Voices from Russia

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Anti-Putin Oligarch Berezovsky Buried in Surrey… He was a Suicide

00 Brookwood Cemetery. Surrey UK. 08.05.13

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After the burial of Russian oligarch Boris Berezovsky, found dead at his house near London, was over, the mourners began leaving Brookwood Cemetery. One of the witnesses said, “The guests are leaving, no one’s talking to reporters”. According to sources, a memorial service preceded the burial. On 8 May, Berezovsky’s funeral, took place at Brookwood Cemetery in Surrey. However, his will, drawn up just nine days before his death, left more questions than answers.

Berezovsky always intended his funeral to be a private affair, closed to the media. Very few of his friends attended the service. Surrey Police confirmed to VOR that they’d be attending a funeral at Brookwood (near Guildford) to prevent any hindrance to the proceedings, although they refused to say if it was for Berezovsky. However, they denied reports that armed police were in the area. Thames Valley Police, which is leading the investigation into his death, wouldn’t confirm funeral arrangements, saying it was a private affair. The few mourners included his friend Akhmed Zakayev and members of his legal team. According to a tweet from journalist Luke Harding of The Guardian, there were fewer than 30 people at the cemetery in Surrey. He also reported that a Ukrainian TV crew hid in the bushes.

The self-made billionaire… said to be worth 3 billion USD (93.5 billion Roubles. 2.28 billion Euros. 1.93 billion UK Pounds)… was a former academic who built his fortune with investments in oil, cars, aluminium, and the media. He played an integral part in Vladimir Putin’s rise to power in 2000. However, they fell out when Putin began charging many oligarchs with tax evasion. Berezovsky fled to England in 2000, where he lived until his death. The Times reported that although he’d recently changed his will, his executors refused to carry it out and a court appointed an accountancy firm to deal with his finances, said to be in some disarray.

Friends of Boris Berezovsky claimed that someone strangled him to death, despite a post-mortem examination that showed no sign of a struggle, and that he died with a ligature around his neck consistent with hanging. He was found dead in his bathroom at his mansion in Mill Lane, Ascot, west of London on Saturday 23 March. Nevertheless, friends say that he wasn’t suicidal; they believe that someone strangled him. Reports circulated that he was due to be cremated at Gunnersbury Cemetery on 6 May. However, being a municipal cemetery, that seemed unlikely as it was a bank holiday in the UK. The inquest opened and adjourned on 28 March 28, after which the police released a brief statement in which a spokesman confirmed, “The results of the post-mortem examination, carried out by a Home Office pathologist, found the cause of death is consistent with hanging. The pathologist found nothing to indicate a violent struggle”.

8 May 2013

Voice of Russia World Service

http://english.ruvr.ru/2013_05_08/Russian-businessman-Boris-Berezovsky-buried-in-Surrey/

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On Wednesday, Russian-born oligarch Boris Berezovsky, who died at his home near London in March, was laid to rest at the Brookwood Cemetery in Surrey in the UK. An eyewitness told RIA-Novosti, “The guests are leaving; they’re reluctant to talk to journalists”. About 60 people were present, including Berezovsky’s close friend Chechen separatist leader Akhmed Zakayev, along with the deceased oligarch’s three ex-wives and his daughter Yelizaveta. Journalists weren’t allowed at the funeral, the date and location of which were kept secret to keep the media away. According to eyewitnesses, the casket remained closed during the ceremony. The 67-year-old self-exiled tycoon was found dead in the bathroom of his home in Ascot in southern England on March 23. The official cause of death hasn’t yet been announced, but a post-mortem examination found that the death was consistent with hanging.

