Ex-KGB officer poisoned in UK

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by Mad_Moriarty, Nov 19, 2006.

Welcome to the Army Rumour Service, ARRSE

The UK's largest and busiest UNofficial military website.

The heart of the site is the forum area, including:

  1. Has anyone seen Sergey latley?. I wonder if he recently visited the London Rezidentura in Kensignton Palace Gardens!!!.

    More here
  2. I asure you that I hasn't visited the splendid capital of the UK recently. Moreover I have never been to the UK ... alas.

    BBC is not well informed. Really he is a former lieutenant colonel of the FSB (not KGB).

    There are so many poisonous fishes, so poison made for a fish would be preferable. For what reason thallium (easily detectable) was used? Probably it was so called 'poisoning'. The guy is likely a pretender.

    If mr.Litvinenko is indeed so dangerous then he would be in the hell long ago.

    Btw, late mrs.Politkovskaya allegedly staged her 'poisoning' too. It happened during days of Beslan tragedy (propable to create called 'news').

    What is mr.Litvinenko's agenda. He claim (without any proof) that explosions of residental multi-storey buildings in Moscow few yeasr ago was in not performed but organised by ... FSB. It is like a claim that 911 tragedy was staged by FBR or CIA.

    So the man is a professional taritor that tries to make money on lies and he is eager to see own name on front pages for obvious resons.

    Simply ignore him.
  3. If it's true how come they get nasty poisons and we can use is an old penknife.

    More Brown cutbacks?
  4. Did he grab the salt cellar and rush to the Gents?

    And then take the defibrillator out of the glove compartment?


    Bad drills that man.
  5. I'm with Sergey on this one. Doesn't anyone else think that receiving a near death experience after a meeting with an Italian in a Japanese Restaurant in the middle of the West End is a bit far fetched, even for the Hereford Two?

    Dodgy Sushi causing a gippy tum I can understand, but imagine the logistics of putting that one together. Remember in London all you need to do is dress like a chav and drag the guy down an alley and kick him to death and no-one will notice it happening. Why all the theatricals? Suppose it was near Shaftesbury Avenue and it was a bunch of luvvies, are there any cossack shows on at the moment?

    What has been missed here is the press reaction with great emphasis on 'secret meeting with contact'. Couldn't have been that secret if someone is following him into the restaurant with a great big sack of white powder.

    Then I got to thinking. Doesn't this explain everthing journalism is the natural resettlement for ex spooks. After all take a few disconnected half truths and mix them with a vivid imagination and you have tomorrows intsu..........sorry I meant front page. Then if nothing is happening pop off to your local Yo! and Bobs your uncle!
  6. Thallium Sulphate isn't a fast acting poison. Before it can be used the particulates are irradiated to ensure small size as well as being taken up by the internal organs instead of the usual electrolytes.

    The fact that he is suffering as he is points to heavy metal poisoning, a technique apparently favoured not only by the KGB but also the now defunct STASI.

    The toxicologist on BBC yesterday even went so far as to say that they had examined the Russki radiologically but never gave the result.

    Still, it's a different story reminiscent of Cold War days.
  7. I thought the point of heavy-metal poisoning was that the victim dies slowly and the clinical presentation isn't obvious? Clearly, a blood analysis will show that you're full of thallium, but it relies on the quack not realising you've been poisoned?
  8. Oviously Litvinenko has access to docs who are more likely to look for things like this and not Your average GP
  9. Well the docs think he was poisoned around 1 nov. He went to the doctor and said he thought he had been poisoned and they told he was paranoid and that it was just a reaction to the antibiotics he was taking. It's only when he got really sick they started investigating the poison angle.
  10. Sergy don't be so gullible everyone knows that mossad was behind 911
  11. Yeah, like the A+E dept at University College Hospital :roll:

    Patient presents weight loss, hair loss, kidney failure and general illness. A+E order blood tests that come back with raised levels of Thalium, hence why he's been watched, and is now in intensive care.
  12. This is in fact an astonishing story of how good the FSB are. Apparently a sea trout with a genetically induced secret poison was specially cultivated at an experimental sea trout farm on the Kamchatka peninsula and infiltrated into the Sea of Okhotsk just to the west of the Kuril Islands where a Japanese factory ship was known to be operating.

