Daily Archives: January 3, 2008

EDITORIAL: Should Russia Have Surrendered to the Nazis?

EDITORIAL

Should Russia Have Surrendered to the Nazis?

Writing in the New Yorker in 2002 Victor Erofeyev (in an article entitled “The Russian God“) stated:

“When the war against Hitler began, every Russian soldier at the front was given a daily ‘commissar’s ration’ of a hundred grams [of vodka] as stipulated by the ministry of defense. Vodka manufacturers claim that the drink was as important as Katyusha rocket launchers in the victory over Nazim, because it bolstered the Russian army’s spirits. But Vladmir Nuzhny, a professor of narcology and one of Russia’s best-known theoreticians of alcoholism, thinks otherwise. Those hundred grams were a disaster for the entire postwar generation, he told me. Alcohol dependence soared, and the result was a downward spiral of dissolution that continued into the 1960s.”

If you combine this fact with the untold havoc wrecked upon Russia by the murderous rule of the dictator Josef Stalin, who may himself have killed as many Russians as Hitler’s soldiers did (as shown in the table below, from Death by Democracy by R. J. Rummel, the USSR was the most* egregious state murderer of its own people in world history), and if you then reflect upon the fact that France surrendered to and was ruled by Hitler, only to emerge relatively unscathed upon Germany’s collapse, now possessing a standard of living many orders of magnitude greater than Russia’s, it becomes possible to argue that Russia would have been better of surrendering to Hitler rather than fighting him.


Only two arguments can be advanced against this position: First, that if Russia had not fought then Germany would not have collapsed, and by prevailing in World War II Germany would have inflicted worse suffering on Russia than Stalin and the Bolsheviks; and second, that Russia gained some sort of intangible psychological advantage by standing up for principle, whereas in some sense the French sold their souls to the Devil.

The second argument is easily dispensed with. No serious person can argue that Russia’s modern history contains many examples of Russians standing up for principle, and their election of a proud KGB spy to lead them only a few years after the collapse of the USSR — owing in party to the KGB’s decimation of Russian culture, carrying out mass murder at Stalin’s orders — drives the final nail into that coffin. Russians are not overly concerned with morality, certainly not to the extent of creating any national malaise resulting from surrender to Hitler. After all, Napoleon invaded and conquered Moscow, but Russia did not show any ill effects.

So the question simply boils down to whether Hitler would have won World War II if Russia had surrendered as France did, and if so whether he would have ruled Russia more cruelly and destructively than Stalin.

As for the first part of this question, it’s necessary to ask whether Russia even wanted Hitler’s enemies to prevail against him. After all, Stalin made a pact with Hitler before the war broke out that would have allowed Hitler carte blanche authority to ravage the Western allies in exchange for dividing some of the spoils with Russia. The Communists hardly had any great desire to see the capitalist economies of France, England and America throw down the German onslaught and rise to dominate the globe, as they in fact did. Many in Russia, no doubt, were rooting for Hitler so long as he might be counted upon not to turn on Russia.

As for the second part, Would Hitler have built a “Gulag Archipelago” that was even more deadly than the one Stalin created? Hitler wouldn’t necessarily have considered the people Stalin saw as villains to be evil; he might even have been in sympathy with them. To be sure, Hitler would have wiped out Russia’s Jewish population — but Russians have made long strides towards that end themselves, and now most of Russia’s Jews reside elsewhere. Hitler wouldn’t have lived forever — would he have been replaced by someone just as malignant as Leonid Brezhnev?

These are all academic points to be debated by historians. The only point here is to note that it’s an open question whether Russia would have been better off losing World War II and experiencing the regime change that would have resulted, and this fact offers great insight into the truly horrific nature of the Soviet regime itself — a regime which is now being revitalized in today’s Russia by a proud KGB spy who, it appears, has designated himself ruler for life. In so doing, he is (as we reported yesterday) embarking upon a vigorous campaign to rewrite Russia’s history books and tell the nation’s children that the Soviets really weren’t so bad after all.

Those, like Mr. Erofeyev and Mr. Nuzhny, who know better need to speak up, loudly and quickly, before Russia finds itself so deep in mire of its own making that there is no escape.

