More thrilling info on the silliest assassination in post-Cold War history:
Apparently the very difficult-to-acquire (unless you're an evil research scientist, like in the movies), and very easy-to-trace (why not drown the fellow in Smart Water™?) Polonium 210, used to kill ex-Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko, is also extremely expensive.
The Times declares the value of the Polonium used to poison Litvinenko at around $10 million. Why The Times does not give the value in pounds is anyone's guess. But Londonist owns a pocket calculator and assures you that $10 million = £5,126,000.
Most of the news since 1990 has been insisting that they're in pretty dire financial straits over there in Russia.
Apparently not. Have they been holding out on us? Perhaps it's an accounting problem:
BORIS THE ACCOUNTANT: "So what's this figure here? £5,126,000??"
YURI THE ASSASSIN: "Oh. That's … just … um … miscellaneous materials I needed. But I ate a packed lunch, so ..."
And did they make Litvinenko drink the Polonium from a crystal goblet too? Or maybe Madonna's shoe?
But poisoning someone with Polonium 210 is not the most impractical way to assassinate someone. Believe it or not, there are a few ways even more impractical.
1. Steal Crown Jewels from Tower of London, bludgeon spy to death with Kohinoor Diamond
2. Win Academy Award, invite spy over to see it, bludgeon to death with Award
3. Build time machine, go back to a time before spy was born, terminate his mother (bludgeoning preferred)
4. Send spy on a boat to England with a note saying that the King of Denmark would be really happy if you could, you know, do something.
5. Poison spy with a dose of Polonium 210.
We wanted to include number 6, because it involved dinosaurs, but apparently there are copyright issues involved.