Sunday, 28 May 2006

Boris Berezovsky

Boris Berezovsky, the first Russian billionaire,is one of those so called 'oligarchs' who, with Boris Yeltsin’s blessings, plundered the wealth of the Russian people during that country’s particularly nasty variation on the privatisation scam.

In 1996, Forbes’ magazine, the USA’s leading business journal, stated that Boris Berezovsky was the head of the Russian Mafia and, in a January 1997 edition of the influential magazine US News and World, we read:
"Berezovsky and his ilk have exploited for personal gain wrongheaded economic reforms that were impoverishing the average man… Berezovsky has proved that building wealth in the new Russia has much to do with government cronies smoothing the way and little to do with free competition...  
Most disturbing of all to Russian reformers is the impunity with which Berezovsky has operated. His road to capitalism would have landed him in jail in most civilized countries, but brought no criminal charges in the new Russia."
Do you get that? In 'most civilised countries' Berezovsky would have landed in jail. So what has happened to this creature since the Forbes and US News and World articles were written? One month before Vladimir Putin had the oligarch Mikhail Khodorkovsky arrested, Berezovsky slipped out of Russia and sought political asylum in another country.

Only two countries in the world were prepared to grant him the refuge he required. One of these was Israel. The only other world leader, apart from Ariel Sharon, who was happy to accomodate Berezovsky was Tony Blair.

The fact that the British courts granted asylum to a man who was known to have robbed the ordinary citizens of Russia blind, was thought to be plotting to bring down Russia's President, Vladimir Putin, was doing everything in his considerable power to take control of the political apparatus in the Ukraine and was wanted by Interpol, didn't seem to bother Our Dear Leader.

Blair's generous treatment of Russia's number 1 robber Baron was duly noted by the nouveau riche and many have since established themselves here. Berezovsky, himself, has been quoted thus in the aforementioned Forbes Magazine:
"They are businessmen. Some of them are very rich. Some of them are middle scale... I think they feel this is a country of law. They feel they are well protected here."
With the Chairman Blairs in charge, I'll just bet they do.

The Israeli writer, Uri Avnery, said this in his 3 August 2004 essay, The Oligarchs:
"The 'oligarchs' are a tiny group of entrepreneurs who exploited the disintegration of the Soviet system to loot the treasures of the state and to amass plunder amounting to hundreds of billions of dollars. In order to safeguard the perpetuation of their business, they took control of the state. Six out of the seven are Jews...  
In the first years of post-Soviet Russian capitalism they were the bold and nimble ones who knew how to exploit the economic anarchy in order to acquire enormous possessions for a hundredth or a thousandth of their value: oil, natural gas, nickel and other minerals. They used every possible trick, including cheating, bribery and murder. Every one of them had a small private army...  
The most intriguing part of the series recounts the way they took control of the political apparatus... At the time, President Boris Yeltsin was in a steep decline. On the eve of the new elections for the presidency, his rating in public opinion polls stood at 4 per cent. He was an alcoholic with a severe heart disease, working about two hours a day...  
The oligarchs decided to take power through him. They had almost unlimited funds, control of all TV channels and most of the other media. They put all these at the disposal of Yeltsin's reelection campaign, denying his opponents even one minute of TV time and pouring huge sums of money into the effort...  
They secretly brought over the most outstanding American election experts and copywriters, who applied methods previously unknown in Russia. The campaign bore fruit: Yeltsin was indeed reelected. On the very same day he had another heart attack and spent the rest of his term in hospital.  
In practice, the oligarchs ruled Russia. One of them, Boris Berezovsky, appointed himself Prime Minister. There was a minor scandal when it became known that he (like most of the oligarchs) had acquired Israeli citizenship...  
Berezovsky boasts that he caused the war in Chechnya, in which tens of thousands have been killed and a whole country devastated. He was interested in the mineral resources and a prospective pipeline there. In order to achieve this he put an end to the peace agreement that gave the country some kind of independence... and the war has been going on since then."
On 28 November 2006, the BBC reported thus:
"Traces of polonium-210 radiation have been found at two more central London addresses, police probing ex-Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko's death say. One address, in Down Street, reportedly houses the offices of his friend, exiled billionaire Boris Berezovsky... Traces of the substance have already been found at... Mr Litvinenko's north London home."
Alexander Goldfarb, who became a bit of a media celebrity in the wake of the hospitalisation of the former KGB spy, read out Litvinenko's last words to the assembled media after his death from Polonium-210 poisoning.

In this statement, Litvinenko condemned Russia's leader, Vladimir Putin, thus:
"You may succeed in silencing me, but that silence comes at a price. You have shown yourself to be as barbaric and ruthless as your most hostile critics have claimed. The howl of protest from around the world will reverberate Mr Putin in your ears for the rest of your life."
Goldfarb, himself, has also said:
"Nobody's saying that Putin personally ordered it, though it's very likely." (BBC – 22.11.2006)
"He felt as a British citizen he would be protected from falling prey to Russian government forces." (Associated Press – 24.11.2006)
Goldfarb and Litvinenko met in Lefortovo prison where the KGB spy was awaiting trial on charges of abuse of office. At the time, Goldfarb was the director of a Russian prison project funded by the US-Jewish tycoon, Georgi Soros, who was behind the 1992 run on the pound that came to be known as Black Wednesday.