Barry Rubin is director of the Global Research in International Affairs Center, tells a story: “Back in 1946, an American diplomat asked an Iranian editor why his newspaper angrily criticized the United States but never the Soviet Union. The Iranian said that it was obvious. ‘The Russians,’ he said, ‘they kill people.'”

To be sure, and not only people but history books as well. Kill everything that disagrees with you and you will be proven right, they thought in Soviet times. And yet, the USSR was not proven right, but wrong in the most absolute manner a country can be proved wrong — it ceased to exist. Now, raised on those dishonest history books, a clan of KGB spies who believed and believes every word they wrote, is looking for a second chance to get it all right.

__________

*NOTE: Some argue that China murdered a larger number than the USSR; even if that is so, and even if China murdered twice as many people as the USSR, the impact would not be as great because the Chinese population is much larger and can absorb the shock more readily. Those who would try to shift attention in this manner, moreover, are engaging in a Soviet propaganda trick and seeking to rationalize Russian failure, helping it to continue. They are the real enemies of Russia.

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Oh, Those Hospitable Russians!

Writing for Transitions Online Nadezhda Pitulova, a student at Moscow State University’s School of Journalism, reports on that good old famous Russian hospitality:

The lessons of World War II, in which the Soviet Union lost more than 20 million people while battling the forces of fascism and Nazism, seem lost on Roman, a 30-year-old shaven-headed ultranationalist from Moscow.

“All non-Russians should be ousted from Russian territories. Minorities should live in their own zones. Yakuts should stay in the Sakha Republic. Chechens in Chechnya, Russians in Russia,” he said.

Armed with brass knuckles and metal rods, sporting clean black boots and swastika armbands, Russia’s extreme nationalists and neo-Nazis have typically been disaffected young men in the big cities, fueled by alcohol or drugs. But Roman, deputy director of a manufacturing firm in Moscow, is a good example of how those patterns are changing.

“In the past two or three years, the social structure of active neo-Nazi groups has changed significantly. Before they were coming from troubled families, while now they’re students at prestigious universities and sons of engineers, service members, police officers,” said Galina Kozhevnikova, an analyst at the SOVA Center think tank, which tracks extremist activity.

Such activity is on the rise in Russia, and the changing background of the extremists roughly mirrors changes in the broader society, as the average wage has nearly tripled, confounding the notion that increased poverty and deprivation fuel racism. “Being part of the neo-Nazi movement can guarantee lifelong opportunities. They can count on employment, PR, and legal and financial support in prison,” Kozhevnikova said. While there is no proof that neo-Nazis are supported at the highest levels of business or government, activists say there is plenty of evidence that they are at least countenanced by law enforcement. “There are a number of instances of strong ties between ultranationalists and law enforcement agencies, including studying at police schools, working for the police, being related to someone in the police force,” Kozhevnikova said. She noted that the founder of the notorious neo-Nazi gang Mad Crowd 13, Dmitry Borovikov, was the son of a “a high-profile police official.”

Mad Crowd 13 members have been charged with murdering an African student in 2006, killing a Chinese citizen, and attacking an Armenian citizen in 2003. Most of the gang members were detained shortly after Borovikov was fatally wounded while being arrested last year. Mikhail is a 22-year-old information technology major at one of Moscow’s best universities. He said his hatred of foreigners started in high school. “When I saw that those newcomers didn’t behave the way Russians did, I started looking for ways to show them that we live differently,” he says, explaining that he tried talking first but resorted to violence when the “newcomers” did not change their ways. Mikhail doesn’t drink vodka, doesn’t smoke, and doesn’t use drugs. He calls his ideology “common nationalism,” a reaction against those who “perfidiously encroach upon something” he loves. “If you call yourself ethnic Russian, then you’re a nationalist. Nationalism isn’t fascism or Nazism, but love for your nation,” said Mikhail, who couldn’t estimate the number of times he has beaten up non-Slavs. “We rough up until the moment we see sincere repentance.”

GUERRILLA WAR

For his part, Roman calls himself a “guerrilla” in a war against all “alien diasporas” that come in great numbers to this country, with its 80 percent ethnic Russian population. According to the State Statistics Agency, more than 215,000 immigrants came to Russia between January and September 2007, the overwhelming majority from Central Asia, the Caucasus, Ukraine, and Belarus. One unofficial estimate puts the number of illegal immigrants in Russia at 8 million to 12 million. Jews or anyone with dark features from the impoverished Caucasus regions are particularly unwelcome.

