According to Kremlin spokesman Dmitri Peskov, fugitive Russian oligarch Boris Berezovsky, who died in London Saturday, had asked President Putin for forgiveness and for permission to return home, saying, “I don’t know Putin’s reaction on Berezovsky’s death. I can say only that the death of any person is sorrowful. However, I should say that, recently, maybe a few months ago, Berezovsky sent a letter to Putin, where he admitted that he’d made a lot of mistakes and asked [Putin] to forgive him. He also asked Putin whether he could return to Russia. Therefore, Berezovsky admitted all his mistakes and asked [Putin] to forgive him”.
Currently, Thames Valley Police are treating Berezovsky’s death as unexplained and a full inquiry is under way. Police have cordoned-off the area around Berezovsky’s house in Ascot, Berkshire, to allow an investigation to take place. The news from the UK first emerged on Facebook, where Berezovsky’s son-in-law Yegor Schuppe posted on the event, giving no details regarding the nature of his death. Channel One reported that Berezovsky’s body was found in the bathroom of his Surrey estate. In the early 1990’s, Berezovsky was a member of Boris Yeltsin’s inner circle or “family”, and, then, he became a harsh critic of Vladimir Putin, after having initially supported him. The TV report also stated that Berezovsky suffered several heart attacks over the course of last week.
Damian Kudriavtsev, the former CEO of Kommersant Publishing House, also commented on Berezovsky’s death, saying that he passed away at 11.00 UTC (04.00 PDT 07.00 EDT 15.00 MSK 22.00 AEST) in London. On his Twitter account, Kudriavtsev said that there weren’t any signs of a violent death. Andrei Sidelnikov, who was a friend of Berezovsky’s, told Reuters, “I can confirm that he died in his home. I’ve known him for a long, long time; we’ve spent a lot of time together. I’m shocked. It’s the end of an epoch”. Berezovsky’s spokesman, Tim Bell, told AFP, “Yes, he’s dead. It was confirmed to me by his private lawyer this afternoon”.
23 March 2013
Voice of Russia World Service