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Russia's self-exiled tycoon Boris Berezovsky dies at 67
Russia Today ^ | March 24, 2013 16:35

Posted on 03/24/2013 4:15:12 PM PDT by annalex

Russia's self-exiled tycoon Boris Berezovsky dies at 67

Published time: March 23, 2013 16:32
Edited time: March 24, 2013 16:35

The self-exiled Russian oligarch Boris Berezovsky was found dead in his home outside London on Saturday. Police have launched an investigation and chemical hazard experts are currently present at the scene.

Follow RT's live coverage of events surrounding Berezovsky's death.

The oligarch was once seen as one of the most influential people in modern Russian history. Gaining incredible fortune during the Perestroika years and having had enormous influence on Russian politics he became a trademark of the turbulent 90s. After fleeing to London in 2000, the tycoon became the center of a circle of anti-Putin exiles, along with Chechen rebel envoy Akhmed Zakayev. In Russia he was found guilty in several high-profile fraud cases.

Thames Valley Police are currently treating the death as unexplained and stress a full inquiry is under way. They have referred to the person as "a 67-year-old man," but add that “the man is believed to be Russian national Boris Berezovsky”. The area around the property in Ascot, Berkshire, has been cordoned off to allow the investigation to take place. CBRN has been conducting tests and precautionary searches in order to enable a further investigation into the death, according to an official statement from police. So far chemical and radiation investigators said no traces of foreign substances have been found and his house was clear, according to Thames Valley Police.

The news from Britain first emerged on Facebook, where Berezovsky’s son-in-law Egor Schuppe posted a status, giving no details regarding the nature of his death. Damian Kudryavtsev, the former CEO of Kommersant Publishing House and a family friend, was one of the first to announce that the businessman died of heart attack at 11:00 GMT.

Aleksandr Dobrovinksy, a famous lawyer and head of the Moscow-based The Alexander Dobrovinsky & Partners law firm, was the first to suggest that Berezovsky could have committed suicide.

Speaking to RT he said: “Two people called me around 8pm saying Berezovsky had died. One told it was suicide, and the second person said he might have died of a heart attack. I previously heard from people close to Berezovsky that he was practically broke and utterly depressed. A person I know called me and said that Berezovsky even asked to borrow $ 5,000 for a ticket. He was also seriously ill.”

The body of Russian tycoon, who in early 1990’s was member of Boris Yeltsin’s inner circle but later turned into harsh critic of Vladimir Putin, was found in the bathroom of his Surrey estate, Russian Channel One reported. The channel also said that Berezovsky had suffered several heart attacks over the course of last week.

Berezovsky’s spokesman Lord Tim Bell has said that the body was found by a security guard.

A call to emergency services made from Berezovsky’s house was received at 15:18 GMT, LifeNews reports.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has been informed of the incident, his spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said.

Entrepreneurs Roman Abramovich (second left) and Boris Berezovsky (right) heading for the High Court of London to attend the lawsuit brought by B.Berezovsky against R.Abramovich on October 3, 2011. (RIA Novosti / Elena Pakhomova)

From boardrooms to bust

Much of his wealth was built up during the so-called Perestroika period in 1990’s Russia. Capitalizing on a time of instability and opportunity Brerezovsky became the richest man in the post-Soviet country.

In 2008 Forbes estimated his fortune at $1.3 billion. However, over the past few years legal battles cost the tycoon dearly.

In August, Berezovsky lost a $5.6-billion court battle against Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich in a highly publicized dispute over the ownership of the profitable oil company Sibneft. He was further ordered to pay Abramovich’s $56 million in legal costs.

Boris Berezovsky addresses the media outside London's High Court in central London, on August 31, 2012. (AFP Photo / Andrew Cowie)

Berezovsky’s son-in-law reportedly said the oligarch had been suffering from depression recently. Further noting that he failed to keep in touch with friends and acquaintances, and often chose to stay at home rather than go out.

Berezovsky made headlines earlier this week, after news broke that the tycoon was auctioning off an Andy Warhol portrait of Soviet leader Vladimir Lenin. The oligarch was planning to sell his limited edition ‘Red Lenin’ print in hopes of paying off creditors and legal bills, the Times reported. The 1987 portrait has been estimated by Christie's to be worth between $45,000 and $75,000, and is reportedly in excellent condition.

Berezovsky left Russia in 2000, shortly after his relationship with President Putin and Russia’s government began to deteriorate. Just three weeks into Vladimir Putin’s first presidential term, details of the pairs spat became public knowledge.

He moved to London in 2001, where he was granted political asylum. Two years later Berezovsky was given new documents in the name of Platon Elenin, by the British Home Office.

