Britain is on edge, as another Russian was found dead in his London home late Monday night.
Investigators have not yet released the cause of death of 69-year-old Nikolai Glushkov, but he was a critic of Vladimir Putin. So, given the nerve agent attack in Salisbury, England last week on a former Russian spy and his daughter, the idea that this could be more Russian foul play isn’t exactly a far shot.
Glushkov was a wanted man in Russia for fraud and embezzlement charges, but the UK refused to extradite him. It’s also not much of a stretch to imagine the Russians said, “No extradition? No problem.”
Because of the nervous climate in the UK after the Salisbury attack last week, and because of Glushkov’s Russian business associations, a British counterterrorism team is leading the investigation.
Glushkov’s death is being treated as 'unexplained,' which must be a British code word for 'Russia' or 'Putin'.
Police say there is no evidence suggesting a link to the Salisbury attack, but Glushkov’s death is being treated as “unexplained,” which must be a British code word for “Russia” or “Putin.”
Forensic crews were seen carrying bags of evidence out of Glushkov’s home, but they were not wearing hazmat suits. Still, that’s not very comforting.
Glushkov was charged in Russia with large-scale fraud and embezzlement during his time as deputy director of the national airline Aeroflot. Starting in 2004, he spent three years in Russian prison for those crimes. After he was released, he fled to the UK where he was granted political asylum in 2010. But Russia continued to pursue him with other charges.
He was also acquainted with other Russians who died in “unexplained” ways in the UK. He was a close friend of Boris Berezovsky, who had a falling out with Putin when Putin rose to power in Russia. Berezovsky was found hanged in his bathroom in 2013. Glushkov was very public about his belief that the oligarch was murdered.
We don’t yet know Glushkov’s cause of death, but it may end up being the most common cause of death for Russian enemies of Putin in the UK.