8 May 2013

RIA-Novosti

http://en.rian.ru/world/20130508/181038322/Self-Exiled-Russian-Businessman-Berezovsky-Buried-in-UK.html

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin Speaks on Berezovsky and Prokhorov… Regrets Towards the First… Opposition to the Second…

Barbara-Marie Drezhlo. Chaplin on Berezovsky. 01.12

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Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin, the head of the MP Department for Church and Society, speaking on air at the studio of the Higher School of Trading, regretted that Boris Berezovsky, the oligarch who recently died in England, didn’t have the opportunity to start his life with a clean slate, despite all his talent, saying , “He was a pathetic person. He seemed to be a smart, talented, and energetic man, with an eventful life. However, his life wasn’t in order, but he didn’t realise that until it was too late for him to start a new life”. According to Fr Vsevolod, anyone can start life with a fresh start, but in the case of Berezovsky, he didn’t have the inclination to do so, noting, “God forbid that we should become so. Unfortunately, everyone has temptations, even if we don’t have billions and political influence”. In re ethics, Fr Vsevolod observed that ethics “isn’t only a social mechanism, handy for building interpersonal relationships, but it has eternal pros and cons that don’t change with the winds of fashion; they’re independent of our ideas about them, and they operate even if we’re heedless of them. It’s very important for people to remember these things today; it wasn’t just something that affected a well-known politician and oligarch who recently died under mysterious circumstances in the UK“.

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Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin, the head of the MP Department for Church and Society, speaking on air at the studio of the Higher School of Trading, criticised oligarch and politician Mikhail Prokhorov, who recently offered his religious ideas for public discussion, saying, “Recently, Mr Prokhorov said the following, ‘How can religious groups claim to speak directly to the public on moral issues? How can they have the nerve to do such?’”. Fr Vsevolod added, “Now, that’s mind-boggling logic… he can speak on such, but we may not. Well! Hold your horses, we thought that we had the same rights under the law that Mr Prokhorov does; we all have the right to address people directly. We don’t need intermediaries, especially, not some oligarch, who probably wants to make themselves such an intermediary, in order to offer a new social contract, a new ideology of their own making”.

Fr Vsevolod thought that Prokhorov’s attempt to deny religious communities the right to speak directly to the public on moral issues “wasn’t just a totalitarian idea, it’s nothing but Nazism, being nothing but a real attempt to deprive a social group of the right to publicly express its worldview. That’s nothing but Hitler and Stalin’s ideology. Obviously, the whole problem with this man’s agenda is the fact that he once said that it isn’t based in morals. We’ll speak out… we’ll always speak out. If he commits immoral acts, he should know the truth of it, he should know the truth concerning such; he has to know what’s true and what’s evil”. Fr Vsevolod observed, “Prokhorov can’t run away from the fact that he told the truth about himself, about his personal life, his business, his views, and his beliefs. You can never attend to those who want the Church to commit spiritual suicide; we can never abandon the raison d’être of the Church, which is to preach the Truth of Christ to all the peoples of the world. We’re not buying his ideas”.

Fr Vsevolod commented on a statement by TV presenter Vladimir Pozner that the greatest tragedy in Russian history was the adoption of Orthodoxy, stating, “I’ve travelled to 70 countries; so, I know life in the ‘successful’ countries of Northern and Western Europe, which Mr Pozner obviously wants us to imitate. Generally, people are much more miserable there than in Russia. By and large, ordinary people are much happier than the rich are. That’s an amazing thing, but it’s so”.

10 April 2013

RIA-Novosti

http://interfax-religion.ru/?act=news&div=50763

http://interfax-religion.ru/?act=news&div=50766

Editor’s Note:

I’d note this from the first excerpt:

[Ethics] isn’t only a social mechanism, handy for building interpersonal relationships, but it has eternal pros and cons that don’t change with the winds of fashion; they’re independent of our ideas about them, and they operate even if we’re heedless of them.

I’d only add that American businessmen who defraud workers of their honest wages and slash benefits to their workers to ensure higher profits fall under this rubric. Don’t forget that Scripture says, “The love of money is the root of ALL evil”… but the Western right says, “Greed is Good”. They do appear contradictory, do they not? That means that no Orthodox Christian can support the amoral money-worshipping platforms of the US Republican Party, the British and Canadian Conservative Parties, or the Australian Liberal Party. Full stop.

