Boris Berezovsky

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Boris Berezovsky
Born 23 January 1946(1946-01-23)
Moscow, Russia
Died 23 March 2013(2013-03-23) (aged 67)
Sunninghill, Berkshire, England
Cause of death Suicide by hanging
Residence London, England
Nationality Russian
Citizenship British
Occupation Business oligarch, mathematician, government official
Religion Orthodox Christianity (converted in the mid-1990s at age 47);[1][2] formerly Judaism.[3][4]
Spouse Nina, divorced
Galina Besharova (1991–2010), divorced[5]
Partner Yelena Gorbunova (m. 1996–2012, separated)

Boris Abramovich Berezovsky (23 January 1946 – 23 March 2013) was a Russian-British business man, billionaire, and former mathematician. He was best known for the powerful positions he held in the 1990s when Boris Yeltsin was president of Russia.

Berezovsky was deputy secretary of Russia's security council, and a friend of Boris Yeltsin's daughter Tatyana. He had a lot of power over what the newspapers were allowed to print and what the television stations could say. They were not allowed to say anything bad about Yeltsin.

Berezovsky made a lot of money importing Mercedes cars into Russia in the 1990s. He made a lot of money from Avtovaz cars and he owned the Sibneft oil company.

When Putin came to power Berezovsky fled to London where he was given political asylum. He said that he was trying to put an end to Putin's power. The Russian authorities accused him of trying to murder several leading critics of Putin's regime, including Alexander Litvinenko and journalist Anna Politkovskaya, in order to make Putin look bad. The Swiss accused him of taking money illegally.

In 1994 someone tried to kill Berezovsky. Several other people may have tried to kill him. He said these people were Russian agents.

Berezovsky died on 23 March 2013 in Sunninghill, Berkshire, England, aged 67.[6] He lived in London, England. On March 25, police said that his death was caused by hanging. There were no signs of a struggle.

Investigation of his death[change | change source]

On 23 March 2013, Berezovsky was found dead at his home.[7] His body was found by a bodyguard in a locked bathroom, with a ligature around his neck.[8][9][10] His death was announced in a post on Facebook by his son-in-law. Alexander Dobrovinsky, a lawyer who represented Berezovsky, wrote that he may have committed suicide.[11] He added that Berezovsky had fallen into debt after losing a protracted lawsuit against Roman Abramovich, and had spent the last few months of his life selling his possessions to cover his court costs.[12] Berezovsky was also said to have recently been depressed and to have isolated himself from friends.[13][14] He reportedly suffered from depression and was taking antidepressant drugs. A day before his death he told a reporter in London that he had nothing left to live for.[15]

When Berezovsky's death became known, there was speculation by mainstream British news media that Moscow might be somehow involved.[16] The Thames Valley Police classified his death as "unexplained" and launched a formal investigation into the circumstances behind it. Specialists in chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear materials were sent to Berezovsky's home as a "precaution".[12] These specialists later "found nothing of concern".[17]

A post-mortem examination carried out by the Home Office pathologist found the cause of death was consistent with hanging and there was nothing pointing to a violent struggle.[18][19] However, after an inquest into the death in March 2014 the coroner, Mr Peter Bedford, recorded an open verdict commenting, "I am not saying Mr Berezovsky took his own life, I am not saying Mr Berezovsky was unlawfully killed. What I am saying is that the burden of proof sets such a high standard it is impossible for me to say".[20]

Despite his death in March 2013 Berezovsky's Interpol Red Notice continues to remain active.[21]

References[change | change source]

  1. James Arnold, "'No regrets' for tarnished tycoon" (23 March 2003). BBC News.
  2. Maria Finoshina, "Prominent Russians: Boris Berezovsky", Russiapedia, RT.
  3. Vadim Joseph Rossman and the Vidal Sassoon International Center for the Study of Antisemitism. Russian Intellectual Antisemitism in the Post-Communist Era (2002). University of Nebraska Press: pp. 120–1.
  4. Marshall I. Goldman, "Putin and the Jewish Oligarchs: Prejudice or Politics?" In Revolution, Repression, and Revival: The Soviet Jewish Experience (2007), eds. Zvi Y. Gitelman and Yaacov Ro'i. Rowman & Littlefield: p. 274
  5. Boris Berezovsky pays out £100m in UK's biggest divorce settlement, Owen Bowcott, The Guardian, 22 July 2011
  6. "Умер Борис Березовский". 23 March, 2013.
  7. Mark Townsend and Simon Goodley (23 March 2013). "Boris Berezovsky found dead". The Guardian (London).
  8. "Boris Berezovsky 'found with ligature around his neck'". BBC News. 28 March 2013.
  9. Sawer, Patrick; Parfitt, Tom (31 March 2013). "Boris Berezovsky: 'My friend Boris would not have taken his own life' - Telegraph". The Daily Telegraph (London).
  10. Smith, Matt; Holly Yan (25 March 2013). "Russian tycoon's death 'consistent with hanging'". CNN. Retrieved 25 March 2011.
  11. Herszenhorn, David M. (23 March 2013). "Russian Oligarch and Sharp Critic of Putin Dies in London". NY Times. Retrieved 23 March 2013.
  12. 12.0 12.1 "UK police probe death of Russian oligarch Berezovsky". ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation). 24 March 2013. Retrieved 24 March 2013.
  13. "Умер Борис Березовский". 23 March 2013.
  14. "Russian tycoon Boris Berezovsky found dead". BBC. 23 March 2013. Retrieved 23 March 2013.
  15. Behar, Richard (24 March 2013). "Did Boris Berezovsky Kill Himself? More Compelling, Did He Kill Forbes Editor Paul Klebnikov". Forbes. Retrieved 25 March 2013.
  16. Adomanis, Mark (26 March 2013). "Was Boris Berezovsky Murdered? The Evidence Strongly Suggests No, But Luke Harding Says Maybe!". Forbes. Retrieved 30 March 2013.
  17. "No radiation found in Berezovsky home". ABC News. 25 March 2013. Retrieved 25 March 2013.
  19. "Berezovsky death consistent with hanging: police". Reuters. 25 March 2013. Retrieved 26 March 2013.
  20. "Boris Berezovsky inquest: Coroner records open verdict". BBC News. 27 March 2014. [1]
  21. "Berezovskiy, Boris". Interpol. 1999. [2]

Other websites[change | change source]