U.S. expert on Russian intelligence shot

A U.S. expert on Russian intelligence was critically injured in a shooting this week in front of his suburban-Washington home — days after he accused Moscow of involvement in the poisoning of a former KGB agent.

A U.S. expert on Russian intelligence was critically injured in a shooting this week in front of his suburban-Washington home — days after he accused Moscow of involvement in the poisoning of a former KGB agent.

Paul Joyal, 53, was shot Thursday by two men in his driveway, police said Saturday.

A law-enforcement official with knowledge of the case, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said Joyal appeared to have been hurt ina random robbery and street shooting.

Four days earlier, Joyal pointed the finger at the Russian government while discussing theAlexander Litvinenko case in a TV interview.

Litvinenko died in London on Nov. 23, 2006, andauthorities concluded he had been deliberately poisoned by the radioactive substance polonium-210. On his deathbed, Litvinenko blamed Russian President Vladimir Putin for involvement in his poisoning— an allegation that the Kremlin denied.

On March 4, inan interview broadcast on Dateline NBC, Joyal accused the Russian government of trying to silence its critics.

"A message has been communicated to anyone who wants to speak out against the Kremlin: if you do, no matter who you are, where you are, we will find you, and we will silence you — in the most horrible way possible," Joyal said.

Putin and Russian officials have repeatedly denied involvement in the Litvinenko case.

Joyal and Litvinenko were acquaintances, said Oleg Kalugin, a former KGB counter-intelligence chief who is now a U.S. citizen and who met with Joyal several hours before he was shot.

Kalugin said Joyal's condition is improving.

Joyal works for National Strategies, a Washington-based government consulting firm.