“Everyone everywhere hates churki [mud people] and Jews. Chechens slaughtered 60,000 Russians! If they could, people would start wiping them from the face of the earth.” said Roman, who never kills his victims, preferring to stab or break bones. “Younger neo-Nazis are fools. They get carried away and are sometimes ready for murder,” he added. “We act like gangs and never have a set plan of attack. We agree on a ‘hunt’ when playing Reich [pouring out onto the street shouting pro-Hitler slogans] or hanging out in a pub. We just get out and pick an alien in the street that we like,” Roman said, estimating that he has been on about 20 such hunts. In the first 11 months of 2007, racist or skinhead violence in Russia increased by 19 percent over the same period in 2006, resulting in 57 members of ethnic minorities being stabbed to death and at least 546 attacked, according to the SOVA Center.

State figures do not count the number of isolated ultranationalist groups in the country, but human rights groups, including the independent Moscow Bureau for Human Rights, reported 50,000 individual extreme nationalists in 2005, compared with a few dozen in the early 1990s. Among the biggest extremist groups are the Movement Against Illegal Immigration, Moscow Hammer Skin, Skin Legion, and United Brigades 88, a coded reference to Heil Hitler, as the double “8” refers to “H,” the eighth letter of the alphabet. Their memberships include up to 10,000 in the Russian capital and some 15,000 in St. Petersburg, with hundreds in smaller cities. And those smaller cities are seeing an increasing share of the violence. “Skinheads formerly were active only in big cities and in the towns of the southern part of Russia, where ethnic tensions are very acute, but today this movement is spreading over regional and county centers,” a recent report by the human rights bureau says.

Meanwhile, political leaders have failed to stem the tide of violence because they “frankly don’t recognize a neo-Nazi movement as a serious political problem,” Kozhevnikova said. Human rights activists say that ethnic and even racist language has been grossly exploited by high-ranking politicians. And some major political parties to some degree embrace xenophobia, a 2006 report by the SOVA Center says. “The problem isn’t so much that some officials support the neo-Nazis, it’s that official actions are aimed at catering to nationalist voters and instilling paranoia and fear in the electorate for political gain.” said Niсkolai Butkevich, research director of the Union of Councils for Jews in the Former Soviet Union. The Liberal Democrats, for instance, have a long record of anti-Semitic and racist rhetoric: in the previous parliament, their leader, Vladimir Zhirinovsky, suggested using death squads to kill off entire Chechen villages. In the recent elections to the State Duma, the party passed the 7 percent threshold to stay in parliament.

Vladimir Putin’s United Russia party is not above such appeals, either. Shortly after the 2006 murder of an African student in St. Petersburg in which members of Mad Crowd 13 were charged, United Russia member Alexander Nevzorov commented that foreigners “can also get into fights, insult someone, or seduce someone’s wife.”

The Jewish union’s 2006 report suggests that official indifference to the plight of non-Slav victims simply reflects public opinion, “which tacitly endorses neo-Nazi views.”

SAINTS AND SINNERS

It’s not only the demagoguery of contemporary Russian politics or the corruption of law enforcement that feed the growth of extremist violence. Many ultranationalists say their behavior has its roots in a long tradition of defending what is truly Russian. “Just look at the icons in church,” Mikhail said. “Most of them portray saints with swords and spears.” The Rev. Alexander Volkov of St. Tatiana Church in Moscow said a superficial knowledge of Orthodox Christianity provides nationalists and extremists with easy cover. “When people lack simple knowledge of what Orthodoxy and the icon paintings mean, it becomes easier to take the view that there are ‘natives’ and there are ‘aliens.’ Nationalism is a serious threat. It has a tendency to combine misleading opinions with false ideas about religion and faith,” Volkov said. “Every kind of extremism should raise serious concerns, since Orthodoxy promotes the values of prudence, moderation, and peace,” he said. The priest predicted that ultranationalism will only spread until the government adopts and enforces a humane policy toward minorities. Otherwise, he said, “We may face an avalanche that would sweep away everything.”

