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At the height of Russia's hosting of the Winter Olympics, Britain's High Court on Tuesday gave a green light for a public investigation of Moscow's presumed role in the 2006 assassination of a former Russian spy in London.
Ever since Alexander Litvinenko's death on Nov. 23, 2006, British authorities have wrestled with how to deal with the case without creating an international incident with the Kremlin.
In the past four years, Russia's intelligence services have stepped up a campaign of intimidation and dirty tricks against U.S. officials and diplomats in Russia and the countries that used to form the Soviet Union.
The upper house of Russia's parliament on Monday passed a bill granting expanded powers to the country's main security agency, a move that critics say echoes the era of the Soviet KGB.
It is no exaggeration to declare that Vladimir Putin's Russia is a true "spookocracy," a government dominated by members and veterans of intelligence services, what Reuel Marc Gerecht calls a "unique corporate, capitalist police-state."