Goldfarb, subsequently, arranged Litvinenko's escape to England where Tony Blair's government granted the ex-spy asylum almost immediately. Now here's the interesting thing: Goldfarb has been the Executive Director of the New York-based International Foundation for Civil Liberties since its inception in 2000 and the Mr Moneybags who set it up was none other than Boris Berezovsky. And Litvinenko's 'north London home?' Well, this just happened to be one of the homes owned by Berezovsky.

Ever since Goldfarb got him into England, Litvinenko was living, rent-free, curtesy of Russia's first billionaire. After Berezovsky visited his dying lodger in hospital, he told The Associated Press:
"It's not complicated to say who fights against him. He's Putin's enemy."
The Roman Tribune, Lucius Cassius Longinus Ravilla, formulated the judgemental maxim Cui Bono over 2,100 years ago. Cui Bono literally means 'for who's good?' Who benefits? Personally speaking, applying the maxim to the Litvinenko affair, I just don't see how Putin benefited from Litvinenko's ostentatious death. His enemies, however...

Berezovsky, Mikhail Khodorkovsky, Chelsea's owner, Roman Abramovich, who was once Berezovsky's factotum, and many of the other Russian 'oligarchs' are, as Uri Avnery states, Jewish. Berezovsky's spokesman, Alexander Goldfarb, is Jewish also.

In the year 2000, Tony Blair's government granted 114,000 visas to Russian citizens and, by 2003, this number had increased to 174,000.

The wealth of these mega-rich settlers has pushed London property prices through the roof ensuring that many amongst the indigenous population can no longer afford to buy their own home.

Between 1998 and 2004, $102 billion left Russia. In the same way that our nationalised industries once belonged to us, this fabulous sum once belonged to all the citizens of Russia.

The presence in London of those who profited so handsomely from Russia's dispossession will, almost certainly, benefit them and those politicians who greased the wheels of this mass emigration. But the ordinary Londoner? How is the red carpet treatment that Blair has accorded so many Berezovskies going to help them?

Two years after Berezovsky arrived in England the Russian government requested his extradition and he was arrested. Bond was set at $160,000. Half was posted by Stephen Curtis, a London lawyer who became managing director of Group Menatep, a subsidiary of Yukos Oil. Yukos Oil was owned, before Putin jailed him, by the oligarch, Mikhail Khodorkovsky.

The public relations guru, Lord Tim Bell, who orchestrated the political campaigns of the Conservative Party in the nineteen eighties, posted the rest of the bond. Tony Blair granted Beresovsky's request for asylum soon after this.

Lord Tim was not raised to the peerage by fellow Tory, Margaret Thatcher. Nor was he ennobled by John Major. Blair conferred the honour upon him.
"Akhmed Zakayev, the leading Chechen dissident who lived next door to Mr Litvinenko, said: 'He was read to from the Koran the day before he died and had told his wife and family that he wanted to be buried in accordance with Muslim tradition'." (The Daily Telegraph - 2.12. 2006)
Did Berezovsky knew of Litvinenko's Islamic sympathies? Was he, a Jew, at ease with this?
"Alexander Litvinenko was warned by British and American secret agents that his life was in danger because of his ties with exiled Russian oligarch Boris Berezovsky…
Litvinenko told Italian security adviser Mario Scaramella at their now-infamous lunch at a sushi restaurant that he had 'interrupted' his work with Berezovsky on 'US and British advice'.
Scaramella then told another Russian intelligence specialist - who is under the protection of the French secret services - that Litvinenko had recently fallen out with Berezovsky. Evgeni Limarev said: 'I had very strong information, confirmed by Mario, that Litvinenko had quarrelled with Berezovsky. I can't say more than that'." (The Daily Mail – 3.12.2006)
As of this moment, when he's not plotting Putin's demise in the radioactive luxury of his West End townhouse, Berezovsky, his billions and his forty bodyguards inhabit something approximating a palace in Egham, Surrey.

Which he bought from TV and radio personality, Chris Evans.

On 31 August 2012, the 5-year-long court case between Jewish Oligarchs, Boris Berezovsky and Chelsea owner, Roman Abramovich, was finally resolved.

Mrs Justice Gloster found in Abramovich's favour.

In her summing-up she said:



On occasions he tried to avoid answering questions by making long and irrelevant speeches, or by professing to have forgotten facts which he had been happy to record in his pleadings or witness statements.

He embroidered and supplemented statements in his witness statements, or directly contradicted them."
This is what Tony Blair gave sanctuary to back in the day.

No comments:

Post a Comment