16 Dec 2008

Anyone harming Russia should be exterminated, says Andrei Lugovoy

The Kremlin has hardened its stance against dissent in Russia by expanding the definition of treason to include critics of the state.

A new Bill submitted to the Duma, the Russian parliament, on Friday will leave people vulnerable to prosecution for acts considered to threaten not only national security but also the country's constitutional order. Critics said that it was designed to intimidate opposition to the Kremlin at a time of rising economic discontent.

Details of the Bill emerged as the man accused by Britain of murdering Alexander Litvinenko, the dissident former spy, said that anyone harming the Russian State should be killed. Andrei Lugovoy, who is now a member of the Duma, said that he would order the assassination of anyone considered a traitor if he were in the Russian President's shoes.

“If someone has caused the Russian state serious damage, they should be exterminated,” Mr Lugovoy, a former KGB officer, told the Spanish newspaper El País. “Do I think someone could have killed Litvinenko in the interests of the Russian State? If you're talking about the interests of the Russian State, in the purest sense of the word, I myself would have given that order.”

Times Online