Death of a Dissident

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Death of a Dissident: The Poisoning of Alexander Litvinenko and the Return of the KGB
First edition cover
Author Alex Goldfarb and Marina Litvinenko
Country United States
Language English
Genre Biography
Publisher The Free Press
Publication date
22 May 2007
Media type Print (hardcover)
Pages 369 pp
ISBN 978-1-4165-5165-2
OCLC 104889488

Death of a Dissident: The Poisoning of Alexander Litvinenko and the Return of the KGB is a book written by Alexander Goldfarb and Marina Litvinenko about the life and death of her husband, former FSB officer Alexander Litvinenko who was poisoned by the radioactive element polonium in London in November 2006.

The life of Alexander Litvinenko has been described in the book at the background of power struggle between different political forces in post-Soviet Russia. The book presents various theories of active measures that have been undertaken by Russian state-security services to bring their leaders to power, from an attempted coup allegedly organized by Alexander Korzhakov in 1996 to the election of Vladimir Putin, who became popular as a result of the Second Chechen war. According to the book, Putin was appointed the Prime minister of Russia as a result of a secret deal with oligarch Boris Berezovsky. Paul Klebnikov called Berezovsky the "Godfather of the Kremlin".[1]

According to the book, the FSB received a direct order from Russian President Vladimir Putin to kill Alexander Litvinenko, and it also had a hand in the 1999 apartment bombings, the Moscow theater hostage crisis and the murder of Anna Politkovskaya.[2]


Nicholas Blincoe noted that the book is really a memoir by the former Russian dissident Alex Goldfarb who is an employee of Boris Berezovsky. Blincoe points out the problem, that "if everyone, including Goldfarb, is in Berezovsky's pay, there are no disinterested accounts, only potential apologists for his world-view." Blincoe further asserts that the fact that Berezovsky was the mastermind behind Putin's rise to power is evidence that no KGB-sponsored coup d'état took place - contrary to what was claimed in the book.[3]


  1. ^ Gavan, Denisa I. (January 7, 2005). "(review of) Godfather of the Kremlin: The Decline of Russia in the Age of Gangster Capitalism" (PDF). Perspectives (electronic student journal). Antigonish, Nova Scotia: Centre for Post-Communist Studies at St. Francis Xavier University. Retrieved 2011-09-05.  Vol 2 Nbr 2.
  2. ^ Nowak, David (June 4, 2007). "New Litvinenko Book Accuses FSB". Moscow Times. Retrieved 2011-09-05.  David Johnson, Johnson's Russia List at Center for Defense Information.
  3. ^ Blincoe, Nicholas (June 14, 2007). "All roads lead back to Berezovsky". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 2011-09-05. 

The book[edit]

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