Mark Urban has a scoop over on his blog.
The murder of Alexander Litvinenko was carried out with the backing of the Russian state, according to Whitehall sources. A senior British security official has told Newsnight “we very strongly believe the Litvinenko case to have had some state involvement; there are very strong indications that it was a state action”.
Direct Russian government involvement in the murder of a British citizen on British soil. Uh oh.
In recent months the Director General of the Security Service, Jonathan Evans, has expressed concern about the high level of espionage operations by Russian spies under diplomatic cover. The service believes there are about 30 operating from Russian diplomatic missions in the UK. However the evidence of FSB involvement in the Litvinenko and Berezovsky cases has taken tensions between the two countries to a new level.
This could get nasty. 30 agents operating in Britain is very high, is it not?