On the eve of today's first anniversary of the death of Alexander Litvinenko, who was murdered by polonium poisoning in London, Akhmed Zakayev gave a memorial tribute to the former FSB officer at an event hosted by Lord Pearson of Rannoch. From the conclusion of the speech:
As a man of strong moral principle, Sasha embarked on an irreconcilable struggle against that criminal [Moscow] regime, and found natural allies in the Chechens, who for many years had been confronting the Kremlin terrorists in almost total isolation. Alexander did not opt for the hypocritical but far more comfortable stance of a Russian patriot, instead openly declaring his support for the Chechen people, whose resistance he saw as a beacon of freedom for everyone.
His enemies were scared of Sasha and mobilised all their resources, even nuclear resources, in order to physically take revenge on this hero. A year later we see those directly involved in his murder being celebrated throughout Russia in much the same way that, in Soviet times, the first cosmonauts were feted for having carried out what was described as an important state mission.
Despite all this, Sasha managed to make an incalculable contribution to the inevitable downfall of these terrorists, which will surely come, no matter how sure of themselves they may feel today.
The noble memory of Alexander Litvinenko will live on not only in the hearts of his friends. It is no exaggeration to say that he has already gone down in history as an ideal of human courage and nobility, a man who dared to challenge one of the most inhuman regimes the world has ever known.