Note this from the second extract:

I’ve travelled to 70 countries; so, I know life in the “successful” countries of Northern and Western Europe, which Mr Pozner obviously wants us to imitate. Generally, people are much more miserable there than in Russia. By and large, ordinary people are much happier than the rich are. That’s an amazing thing, but it’s so.

And this:

[We] all have the right to address people directly. We don’t need intermediaries, especially, not some oligarch, who probably wants to make themselves such an intermediary, in order to offer a new social contract, a new ideology of their own making.

I’d simply say that there are Orthodox clergy who bow before the voracious and rapacious Moloch of Western crapitalism… we all know who they are. They’ve sold out for a mess of pottage (usually, for a house in the “right” suburb)… and, then, they have the goddamn gall to paint themselves out as moral paragons. Oh, yes… they attack Iosif Stalin, and they bloviate about Sergianism. Hmm… they DID take Langley’s shilling, didn’t they? That makes THEM worse “Sergianists” than anyone in the former USSR was… fancy that.

Methinks that the pot is blacker than the kettle is… just sayin’…

BMD 

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Media Reports State that Berezovsky’s Burial Will be in England

00 Boris Berezovsky. Russia. 24.03.13

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Dozhd TV, citing family sources, stated that the funeral of Russian oligarch Boris Berezovsky, who died in late March in the UK, would be in London at the end of the forensic investigation. A presenter on Dozhd confirmed that their “source” “attested that Berezovsky’s adopted children, especially, his older daughters Elizabeth and Catherine, took the decision to hold his funeral in England“. Dozhd reported that Berezovsky’s burial would be in Gunnersbury Cemetery, which is also the gravesite of philosopher Aleksandr Piatigorsky, who was a friend of Berezovsky’s. The date of the burial is still unsettled. For the last decade, most of Berezovsky’s family have lived in the West, so, there was some hesitation in regards to a burial in Russia.

His staff found Berezovsky’s body on 23 March, locked in a bathroom in his house in Ascot (Berkshire). Earlier this week, authorities announced the preliminary results of the autopsy on Berezovsky’s body. According to the report, the cause of death could be hanging. The Home Office will announce the official cause of death in a few weeks, after it conducts more research. Earlier reports said that one of the versions of the incident under consideration is suicide. Berezovsky recently experienced financial difficulties, including in a loss of a lawsuit to Roman Abramovich , whom he had to pay about 35 million UK Pounds (1.66 billion Roubles. 53.2 million USD. 41.4 million Euros) in damages .

Berezovsky in a recent interview: I don’t see the point of life >>

The life of Boris Berezovsky at a Glance >>

Ideological Dead>>

Berezovsky Expected a 300 million windfall>>

Zhirinovsky Thinks Berezovsky Murdered>>

1 April 2013

RIA-Novosti

http://ria.ru/world/20130401/930473008.html

Saturday, 30 March 2013

Boris Berezovky: Game Over

00 Boris Berezovsky 3. Russia. 24.03.13

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I arrived in Russia in 1997, when Boris Berezovsky’s influence was at its height. The year before, he had managed to get Boris Yeltsin re-elected, and we needn’t think too hard about how or why he achieved that. In those days, Berezovsky was often in Chechnya, and I couldn’t keep up with how much stuff he owned. Then Putin became president, and shortly afterwards the “Godfather of the Kremlin” was out. Sometime later I read a vehemently anti-Putin editorial in a major British newspaper, before such things were commonplace. “Who wrote this? I wondered. Then, I saw the by-line:

