This past week, Boris Berezovsky was discovered dead in London. Immediately, and maybe with some reason, people called it a murder and blamed Putin back in Moscow for it. Berezovsky was an arch-enemy of Putin and had been living in London for over a decade. However, I have to say not so fast in making Berezovsky an anti-Putin martyr and tonight there is word he died from hanging. Suicide or murder? I would say murder (by who?) but also will bet that we will never know.
I don’t wish the demise of anyone but I confess in my human weakness it is hard for me to feel a whole lot of sympathy for someone like Berezovsky. The reason Berezovsky was living in London is because Putin tried to shut down his illegal Mafia operations inside Russia. Berezovsky only became anti-Putin when he couldn’t buy him off.
Berezovsky was literally known as “The Godfather Of The Kremlin” because he was a leading oligarch during Yeltsin’s time and is responsible for helping turn Russia into a Mafia State. If you have ever been to Russia, you know exactly what I am talking about. The mafia has its fingers in everything in that country from banking to the food you order at the café. Berezovsky was himself implicated in Ponzi schemes, embezzlement, fraud, and probably more importantly the assassinations of anyone in his way including some rather famous celeb types. Yeah, nice guy.
There is a book, pictured above, written by Paul Kelbnikov, a leading financial investigative writer, about Berezovsky. I would encourage anyone interested to read it and have your eyes opened. As a side note, Kelbnikov (whom Berezovsky vowed to get even with) was himself murdered in Russia while working as an editor for Forbes. Did Kelbnikov fall victim to Berezovksy or Putin or some other corrupt Russian businessman? The murder has never been solved. I am fortunate enough, and consider it a prize, to have a hardcover copy of this book autographed to me by Kelbnikov.
It is true that Putin has been killing opponents around the world and we all know how he is crushing freedom inside Russia itself. Think Pussy Riot and you get the picture. Still, I think it would be better if we skipped adding Berezovsky’s name to the honored anti-Putin dead. It is a bit like picking Capone over Luciano while spouting anti-corruption.