Businessman Boris Berezovsky (center) takes part in a rally against fraud in Russian parliamentary elections outside Russian embassy in London on December 10, 2011. (RIA Novosti / Elena Pakhomova)

Berezevsky’s battles with the Kremlin didn’t end with exit from Russia. In London the tycoon became the center of a circle of anti-Putin exiles, along with Chechen rebel envoy Akhmed Zakayev and former Russian agent Alexander Litvinenko, who died of polonium poisoning in November 2006.

While Scotland Yard considers Andrey Lugovoi, who is currently serving as a deputy in Russia’s State Duma, a main suspect in the killing, Lugovoi himself points the finger of blame at exiled Berezovsky.

Commenting on the news from London, Dmitry Peskov claimed that recently Berezovsky had been in personal contact, asking the president for forgiveness for his “mistakes” and permission to return “to [his] motherland”.

“Some time ago, maybe a couple of months ago, Berezovsky addressed Putin in a letter, written by him personally, in which he admitted he made a lot of mistakes and was asking for forgiveness and to help him to return to the motherland,” Peskov told Russia 24 channel.

In reference to that letter, political analyst Sergey Strokan of Russia's Komersant newspaper says that Berezovsky "probably tried to make a deal with Putin, thinking he could do it in the way it was done in the time of Yeltsin, in the 90s, when politics was done through such behind-the-scenes deals - unofficial understandings - between oligarchs and politicians. But it seems it didn't work because we had not seen Berezovsky come to Russia in recent weeks."

Strokan continued on the subject of Berezvosky's legacy:

"He was one of the most bright and controversial figures in recent Russian history. I think [his] name is a trademark of Russian politics in the 90s, when we had official power of the president and PM and an unofficial power of the 'semi-bankirshina' (referring to bankers - Russian slang)

who were very articulate in Boris Yeltsin's era and were running things in Russia. But this time, luckily, has gone forever." The prolific tycoon was put on Russia’s wanted list in 2001, around the time he fled the country, on charges of fraud and money-laundering, owing to a scandal involving Aeroflot airlines and an attempted violent power takeover.

In 2007, a Moscow court found him guilty in absentia of stealing 215 billion rubles from Aeroflot and sentenced him to six years behind bars.

The tycoon was given a total of 19 years in prison by a number of Russian courts over various charges. He claimed the cases against him were provoked by Russian President Vladimir Putin.

State Duma deputies Viktor Chernomyrdin (2nd right) and Boris Berezovsky (right), June 23, 2000. (RIA Novosti / Vladimir Fedorenko)

If Berezovsky’s death is officially confirmed it may be a reason to cancel all criminal cases against him, Interfax news agency reports citing a source “familiar with the situation”.

However, the unnamed source said that the investigation into cases against tycoon could remain open if his family wishes. If the investigation and criminal cases are canceled, it is possible the court ordered freeze on his key assets would be lifted, the source said. Interfax, noted that this information cannot be immediately confirmed.


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events; Russia; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: borisberezovsky; russia; vladputin; waronterror

1 posted on 03/24/2013 4:15:12 PM PDT by annalex
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To: annalex
In September 2005, Berezovsky said in an interview with the BBC: "I'm sure that Putin doesn't have the chance to survive, even to the next election in 2008. I am doing everything in my power to limit his time frame, and I am really thinking of returning to Russia after Putin collapses, which he will."[27] In January 2006, Berezovsky stated in an interview to a Moscow-based radio station that he was working on overthrowing the administration of Vladimir Putin by force.[157] Berezovsky has also publicly accused Putin of being "a gangster"[158] and the "terrorist number one".[159]

Wiki (footnotes at source)

2 posted on 03/24/2013 4:20:28 PM PDT by annalex (fear them not)
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To: Revolting cat!

In Russia, exiles go to England to escape taxes.

In England, rolling stones go on exile to France to escape taxes.


3 posted on 03/24/2013 4:20:54 PM PDT by a fool in paradise (America 2013 - STUCK ON STUPID)
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To: a fool in paradise

How do you say? KGB?


4 posted on 03/24/2013 4:21:32 PM PDT by Forward the Light Brigade (Into the Jaws of H*ll)
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To: a fool in paradise

In this case, to escape a jail sentence or assassination.


5 posted on 03/24/2013 4:24:47 PM PDT by annalex (fear them not)
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To: annalex

He vill finally stop bothering Moose and Squirrel...


6 posted on 03/24/2013 4:27:09 PM PDT by freedumb2003 (Establishment Republicans don't like that totalitarian thing unless it is THEIR totalitarian thing!)
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To: Forward the Light Brigade

>>How do you say? KGB?<<

KGB.


7 posted on 03/24/2013 4:28:04 PM PDT by freedumb2003 (Establishment Republicans don't like that totalitarian thing unless it is THEIR totalitarian thing!)
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To: annalex

How do you say “Arkancide” in Russian?