    It was caught according to plan - among a whole host of different fish of course - but a special miniaturised transmitter built into the dorsal fin sent out a signal that could be picked up by a Russian agent placed on board the factory ship shortly before it left its home port of Kushiro.

    The Russian agent isolated the sea trout and as per his orders from Moscow took it to a well-known buyer for European Sushi restaurants in Kushiro who had been tasked by the London Sushi restaurant Itsu to find the very best Japanese sea trout for its customers.

    Ah but it was not Japanese you say! In fact the precise ownership of the famed Kamchatka sea trout - often called erroneously Kunzha, which is in fact an East Siberian char - is the subject of a long-standing territorial dispute between Russia and Japan. Tokyo claims that the fish is in fact the Chishima trout and comes from the Kuril islands, which it knows as the Chishimas and says were illegally seized by Stalin at the end of the Second World War.

    No matter! The trout was taken to London in a special crate of ice with its arrival at the restaurant specially timed to coincide with the lunch date between Litvinenko and the Italian woman.

    Some have suggested that the mysterious Italian woman was herself a Russian agent who had been blackmailed into working for Moscow after being caught in flagrante delecto with the charge d'affaires at the Russian embassy in Rome, one Svetlana Horoshova. But this last is of course pure fantasy.
  13. Blood samples are routinely sent to central testing labs throughout Great Britain and easily checked for just about anything so the argument of the quack offering a prognosis does not really hold.

    The symptoms that present for thallium sulphate are not just diahorrea and hair loss. If you want a list take a look in John Barron's book, "KGB" it looks at a similar case.

    Thallium poisoning, from a number of compounds, is well known and documented with a similar presentation. A variety of products were previously made; a depliatory cream and rodent poison being two well known products.

    What is a little disatisfying with the media coverage is their willingness to quote the case of Georgi Markov who was poisoned with ricin.
  14. Effects on humans.

    Since thallium salts are tasteless, odourless, colourless, highly toxic, were easily obtainable in the past and still are in some developing countries, thallium has often been used for suicide, homicide and attempts at illegal abortion, causing acute thallium poisoning.
    Indeed, thallium intoxication is considered one of the most frequent causes, on a worldwide scale, of purposeful or accidental human poisoning.
    Knowledge of chronic thallium intoxication is limited to occupational exposure, to population groups in contaminated areas and to cases of homicide involving multiple low doses. Symptoms of acute thallium toxicity depend on age, route of administration and dose.
    Doses which have proved lethal vary between 6 and 40 mg/kg, being on average 10 to 15 mg/kg. Without therapy this average dose usually results in death within 10 to 12 days, but death occurring within 8-10 h has also been reported.
    The triad of gastroenteritis, polyneuropathy and alopecia is regarded as the classic syndrome of thallium poisoning, but in some cases gastroenteritis and alopecia were not observed. Several other signs and symptoms also occur, varying in order, extent and intensity. Symptoms of thallium intoxication are often diffuse and initially include anorexia, nausea, vomiting, metallic taste, salivation, retrosternal and abdominal pain and occasionally gastrointestinal haemorrhage (blood in faeces). Later, constipation is commonly seen and may be resistant to treatment, thus interfering with antidotal treatment. After 2 to 5 days some of the typical thallium disorders slowly develop, irrespective of the route of exposure.

    Effects on the central and peripheral nervous system vary, but a consistent and characteristic feature of thallium intoxication in humans is the extreme sensitivity of the legs, followed by the "burning feet syndrome" and paraesthesia.

    Involvement of the central nervous system (CNS) is indicated by symptoms like hallucinations, lethargy, delirium, convulsions and coma.

    Common circulatory symptoms are hypertension, tachycardia and, in severe cases, cardiac failure.

