Voices from Russia

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

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

00 Boris Berezovsky. Russia. 24.03.13


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




Saturday, 30 March 2013

Boris Berezovky: Game Over

00 Boris Berezovsky 3. Russia. 24.03.13


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



Friday, 29 March 2013

UK Opens Inquest into Berezovsky’s Death

00 Boris Berezovsky. Russia. 23.03.13


On Thursday, the UK opened an inquest into the death of Russian businessman Boris Berezovsky with revelations that pathologists found marks on his neck consistent with hanging. On Saturday, his staff discovered Berezovsky dead in the bathroom of his home in the town of Ascot in southern England. He was 67. The Associated Press reported that Thames Valley Police Detective Inspector Mark Bissell told the inquest hearing that a “ligature” was found around Berezovsky’s neck and that similar material was attached to a shower rail. The AP cited Bissell as saying that there didn’t appear to have been any sign of a struggle, but that further tests needed to be carried out to reach a definitive conclusion. On Tuesday, Nikolai Glushkov, a close associate of Berezovsky, told The Guardian that a scarf was found at the site of the death and that there were signs of strangulation. Berezovsky, an avowed Kremlin foe, lived in self-imposed exile in Britain since 2000, and was pursued for extradition by authorities in Russia for prosecution over alleged fraud.

28 March 2013



Tuesday, 26 March 2013

26 March 2013. A Good Obit for Berezovsky… Blunt, But to the Point



I read this:

Scumbag, thief, oligarch Berezovsky is dead… let him burn in hell with Yeltsin! So, now, they’re calling scumbag Soviet-era black-marketeers who became the present-day thieving oligarchs, “tycoons”. This guy was a criminal and a lowlife piece of shit… just the type that Yeltsin picked to help him usurp power. I had the dubious “pleasure” of meeting him briefly in the early 90s. He wasn’t a man you wanted to cross back in the 90s if you desired to live to a decent old age.


I can only add, “Hear, hear!”


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