Russian who ‘killed Putin enemy by spiked polonium in tea’ dies from Covid – World News

Dmitry Kovtun has been accused of involvement in the murder of Alexander Litvinenko, who died after drinking green tea laced with polonium-210 in a London hotel

Russian businessman Dmitry Kovtun
Russian businessman Dmitry Kovtun

One of Russia’s most notorious “poisoners” who allegedly killed an enemy of Vladimir Putin has died of Covid.

Britain accused Dmitry Kovtun of involvement in the 2006 assassination of former Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko.

Kovtun died in a Moscow hospital at the age of 56 after being struck by Covid, according to Russian news agency TASS.

He was accused, along with former FSB agent Andrei Lugovoy, now an ultranationalist MP, of spiked polonium-210 into Litvinenko’s tea at a Mayfair hotel in London.

After the poisoning allegation, questions remained about the health of businessman Kovtun.

His early death is likely to feed speculation that Kovtun, who had served in the intelligence service, suffered long-term health damage from the administration of the poison.

Lugovoy, 55, said on Saturday: “This is an irreplaceable and heavy loss for us.

Alexander Litvinenko before the House of Commons in 2004


AFP via Getty Images)

Litvinenko was lying in his hospital bed in 2006



“Today we have the sad news that my close and loyal friend Dmitry Kovtun passed away suddenly as a result of a serious illness related to coronavirus infection.

“From the bottom of my heart I offer my deepest condolences to all of Dima [Dmitry’s] relatives and friends. Sleep well, dear friend! We will never forget you.”

Kovtun and Lugovoy have always denied involvement in Litvinenko’s assassination, but Britain believed the assassination was ordered by Putin or his circle.

Dmitry Kovtun (pictured) was a suspect in the murder of Alexander Litvinenko


AFP/Getty Images)

A trail of the radioactive substance led back to Moscow and Germany on airplane seats, where Kovtun was stationed at the time.

Sanctions were imposed on both men, but Russia always refused to extradite them to Britain.

Kovtun was much more low-key than Lugovoy, who enjoys a prominent political career.

When the US imposed sanctions on him in 2017, Kovtun said he “lives in Russia and will not leave it”.

Litvinenko died in London at the age of 43 after drinking green tea containing polonium-210 at the posh Millennium Hotel in Mayfair.

He died in intensive care on November 23, 2006, more than three weeks after the initial poisoning.

An infamous photo of him lying in bed with no hair was published three days before his death.

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