Boris Berezovsky

I was stunned. Hadn’t the editor done a quick web search before paying this “Russian businessman” to write his screed? Evidently, not, although I now understand that serial failure to grasp that not every opponent of Putin is a brave Solzhenitsyn is characteristic of the media in the UK and USA. Last year, for instance, I watched a documentary on Khodorkovsky, and the filmmaker was baffled when Russians expressed contempt for the fallen billionaire. As for Berezovsky, for years I wrote him off as an embittered crook until I read an interesting piece by Eduard Limonov, written in his trademark broken English. The author-turned-opposition leader was recalling a very expensive bottle of cognac the exiled billionaire had sent him upon his release from prison on weapons smuggling charges in 2003:

I like Berezovsky more and more. Exiled, he looks noble. Berezovsky is a type of anxious, never-satisfied life-eater, of warrior, the person who lives by the energy of conflict. Abroad, in Great Britain, he’s forced to exist without conflict, in order to preserve himself from a Russian prison. He wants badly to go out of that golden cage of London, again go to exciting life of conflicts in Russia. He isn’t interested in money. Money is only fuel to his conflicts.

(Full Limonov text)

A life-eater, fuelled by the energy of conflict! That also describes Limonov, who used to ramble on about legalising polygamy and teaching kids to use flame-throwers (before he became a semi-respectable Putin opponent in the eyes of David Frost et al). In Berezovsky, he recognised some of his own characteristics. Now, I saw the oligarch differently. He was a game-player, a man who delighted in his cleverness, in danger, and who exulted in the provocations he staged before the global media.

I recall footage I saw of Berezovsky talking to a group of Russophile English aristocrats about Putin. With what pleasure… and ease… he seduced these political naifs, who were blind to the conspiratorial nature of Russian power. Even better was when he befriended George Bush’s hapless wee brother Neil, who in the mid-2000s was trying to sell a video projector he called “The Cow” as an educational tool to developing countries who didn’t know any better. Berezovsky got involved and made a few introductions in the former USSR, even accompanying the mini-Bush on a visit to Latvia. Putin was outraged; Berezovsky was delighted; Bush never sold his rubbish toy.

Berezovsky’s influence in exile reached its peak with the murder of his employee Aleksandr Litvinenko. Suddenly, the renegade oligarch was at the centre of the world’s attention, wreaking havoc upon Putin’s reputation. However, this is also when journalists started looking seriously into the career of the life-eater, and his reputation never recovered either, for the “heroic dissident” was clearly a man enmeshed in plots, scandal, crime, and death. Of course, Berezovsky was an exceedingly clever man. Long before he was a car dealer, he was a mathematician and a member of the Soviet Academy of Sciences. Nevertheless, this was his problem. His attitude was that of someone who’d always considered himself the smartest man in the room. Now, when the other man in the room was Yeltsin, that may have been true… but then again, the table at which Yeltsin sat also had more brains than the Russian president did.

Yeltsin, it is clear, was too easy to manipulate… because, after that, Berezovsky serially underestimated his foes. Having backed the mid-level ex-KGB officer Putin as successor, he was astounded when Putin drove him into exile. He also underestimated his protégé Roman Abramovich, and this is where his intelligence really started to undermine him. You don’t need to be a lawyer to know that Berezovsky’s claim that Abramovich bullied him into giving up his stake in Sibneft sounded feeble. Indeed, the case was so tenuous that Berezovsky must have used a lot of intellectual energy to persuade himself of his own arguments.

The results were disastrous, and with the evaporation of his money and influence, Berezovsky could see that the game was finally up. Then again, maybe not… when Putin’s spokesman claimed that Berezovsky sent his foe a handwritten letter pleading for the right to return to Russia, I was sceptical. All exiles yearn for home, but did Berezovsky really think that he could sweet-talk Putin? Then I remembered his arrogance, his hubris, and wondered if he hadn’t persuaded himself he could use his cleverness to pull off one last great act of gamesmanship…

Then, it would seem, he hanged himself.

27 March 2013

Daniel Kalder

RIA-Novosti

http://en.rian.ru/columnists/20130327/180278553/Transmissions-from-a-Lone-Star-Boris-Berezovky-Game-Over.html

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