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Russians pull out of Litvinenko inquiry

Alexander Litvinenko died in November 2006 after being poisoned with polonium. Credit: Reuters

The ICRF, a Russian law-enforcement agency, has decided not to take part in the public inquiry into the death of Alexander Litvinenko. The former spy died in a London hospital in 2006 after being poisoned with the radioactive substance polonium-210. Two men, Andrei Lugovoi and Dmitri Kovtun, are wanted by police in connection with the killing but they remain in Russia. They deny they were involved.

The ICRF sent a letter saying they would not be a "core participant" in the inquiry as it did not agree that evidence held in closed sessions during the inquiry could be used to inform its findings. Hearings for the inquiry are due to start in January.


Protest outside Russian Embassy in London

Hundreds of protesters have gathered outside the Russian Embassy in west London to voice their anger at the current events in the Crimea region of Ukraine.

London veterans to present Arctic Star medal in Russia

British veterans of the Arctic Convoys are on their way to present the Arctic Star medal to Russia's Central Museum of the Great Patriotic War in Moscow.

British veterans of the the Arctic Convoys are on their way to present the Arctic Star medal. Credit: ITV News

The surviving British veterans are from Southwark, and from the Royal Navy and Merchant Navy. They want to pay their respect to the Russian people for the heroism and the courage displayed during the Second World War and the Great Patriotic War from 1941-1945.

London Greenpeace activist describes harsh conditions in Russian jail

Greenpeace activist Frank Hewetson, from London, has described in detail the conditions in which he is being held in a Russian jail - including there being so little ventilation that his cell reminds him of the old smoking carriages on the London Underground.

Frank Hewetson, from London, is being held on piracy charges in Russia Credit: Greenpeace

Mr Hewetson, who was detained along with the rest of the "Arctic 30" after a protest on board their boat Arctic Sunrise, says his diet consists mainly of porridge and potatoes with "suspected meat particles" sometimes making an appearance.

In a letter to the Independent on Sunday, where he used to be a writer, he says the cell he shares with two others measures just 5m x 2m, with only a tiny window to provide some relief from their constant smoking.

Mr Hewetson has been formally charged with piracy by Russian authorities and will remain in custody until November 24th pending an investigation. He could be facing a maximum of seven years in jail if found guilty.


Greenpeace activist describes "terrifying" ordeal in Russia

Greenpeace journalist Kieron Bryan, from London, has said he fears "losing years of his life" in a Russian jail after being arrested over a protest against oil drilling.

Kieron Bryan at a bail hearing in Murmask, Russia earlier this month. His application was denied Credit: Greenpeace

Mr Bryan is one of the "Arctic 30" detained on board their boat the Arctic Sunrise and accused of piracy by Russian authorities.

In a letter to the Sunday Times today he said: "My greatest fear is being kept from my family, my friends and my girlfriend for any great length of time.

"In many ways I'm lucky I don't have children who depend on me, but the fear of losing years of my life and the opportunity to perhaps start a family is terrifying".

Mr Bryan was denied bail in a Russian court earlier this month along with his fellow protestors.

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