8 posted on 03/24/2013 4:29:55 PM PDT by white trash redneck (Just one of B. Hussein Obama's "typical white people")
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To: white trash redneck

In this case, I think he committed suicide. He was truly a tormented soul.


9 posted on 03/24/2013 4:34:33 PM PDT by annalex (fear them not)
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To: Forward the Light Brigade
How do you say? KGB?

No, FSB.

10 posted on 03/24/2013 4:40:16 PM PDT by 1rudeboy
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To: 1rudeboy

Prezactly. And their tactics haven’t changed.


11 posted on 03/24/2013 4:50:38 PM PDT by RushIsMyTeddyBear (Great vid by ShorelineMike! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KOZjJk6nbD4&feature=plcp)
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To: annalex

RIP.


12 posted on 03/24/2013 4:53:10 PM PDT by fieldmarshaldj (Resist We Much)
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To: white trash redneck
"Putincide."
13 posted on 03/24/2013 5:10:13 PM PDT by BipolarBob (Happy Hunger Games! May the odds be ever in your favor.)
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To: annalex

hmmm...how much money did he have in Cyprus Bank


14 posted on 03/24/2013 5:27:04 PM PDT by EBH ( American citizens do not negotiate with political terrorists.)
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To: annalex

£250m Galina does Cyprus on the cheap
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-2020788/250m-Galina-Berezovsky-does-Cyprus-cheap.html

Boris Berezovsky: Tycoon under Siege
In fact, it’s a sketch of how Aeroflot funds were allegedly routed through a byzantine network of Russian and foreign companies in countries including Belgium, Cyprus, Germany, Lithuania, Panama, Syria, and Switzerland.
http://www.businessweek.com/2000/00_30/b3691184.htm

Abramovich v Berezovsky: what have we learned so far?
But these were real people. We paid them salaries.”) Others were registered in tax havens around the world – Panama, Gibraltar, British Virgin Islands, Cyprus, and other balmy destinations. The company names, too, are mysteriously alluring – Hotspur, Octopus (used by Berezovsky), Olivesta (used by Abramovich). Berezovsky says he used these offshore havens not to avoid tax but to stop his assets being stolen. http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/nov/07/abramovich-berezovsky


15 posted on 03/24/2013 5:34:31 PM PDT by EBH ( American citizens do not negotiate with political terrorists.)
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To: annalex
From Berezovsky's blog on Facebook:
February 27, 2012

Up to this day I did not plan to open Facebook and did not want to live in social nets. Yesterday, on Forgiveness Sunday I decided to repent and wanted to publish in on my blog at the Echo of Moscow. A repentance to the Russian people for the errors that I committed. However, it was denied me.

I see it completely inacceptable that an Orthodox man today in Russia is denied repentance. I have no case against chief editor of Echo of Moscow Aleksey Venediktov, to the contrary, I am grateful to him. He held off to the end, allowing me to keep my blog. Today I use the last independent mass medium in Russia, Facebook. Mark Zukerberg won't be called into the Kremlin and make him sell his social network to Gazprom or else go sit in "Seaman's Silence" (a notorious prison).

Boris Berezovsky

Repentance

"Turn away from your wicked ways and correct your ways and your deeds" prophesies God through prophet Jeremiah, and so today I, on Forgiveness Sunday, speak to you.

The years of exile allowed me to view differently my life, and the life of my Motherland, and understand clearer that without repentance, without acknowledging of the mistakes of the past, without courage to build future, there is no forward movement. Not for me personally, not for every one of you, not for the country.

I am living a long, colorful life. and on my way, I committed many acts and unavoidable I erred. Wicked acts I committed knowingly and even more of them, not knowing what I did. As it is said in the prayer of penance, "knowingly and not knowingly, by will and against the will". I know that many of my acts are judged by you, the people of Russia, a part of which I am, and in the destiny of which, by God's will, I execute the role allotted to me.

I repent and ask forgiveness for avarice. I thirsted for wealth not thinking how it damaged others. I covered my sin with "the historical moment", "combinations of genius", and "astonishing opportunities", and I forgot of my fellow citizens. The fact that I was not alone doing so, does nto exonerate me.

Forgive me.

I repent and ask forgiveness for the freedom of speech that I stepped on. As I justified myself by my desire to save Russia from the red-brown plague, I, while defining the policy of the chief information megaphone of the country, neglected the democratic values. My actions became the beginning of the destruction of independent journalism. I was nto alone doing that, but this does not exonerate me.

Forgive me.

I repent and ask forgiveness for bringing Vladimir Putin to power. For the fact that I had an obligation, but could not see in him a future avaricious tyrant and usurper, the man who destroyed freedom and who stopped the development of Russia. Many of us did not see him for what he is then, but this does not exonerate me.

