Litvinenko widow says Russian opposition killing 'like deja vu'

1st March 2015, Comments 0 comments

The widow of Alexander Litvinenko, the former Russian spy who died from radioactive poisoning in London in 2006, said Sunday that the murder of opposition leader Boris Nemtsov felt "like deja vu".

Marina Litvinenko, who blames Russian President Vladimir Putin for her husband's death, said the gunning down of Nemtsov in Moscow on Friday night was "absolutely devastating news".

"It was like deja vu for me," she told BBC Radio, adding that it was a way of sending out a message that "anybody who will try to say something against us would be killed".

Tens of thousands of people marched in central Moscow on Sunday in memory of Nemtsov, a former deputy premier and vocal critic of the current government who had spoken out against Russia's stance in Ukraine.

Putin has vowed to punish the killers as Russian opposition figures denounced what they called a "political murder", and Western leaders called for a full probe.

Litvinenko said that political responsibility must be laid at Putin's door, insisting: "All what happened in Russia for last 15 years, it's the responsibility of this government and personally Mr Putin."

She later joined dozens of people gathered outside the Russian embassy in London to remember Nemtsov, a number of them flying Ukrainian flags, television pictures showed.

Alexander Litvinenko died in a London hospital on November 23, 2006, three weeks after drinking tea infused with deadly polonium-210 at a luxury hotel.

In a letter dictated from his deathbed, he accused Putin of having ordered his murder, an accusation which the Kremlin denies.

British police have named two suspects they want to question in connection with Litvinenko's death -- Andrei Lugovoi and Dmitri Kovtun -- but Russia refuses to extradite them.

© 2015 AFP

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