Britain Calls Russia’s Bluff on British Council Ban

Reuters reports:

Britain on Tuesday defied a Russian order to close the regional offices of its cultural arm from New Year’s day, but there was no evidence of Russian attempts to forcibly close British Council centres, Russia on December 12 ordered the British government’s cultural arm to halt work from January 1 at all its regional offices, saying Britain had broken a host of international and domestic rules. The move was part of the fall out from a bitter row over the murder of former Russian agent Alexander Litvinenko, a critic of the Kremlin who was poisoned by radiation in London in November 2006.

Relations between Britain and Russia are at their worst since the Cold War, soured by the Litvinenko murder, mutual espionage allegations and the political asylum given by Britain to prominent Russian enemies of President Vladimir Putin. “It is our firm point of view that the British Council operates with a fully legal status and in accordance with international law and agreements with the Russian government,” a spokesman for the British embassy in Moscow said by telephone. “We hope their operations in St Petersburg and Yekaterinburg will continue when these offices open after the New Year break,” the spokesman said. The Russian New Year holiday normally lasts for the first two weeks of January.

The Council’s offices in the northern city of St Petersburg and the Urals city of Yekaterinburg were closed on Tuesday for the break. A Reuters reporter said the business centre which houses the St Petersburg office was closed with no signs of any police presence. An answer machine said it would reopen on January 14. “We have every plan to continue,” Clare Sears, a British Council spokeswoman, said by telephone from London. “We are in constant discussion with the Russian authorities and we are very much hoping this can be resolved over the next two weeks.” When asked if the British Council would open its offices after the New Year holiday, Sears said: “We will do everything in our power to do so.”

Britain reacted angrily to Moscow’s demands to halt the British Council’s work. Prime Minister Gordon Brown said last month that the ban was totally unacceptable and called on Moscow to reverse its decision. The British Foreign Office said the Council had nothing to do with the dispute over Litvinenko’s murder, which sparked a tit-for-tat expulsion of diplomats in July. Russia said Britain had broken rules while registering 15 regional offices of the British Council, a claim London denies. The Council had earlier closed regional Russian offices everywhere in Russia except Moscow, St Petersburg and Yekaterinburg.

Britain and Russia are linked by tens of billions of dollars in trade and investments, including a major stake in Russian oil producer held by BP and the gilded flow of Russian money and investment through the City of London. But anger over the Litvinenko killing has damaged relations. Britain in July expelled four diplomats in response to Russia’s refusal to extradite another former state security agent, Andrei Lugovoy, to stand trial for Litvinenko’s murder. Russia followed that by expelling four British diplomats. Lugovoy denies any part in the murder.

Britain Calls Russia’s Bluff on British Council Ban

Reuters reports:

Britain on Tuesday defied a Russian order to close the regional offices of its cultural arm from New Year’s day, but there was no evidence of Russian attempts to forcibly close British Council centres, Russia on December 12 ordered the British government’s cultural arm to halt work from January 1 at all its regional offices, saying Britain had broken a host of international and domestic rules. The move was part of the fall out from a bitter row over the murder of former Russian agent Alexander Litvinenko, a critic of the Kremlin who was poisoned by radiation in London in November 2006.

Relations between Britain and Russia are at their worst since the Cold War, soured by the Litvinenko murder, mutual espionage allegations and the political asylum given by Britain to prominent Russian enemies of President Vladimir Putin. “It is our firm point of view that the British Council operates with a fully legal status and in accordance with international law and agreements with the Russian government,” a spokesman for the British embassy in Moscow said by telephone. “We hope their operations in St Petersburg and Yekaterinburg will continue when these offices open after the New Year break,” the spokesman said. The Russian New Year holiday normally lasts for the first two weeks of January.

The Council’s offices in the northern city of St Petersburg and the Urals city of Yekaterinburg were closed on Tuesday for the break. A Reuters reporter said the business centre which houses the St Petersburg office was closed with no signs of any police presence. An answer machine said it would reopen on January 14. “We have every plan to continue,” Clare Sears, a British Council spokeswoman, said by telephone from London. “We are in constant discussion with the Russian authorities and we are very much hoping this can be resolved over the next two weeks.” When asked if the British Council would open its offices after the New Year holiday, Sears said: “We will do everything in our power to do so.”

Britain reacted angrily to Moscow’s demands to halt the British Council’s work. Prime Minister Gordon Brown said last month that the ban was totally unacceptable and called on Moscow to reverse its decision. The British Foreign Office said the Council had nothing to do with the dispute over Litvinenko’s murder, which sparked a tit-for-tat expulsion of diplomats in July. Russia said Britain had broken rules while registering 15 regional offices of the British Council, a claim London denies. The Council had earlier closed regional Russian offices everywhere in Russia except Moscow, St Petersburg and Yekaterinburg.

