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Aleksandr Litvinenko, pictured in a London hospital on November 20 (epa)
November 21, 2006 -- Aleksandr Litvinenko, a former Russian FSB agent and critic of President Vladimir Putin, remains in serious condition in the intensive-care unit of a London hospital today following a poisoning three weeks ago.
Doctors say Litvinenko was poisoned with thallium and that he has a 50 percent chance of surviving.
The Russian Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) and the Kremlin have rejected allegations of any involvement.
Russian tycoon Boris Berezovsky, who like Litvinenko has been granted political asylum in the United Kingdom and who is also a vocal critic of the Kremlin, visited Litvinenko on November 20.
"It's not possible for the intelligence services of this country to protect its citizens before the [British] government recognizes that they speak to bandits, not to civil, intellectual people and that Putin is on top of this criminal [organization] of Russia," Berezovsky told reporters as he was leaving the hospital.
(compiled from agency reports)
Demonstrators in Moscow carry a coffin with a television in it to protest government control over broadcasting (TASS file photo)
DO RUSSIANS LIKE THEIR GOVERNMENT? During a briefing at RFE/RL's Washington office on November 15, Richard Rose, director of the Center for the Study of Public Policy at the University of Aberdeen, discussed the results of 14 surveys he has conducted since 1992 on Russian public opinion about democracy and the country's development. He discussed the implications of these opinions for relations with the West and for Russia's 2008 presidential election.
Listen to the complete discussion (about 42 minutes):
U.S. Election Expected To Chill Relations With Moscow
Are Mayors Next 'Power Vertical' Victim?
Monarchist Nostalgia Remains Powerful
Russian Election Commission Rejects Third-Term Appeal
Romanov Burial May Be Part Of Kremlin Image Campaign
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