Polonium widow Marina Litvinenko to give public talk in Plymouth

The widow of murdered Russian secret service agent Alexander Litvinenko is coming to Plymouth to speak about her husband’s death and her subsequent campaigns for justice.

‘A conversation with Marina Litvinenko’ will see her interviewed by Dr Patrick Holden, leader of the University of Plymouth’s Masters in International Relations and John Dobson, a former UK naval attaché to the Soviet Union and Russia and Chairman of the Plymouth branch of the University of the Third Age (U3A). 

The free event is being sponsored by the School of Law, Criminology and Government in partnership with Plymouth U3A.

Following the assassination with radioactive polonium in 2006, Marina Litvinenko played an active role in seeking justice for her husband, culminating in a British public inquiry.

It found in 2016 that the poisoning had probably been carried out under the direction of the FSB, the Russian secret service and that it was probably approved by President Vladimir Putin.  

As well as that campaign, she has also become a leading UK-based critic of the Putin regime, sought after by media around the world as a commentator on Russian politics.

An engineer by training, and a former professional ballroom dancer, Mrs Litvinenko will be giving two talks on Monday 11 February 2019. After an event earlier in the day open to Plymouth U3A members only, members of the public are welcome to attend her talk at the University that evening.

Topics will range from Mrs Litvinenko’s struggle for justice to broader issues of Russian politics, and the challenge of ‘fake news’ and disinformation. There will also be an opportunity for audience questions.

Dr Holden said: 

“This is a rare opportunity to hear first-hand from an individual at the centre of one of the major controversies of our age, who has a unique vantage point on Anglo-Russian relations. For our students, as well as the general public, meeting the people involved in these major events complements their studies and really fires the imagination.”

Mr Dobson added: 

“I am delighted that Marina has accepted our invitation to come to Plymouth, to talk about the life and death of her husband Sasha, who was murdered in the most appalling manner simply for revealing the extent of corruption in Russia at the highest level.”

The talk is taking place in the University’s Sherwell Centre at 19.00. For more details and to book your free place, visit our What's On section

Introduction to the programme

In this short video Dr Patrick Holden, Programme Lead, provides a personal introduction to the MA International Relations: Global Security and Development programme.

Patrick introduces some of the key members of the high quality academic team who help deliver the programme, provides an overview of the academic structure and content, including some of the exciting projects our students have undertaken, before talking about the diverse and interesting career paths our graduates have progressed on to and the University and city of Plymouth.

Find out more about Patrick's teaching and research interests

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