Forgive me.

Beyond that, I have nothing to accuse me before Russia.

I understand that repentance is not only a word, but also a deed. And a deed shall follow.

Boris Berezovsky
February 26, 2012

facebook.

16 posted on 03/24/2013 6:04:50 PM PDT by annalex (fear them not)
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To: annalex
No cause of death is given, and there are strong hints of suicide but ... now there is this news item.

Experts in chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) emergencies have been sent to the British property where Russian exile Boris Berezovsky was found dead.

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/world/radiation-experts-join-berezovsky-probe-20130324-2gnix.html#ixzz2OW6MYywR

17 posted on 03/24/2013 8:00:41 PM PDT by BlackVeil
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To: EBH

“Russia’s self-exiled tycoon”
‘several heart attacks over the last week’

Cypress. Makes sense. racketeer+tycoon=Russian racoonski


18 posted on 03/24/2013 8:57:27 PM PDT by tumblindice (America's founding fathers: All armed conservatives.)
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To: BlackVeil

The Russian blogosphere is filled with putinoids, who get paid from his party coffers, and that is where the ideas of suicide are coming from. A pseudonym intimates of a friend who heard from a BAB’s friend how damn depressed he was. Etc., etc. Observe the threat at the end of the last year’s Repentance.


19 posted on 03/25/2013 5:36:39 AM PDT by annalex (fear them not)
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To: tumblindice

Yes, he knew too much.

What are to make of these events and this FB post? If it was even he who opened the medium or wrote the penance?

The EU, Russia, and the Banks of Cyprus...rival mafias making chess moves in the game of life or death.

Suicide? Maybe, or made to look like suicide more likely. Bringing Putin to power? Who helped him, who paid him? The same people that brought Obama to power?

Racketeer, tycoon...world power broker at a level of which few comprehend.


20 posted on 03/25/2013 5:37:31 AM PDT by EBH ( American citizens do not negotiate with political terrorists.)
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To: tumblindice

Ten percent shave on a part of his holdings is not something to drive a man who risked lives and fortunes several times, to suicide.


21 posted on 03/25/2013 5:39:10 AM PDT by annalex (fear them not)
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To: annalex

I don’t think it is a 10% shave anymore after last night’s deal.


22 posted on 03/25/2013 5:43:25 AM PDT by EBH ( American citizens do not negotiate with political terrorists.)
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To: annalex

Deposits above 100,000 euros in both banks, which are not guaranteed under EU law, will be frozen and used to resolve Laiki’s debts and recapitalize Bank of Cyprus through a deposit/equity conversion.

The raid on uninsured Laiki depositors is expected to raise 4.2 billion euros, Eurogroup chairman Jeroen Dijssebloem said.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/03/25/us-cyprus-parliament-idUSBRE92G03I20130325


23 posted on 03/25/2013 5:45:54 AM PDT by EBH ( American citizens do not negotiate with political terrorists.)
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To: EBH

Ah. I did not know. But again, why would it affect BAB to such a devastating effect? He had no reason to be afraid of hostility from the EU and US, and he had assets on the ground right in London.

It appears that it’s the world banking system that committed suicide last night.


24 posted on 03/25/2013 6:11:45 AM PDT by annalex (fear them not)
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To: annalex
Ten percent shave on a part of his holdings is not something to drive a man who risked lives and fortunes several times, to suicide.

I agree with this statement. Men of his type are not sensitive, and are not shrinking violets, who go out at the first knock. Also, he would have had other holdings - unofficial assets - tucked away safely, where no court order could touch them. People of his sort always do.

In the last 24 hours people who knew him have spoken out and say they are sure it was not suicide. The way that the police have blocked off the house, and refuse to give a clear cause of death, is likewise suspicious.

25 posted on 03/25/2013 4:10:38 PM PDT by BlackVeil
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To: BlackVeil

In the meanwhile, I read a bit more of the Russian blogs and came across this observation (by one Anglophobe nut called Galkovsky): Putin has no interest in eliminating Berezovsky as the latter, with his rapidly dwindling assets and influence pretty much has eliminated himself. And Putin has no need to reinforce his thuggish image with another alleged murder.

So then he goes into the Anglophobe territory and suggests the House of Windsor doing the hit... because, ... well it becomes muddy at this point in Galkovsky’s thinking, but BAB was indeed known for a rather creative scheme to put Prince Harry on the yet to be crated Russian throne. Which I would endorse except prince Harry doesn’t seem to deserve such punishment. Look for the bony hand of Prince Michael of Kent behind this. Look.


26 posted on 03/25/2013 5:34:36 PM PDT by annalex (fear them not)
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