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End of an era as Berezovsky dies

End of an era as Berezovsky dies

He was the original oligarch: a talented mathematician who had used his smarts and ruthlessness to amass an enormous fortune in the wreckage of the Soviet Union. Eventually, he became one of Russia’s most powerful men, a courtier to former president Boris Yeltsin.

Boris Berezovsky went on to survive assassination attempts and even the wrath of Vladimir Putin, as a result of which he has lived in self-imposed exile for the last 13 years.

But ironically, unlike his protege Alexander Litvinenko who had succumbed to mysterious Polonium poisoning, the Putin regime against which Berezovsky has so forcefully crusaded does not seem to have played any part in his demise.

It came, instead, at the hand of the new generation of oligarch: early reports suggest that Berezovsky took his own life shortly after the failed lawsuit against pro-Putin billionaire Roman Abramovich had left him ruined and broken.

His time may have long gone. But, as the headline on the front page of Russia’s exclaims: “Berezovsky has taken many secrets to the grave.”



Vadim Nikitin

Vadim Nikitin was born in Murmansk, Russia and grew up there and in Britain. He graduated from Harvard University with a thesis on American democracy promotion in Russia. Vadim's articles about Russia have appeared in The Nation, Dissent Magazine, and The Moscow Times. He is currently researching a comparative study of post-Soviet and post-Apartheid nostalgia.
Areas of Focus:
USSR; US-Russia Relations; Culture and Society; Media; Civil Society; Politics; Espionage; Oligarchs