Once Upon A Time In Londongrad is a new documentary being worked on by Sky, and is extremely timely- the series, due to release on the 31st May, takes an investigative look at fourteen deaths in Britain’s capital, all of which are suspected to have been carried out on the orders of Putin’s Russia.


In 2006, the post-Soviet relationship between the governments of the UK and The Russian Federation, which had been on reasonably good terms, took a huge hit when Alexander Litvenko, a Russian defector who had gained British citizenship, suddenly fell ill in a hotel in London with radiation poisoning induced by Polonium-210.

His assassination despite Russian denials brought back old feelings of the Cold War, and propelled the slide toward the stand off between NATO and Russia that we see today over Ukraine. The high profile Litvenenko case, along with other mysterious deaths linked to Russia form the basis of Once Upon A Time In Londongrad.

Reprecussions for the murders were hindered by Russian money...

Other cases covered in the series include Boris Berezovsky, an oligarch living in London and vocal critic of Putin, who was found apparently hanged in a locked bathroom- and his daughter and others have argued he was murdered. Another is the infamous Salisbury poisonings, that saw Sergei and Yulia Skripal survive an assassination with the Novichok nerve agent. The doc will explore how, despite outcry from the British government and press, full investigations and reprecussions for the murders were hindered by Russian money in London, and a failure to properly contain the Kremlin’s moves.

Once Upon A Time In Londongrad is both a cautionary tale and an origins story of Russia’s path to eventually invading Ukraine...

The official synopsis reads: “Investigative reporter Heidi Blake receives a tip on the death of a multi-millionaire property tycoon, leading her to uncover a web of deaths that entangles Russian oligarchs, 10 Downing Street and Washington, D.C. Set across Vladimir Putin’s two decades in power, Once Upon A Time In Londongrad charts how the UK became reliant on Russian money and missed opportunities to contain the Kremlin.

The timely series explores fourteen mysterious deaths in the UK with alleged connections to Russia, delving into the hidden underworld of Russian exiles in London to link some of the most internationally significant cases in living memory — including the poisoning of Alexander Litvinenko, the suspicious death of oligarch Boris Berezovsky and the attempted assassination of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal. Once Upon A Time In Londongrad is both a cautionary tale and an origins story of Russia’s path to eventually invading Ukraine.”

The upcoming documentary is only weeks away, releasing on the 31st of May, and you can see a preview of it in the trailer above. Meanwhile, both HBO and ITV are working on drama series adaptations of the Litivenko story, starring Benedict Cumberbatch and David Tennant, respectively.


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