    Loss of head hair and sometimes body hair occurs after the second week of poisoning; dystrophy of the nails is manifested by the appearance of white lunular stripes (Mee's lines) 3 to 4 weeks after intoxication. The black regions found in hair papillae are not caused by deposition of pigments or thallium but are due to small amounts of air entering the shaft.

    In lethal cases the time until death occurs may vary from hours to several weeks, but most commonly death occurs within I 0 to 12 days.

    Causes of death are mainly renal, CNS and cardiac failure. In sublethal poisonings, recovery often requires months. Sometimes neurological and mental disturbances as well as electroencephalographic abnormalities and blindness can remain.

    Additionally, intellectual functions seem to be adversely affected in survivors. In cases of chronic poisoning, symptoms are similar but in general milder than in cases of acute intoxication.
    Sometimes permanent blindness occurs.
    Complete recovery takes months and can be interrupted by relapses.

    In a well-investigated case of thallium emission around a cement plant in Lengerich, Germany, thallium concentrations in the hair and urine of exposed people did not correlate with certain features which are known to be usually associated with chronic thallium poisoning, but only with subjective neurological symptoms.

    Postmortem examinations or biopsies following thallium poisoning reveal damage of various organs. For example, after ingestion of lethal doses, haemorrhages in the mucosa of the intestine, lung, endocrine glands and heart, fatty infiltrations in liver and heart tissue, and degenerative changes to glomeruli and renal tubules occur.
    In the brain, fatty degeneration of ganglion cells, damage to axons and disintegration of myelin sheaths can be observed. Variations in blood pressure may be caused by direct effects of thallium on the autonomic nervous system. Thallium intoxication causes symmetric, mixed peripheral neuropathy.
    Distal nerves are affected more than proximal nerves, and earlier but lesser degrees of damage occur in nerves with shorter axons, e.g., cranial nerves.
    Axons are swollen and contain vacuoles and distended mitochondria. In lethal poisoning, severe damage of the vagus nerve, denervation of the carotid sinus and lesions of the sympathetic ganglia have been observed.
    In sublethal poisoning, affected nerves may undergo axonal degeneration with no or only partial recovery within 2 years. Retrobulbar neuritis and resulting visual disorders can develop and persist for months after terminating treatment with thalliumcontaining depilatories, and even optic atrophy may occur.
    Limited data are available on the effects of thallium on human reproduction. Menstrual cycle, libido and male potency may be adversely affected.
    Effects on sperm are known to occur following chronic intoxication. As in animal studies, transplacental transfer occurs; this was seen following a thallium- induced abortion. However, apart from a relatively low weight and alopecia of newborn babies, fetal development was not affected in about 20 cases of thallium intoxication during pregnancy. No reports of any carcinogenic effects or data on immunological effects of thallium are available. There is no adequate evidence of genotoxic effects.
    Therapies of thallium intoxication combine forced diuresis, use of activated charcoal and prevention of re-absorption in the colon by administration of Prussian Blue, potassium ferric hexacyanoferrate(ll).

    Human dose-response relationship. The mean urinary thallium concentration in unexposed populations is 0.3 to 0.4 ug/litre.

    As thallium has a short biological half-life, measured in days, and assuming steady-state conditions, this urinary concentration can be taken as an indicator of total dose following inhalation and dietary intake. The mean urinary thallium concentration in a population sample living near a thallium atmospheric emission source was 5.2 ug/litre. A clear dose-response relationship was found between urinary thallium concentration and the prevalence of tiredness, weakness, sleep disorders, headache, nervousness, paraesthesia, and muscle and joint pain.
    A similar dose-response relationship was also reported when thallium in hair was used as an indicator of exposure. The Task Group considered that exposures causing urinary thallium concentrations below 5 ug/litre are unlikely to cause adverse health effects. In the range of 5-500 ug/litre the magnitude of risk and severity of adverse effects are uncertain, while exposure giving values over 500 ug/litre have been associated with clinical poisoning.
  15. Is that it? What about the rest?