City of Gustav – One Time Pads

Gustav delves into the world of Cryptography and the Cold war to talk about One Time Pads and mysterious Number Stations.  Due to scheduling conflicts and the time constraints of the holiday season, Gustav once again takes you into the rabbit hole of his mind to learn about espionage and gadgetry.

 

One time pads are means of creating a coded message that only can be deciphered if you have the corresponding copy of the one time pad.  Intelligence agencies used them throughout the Cold War in conjunction with mysterious radio transmissions on what the public nicknamed Number Stations.  Number stations broadcast on short wave frequencies and deliver one way messages to field operatives.

 

One time pads and numbers stations

 

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Polonium Poisoning

ex kgb alexander litvenenko assassinated

The Mysterious Death of Alexander Litvenenko Due to Polonium Poisoning

This week Gustav delivers a solo episode where he brings you a lecture about Polonium poisoning, a brief history of Chechnya, and the assassination of Alexander Litvenenko.

Stealing a page from historian and documentary maker James Burke, Gustav tries to weave a tale of how history and science combined to explain the assassination of former KGB/FSB officer Alexander Litvenenko.

Starting off with a brief history of Chechnya and their resistance to any outside forces, Gustav lays the foundation for the tale.  He then turns to Paris in 1898 as Pierre and Marie Curie break ground in the fledgling science of nuclear physics.  Madame Curie discovered Polonium, which she was awarded one of her Nobel Prizes for her research.

Moving to the twentieth century, the Chechen interaction with the powers of the Soviet Union continue their pattern of resistance and and punitive actions.  With the discussion of World War II, he moves to the United States Manhattan Project and their usage of Polonium for the fledgling nuclear arms production.

Then Gustav jumps to the late eighties as we pick up the tale of Alexander Litvenenko, a young KGB officer.  He explains the evolution of the post Soviet security/intelligence community in the fledgling Russian Federation and describes the impact of corruption and capitalism in the nineties.

 

Litvenenko’s stand against corruption in the FSB which Vladimir Putin was the head, sent him on a path of persecution, exile and ultimately ended with his assassination via polonium poisoning.

While there has never been a definitive resolution to the mystery of Litvenenko’s polonium poisoning, Gustav lays out the primary suspects and the general consensus of Western law enforcement, as well as some alternate theories out of the Russian Federation.

Please email us your thoughts or questions about Polonium-210 to canyouhearmepod@gmail.com  or find us on Twitter @realgustav @longmireheavy @tywebb3000 @canyouhearmepod

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