refuse loud versions and assumptions.
Smeshko mentioned ‘a former SBU general‘ who has spent most of his service career to the struggle against ‘bourgeois Ukrainian nationalism’. In the beginning of 2006 he “surely reported to the country’s National Security and Defence Council and to the President that the investigation, say, already knew absolutely everything that is connected with Yushchenko’s poisoning. According to Smeshko, when the law enforcement bodies requested the fact sheet, the general’s sensational report appeared a usual bluff, though, it was rather harmoniously supporting the principal version of the President.

SBU Vice Chairman says secret service did not bug parliament’s speaker
Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) did not bug the Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada (parliament) of Ukraine Alexander Moroz, deputy SBU chief Gennady Moskal told in an interview to the daily Kyiv telegraf. He said that the SBU’s reputation is being damped by such public intrigues and leak of information. According to Moskal, any decoding of talks, appearing in Internet, is arrogated to the SBU. The deputy chief of the security service said that the only fault of the SBU was that it “had not prevented this disgrace”.
According to Moskal, it is shameful situation when anyone who feels like it settles a score with someone or fights for portfolios. The SBU official also considers that the security service should not be used for “destroying rivals.” According to him, “it would be strange to deny that SBU officials never carry out commercial orders.” “Every family has its black sheep, but the question is how to capture these black sheep in an initial stage of degradation,” Moskal summed up.

Ukraine’s minister who helped Turkmen oppositionists says SBU is manipulated
Transport and Communication Minister of Ukraine, Nikolai Rudkovsky, accuses the Presidential Secretariat of manipulating the Ukrainian Security Service (SBU), news agency UNIAN reports. According to the agency, Rudkovsky told this to journalists in Kiev, commenting on the official investigation into the fact of the Turkmen oppositionists’ visit to Ukraine, which he helped. The minister added that, by his information, President’s Chief of Staff Viktor Baloha officially turned to the SBU and ordered to bring a criminal case against him as Transport and Communication Minister.
In the other development, connected with the visit of the Turkmen opposition representatives, Deputy President’s Chief of Staff, Alexander Chaly, said in an interview to Inter TV channel he was surprised with the ‘rather oversimplified’ statements of Fuel and Energy Minister of Ukraine, Yuri Boyko, that the scandal would not influence the Turkmen natural gas supplies. Boyko stated on January 24 that he believed the Turkmen side was absolutely satisfied with Kiev’s explanations, according to the UNIAN. Turkmenistan is the biggest gas supplier to Ukraine, the agency adds.

National Academy of Security Service of Ukraine celebrated its 15th anniversary
These days the National Academy of the Security service of Ukraine (SBU) celebrated its 15th anniversary, news agency Regnum reports. The leading higher educational institution for professional training for the security services was founded on January 27, 1992, on the basis of the higher courses of state security in Kiev as an Institute of Professional Training of the Security Service of Ukraine. In November 1995 the Institute has been reorganized and became an Academy that in 1999, according to the presidential decree, got the status of a national academy.
The composition of the academy includes Institute of Protection of Information with limited Access, which on the basis of general and higher education prepares experts for the work in the specified area. In the National academy of the SBU there are five faculties, postgraduate study and doctoral studies, a publishing house, and a training centre.
During last years the system of preparation of participants of antiterrorist and other special operations is introduced. The academy prepares also the new experts for the State Protection Directorate, the State Border Guards Service, Central directorate of military intelligence of the Ministry of Defence of Ukraine.

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