Britain and Russia are linked by tens of billions of dollars in trade and investments, including a major stake in Russian oil producer held by BP and the gilded flow of Russian money and investment through the City of London. But anger over the Litvinenko killing has damaged relations. Britain in July expelled four diplomats in response to Russia’s refusal to extradite another former state security agent, Andrei Lugovoy, to stand trial for Litvinenko’s murder. Russia followed that by expelling four British diplomats. Lugovoy denies any part in the murder.

Britain Calls Russia’s Bluff on British Council Ban

Reuters reports:

Britain on Tuesday defied a Russian order to close the regional offices of its cultural arm from New Year’s day, but there was no evidence of Russian attempts to forcibly close British Council centres, Russia on December 12 ordered the British government’s cultural arm to halt work from January 1 at all its regional offices, saying Britain had broken a host of international and domestic rules. The move was part of the fall out from a bitter row over the murder of former Russian agent Alexander Litvinenko, a critic of the Kremlin who was poisoned by radiation in London in November 2006.

Relations between Britain and Russia are at their worst since the Cold War, soured by the Litvinenko murder, mutual espionage allegations and the political asylum given by Britain to prominent Russian enemies of President Vladimir Putin. “It is our firm point of view that the British Council operates with a fully legal status and in accordance with international law and agreements with the Russian government,” a spokesman for the British embassy in Moscow said by telephone. “We hope their operations in St Petersburg and Yekaterinburg will continue when these offices open after the New Year break,” the spokesman said. The Russian New Year holiday normally lasts for the first two weeks of January.

The Council’s offices in the northern city of St Petersburg and the Urals city of Yekaterinburg were closed on Tuesday for the break. A Reuters reporter said the business centre which houses the St Petersburg office was closed with no signs of any police presence. An answer machine said it would reopen on January 14. “We have every plan to continue,” Clare Sears, a British Council spokeswoman, said by telephone from London. “We are in constant discussion with the Russian authorities and we are very much hoping this can be resolved over the next two weeks.” When asked if the British Council would open its offices after the New Year holiday, Sears said: “We will do everything in our power to do so.”

Britain reacted angrily to Moscow’s demands to halt the British Council’s work. Prime Minister Gordon Brown said last month that the ban was totally unacceptable and called on Moscow to reverse its decision. The British Foreign Office said the Council had nothing to do with the dispute over Litvinenko’s murder, which sparked a tit-for-tat expulsion of diplomats in July. Russia said Britain had broken rules while registering 15 regional offices of the British Council, a claim London denies. The Council had earlier closed regional Russian offices everywhere in Russia except Moscow, St Petersburg and Yekaterinburg.

Britain and Russia are linked by tens of billions of dollars in trade and investments, including a major stake in Russian oil producer held by BP and the gilded flow of Russian money and investment through the City of London. But anger over the Litvinenko killing has damaged relations. Britain in July expelled four diplomats in response to Russia’s refusal to extradite another former state security agent, Andrei Lugovoy, to stand trial for Litvinenko’s murder. Russia followed that by expelling four British diplomats. Lugovoy denies any part in the murder.

Britain Calls Russia’s Bluff on British Council Ban

Reuters reports:

Britain on Tuesday defied a Russian order to close the regional offices of its cultural arm from New Year’s day, but there was no evidence of Russian attempts to forcibly close British Council centres, Russia on December 12 ordered the British government’s cultural arm to halt work from January 1 at all its regional offices, saying Britain had broken a host of international and domestic rules. The move was part of the fall out from a bitter row over the murder of former Russian agent Alexander Litvinenko, a critic of the Kremlin who was poisoned by radiation in London in November 2006.

Relations between Britain and Russia are at their worst since the Cold War, soured by the Litvinenko murder, mutual espionage allegations and the political asylum given by Britain to prominent Russian enemies of President Vladimir Putin. “It is our firm point of view that the British Council operates with a fully legal status and in accordance with international law and agreements with the Russian government,” a spokesman for the British embassy in Moscow said by telephone. “We hope their operations in St Petersburg and Yekaterinburg will continue when these offices open after the New Year break,” the spokesman said. The Russian New Year holiday normally lasts for the first two weeks of January.

