Worries that Britain might become a killing field for Russian assassins, British lawmakers are urging the government to make public the names of suspected Russian killers, The Independent newspaper reported Wednesday.
London is on edge after Russian banker German Gorbuntsov was shot five times near his home last month. He remains in a coma in the hospital.
The attack was followed by a report in Britain's Telegraph newspaper over the weekend that British intelligence agency MI5 had issued a public warning that exiled Chechen rebel envoy Akhmed Zakayev, who lives in London, had been targeted in a murder plot. MI5 said Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov ordered Zakayev's death through a London-based middleman, known only as "E1."
Dennis MacShane, a member of Parliament who formerly served as Europe minister, said the best way to curb a possible outbreak in violence would be to publish the names of Russians implicated in political killings.
"It is only by naming publicly the Russian security apparatus officials, in office or retired and working in the para-security services that Britain can send a message ahead of the Olympic Games that our main city is not 'Londongrad' and Russian killers should stay away and stop harassing British businesses," MacShane told The Independent.
"Every Russian I meet tells me that private protests have no impact on the Kremlin," he said. "Britain has to take a lead and go public with naming names as that is one message the Russian security-business state which likes owning property here, likes sending its children to private schools, and needs City of London lawyers to write contracts actually understands."
The highest-profile killing involving Russians in Lodon in recent years was the poisoning death of former FSB officer Alexander Litvinenko in November 2006. Britain has accused State Duma Deputy Andrei Lugovoi in the death and unsuccessfully tried to extradite him from Russia to face murder charges.