The Council’s offices in the northern city of St Petersburg and the Urals city of Yekaterinburg were closed on Tuesday for the break. A Reuters reporter said the business centre which houses the St Petersburg office was closed with no signs of any police presence. An answer machine said it would reopen on January 14. “We have every plan to continue,” Clare Sears, a British Council spokeswoman, said by telephone from London. “We are in constant discussion with the Russian authorities and we are very much hoping this can be resolved over the next two weeks.” When asked if the British Council would open its offices after the New Year holiday, Sears said: “We will do everything in our power to do so.”

Britain reacted angrily to Moscow’s demands to halt the British Council’s work. Prime Minister Gordon Brown said last month that the ban was totally unacceptable and called on Moscow to reverse its decision. The British Foreign Office said the Council had nothing to do with the dispute over Litvinenko’s murder, which sparked a tit-for-tat expulsion of diplomats in July. Russia said Britain had broken rules while registering 15 regional offices of the British Council, a claim London denies. The Council had earlier closed regional Russian offices everywhere in Russia except Moscow, St Petersburg and Yekaterinburg.

Britain and Russia are linked by tens of billions of dollars in trade and investments, including a major stake in Russian oil producer held by BP and the gilded flow of Russian money and investment through the City of London. But anger over the Litvinenko killing has damaged relations. Britain in July expelled four diplomats in response to Russia’s refusal to extradite another former state security agent, Andrei Lugovoy, to stand trial for Litvinenko’s murder. Russia followed that by expelling four British diplomats. Lugovoy denies any part in the murder.

Britain Calls Russia’s Bluff on British Council Ban

Reuters reports:

Britain on Tuesday defied a Russian order to close the regional offices of its cultural arm from New Year’s day, but there was no evidence of Russian attempts to forcibly close British Council centres, Russia on December 12 ordered the British government’s cultural arm to halt work from January 1 at all its regional offices, saying Britain had broken a host of international and domestic rules. The move was part of the fall out from a bitter row over the murder of former Russian agent Alexander Litvinenko, a critic of the Kremlin who was poisoned by radiation in London in November 2006.

Relations between Britain and Russia are at their worst since the Cold War, soured by the Litvinenko murder, mutual espionage allegations and the political asylum given by Britain to prominent Russian enemies of President Vladimir Putin. “It is our firm point of view that the British Council operates with a fully legal status and in accordance with international law and agreements with the Russian government,” a spokesman for the British embassy in Moscow said by telephone. “We hope their operations in St Petersburg and Yekaterinburg will continue when these offices open after the New Year break,” the spokesman said. The Russian New Year holiday normally lasts for the first two weeks of January.

The Council’s offices in the northern city of St Petersburg and the Urals city of Yekaterinburg were closed on Tuesday for the break. A Reuters reporter said the business centre which houses the St Petersburg office was closed with no signs of any police presence. An answer machine said it would reopen on January 14. “We have every plan to continue,” Clare Sears, a British Council spokeswoman, said by telephone from London. “We are in constant discussion with the Russian authorities and we are very much hoping this can be resolved over the next two weeks.” When asked if the British Council would open its offices after the New Year holiday, Sears said: “We will do everything in our power to do so.”

Britain reacted angrily to Moscow’s demands to halt the British Council’s work. Prime Minister Gordon Brown said last month that the ban was totally unacceptable and called on Moscow to reverse its decision. The British Foreign Office said the Council had nothing to do with the dispute over Litvinenko’s murder, which sparked a tit-for-tat expulsion of diplomats in July. Russia said Britain had broken rules while registering 15 regional offices of the British Council, a claim London denies. The Council had earlier closed regional Russian offices everywhere in Russia except Moscow, St Petersburg and Yekaterinburg.

Britain and Russia are linked by tens of billions of dollars in trade and investments, including a major stake in Russian oil producer held by BP and the gilded flow of Russian money and investment through the City of London. But anger over the Litvinenko killing has damaged relations. Britain in July expelled four diplomats in response to Russia’s refusal to extradite another former state security agent, Andrei Lugovoy, to stand trial for Litvinenko’s murder. Russia followed that by expelling four British diplomats. Lugovoy denies any part in the murder.