– Boris Berezovsky’s last interview: ‘There is no point in life’ (Telegraph, March 24, 2013):
Boris Berezovsky, the Russian oligarch, said less than 48 hours before he was found dead at his home in Berkshire that he no longer saw the point in life.
Boris Berezovsky was discovered dead yesterday afternoon at his home in Ascot, Berkshire. Reports from Russia said he was found in the bath.
lya Zhegulev, a commentator with the Russian edition of Forbes magazine, met the 67-year-old oligarch in the restaurant of the Four Seasons hotel on Park Lane on Friday evening.
Mr Berezovsky said had had lived through “many disappointments” in London. He said: “I’ve lost the point… there is no point [or meaning] in my life. I don’t want to be involved in politics. I don’t know what to do. I’m 67 years old. And I don’t know what I should do from now on.”
He said he wanted to return to Moscow: “I want nothing more than to return to Russia. Even when they opened a criminal case against me, I wanted to return to Russia… that was my main miscalculation: that Russia is so dear to me that I cannot be an émigré.”
Friends of Mr Berezovsky today claimed he may have been victim of a Russian hit. However, there are conflicting reports that he may have committed suicide after suffering from severe depression.
Friends raised the possibility of suicide and said Berezovsky had been “destroyed” by losing a £3billion legal action with his former business partner, Roman Abramovich, the owner of Chelsea football club. Berezovsky had been living in exile in Britain since 2000.
– Boris Berezovsky death: friend suggests he may have been victim of Russian hit (Telegraph, March 24, 2013):
Yuri Felshtinsky, a historian and author who knew Mr Berezovsky since 1998, told The Daily Telegraph that he doubted suggestions the tycoon had committed suicide, and had no knowledge that his friend had been seriously ill.
His comments came as British police investigating his death said a search of his house by chemical, biological and nuclear experts had found “nothing of concern”.
“We do not have facts yet but we must bear in mind that there have been several questionable deaths of Russian émigrés in the UK,” said Mr Felshtinsky. “Badri Patarkatsishvili, Boris Berezovsky’s business partner, died in February 2008 [in Surrey] and until yesterday everybody including me thought that was a death by natural causes, but now I’m not so sure.”
Mr Berezovsky, a fiery critic of Russia’s President Vladimir Putin who fled to the UK in 2000, was found dead at the age of 67, reportedly in a bath at his home, on Saturday. Police say the death is “unexplained”.
Mr Felshtinsky has lived in the United States since 1978, but in the late 1990s he travelled to Moscow to prepare a biography of Mr Berezovsky. Instead, he became close to the tycoon and his associate Alexander Litvinenko, a former KGB officer.
- Berezovsky left no note and friends say ‘suicide was not in his DNA’
- Police announced he was hanged following a post-mortem
- Home Office pathologist found no evidence of a violent struggle
- Kremlin insider Sergei Markov says tycoon was ‘begging’ to come home
- ‘British secret services can be suspected in death of Berezovsky,’ he said
- Secret letter from Berezovsky to Putin asking to return to Russia ‘exists’
- Experts fear he may have been murdered by the Kremlin in ‘revenge’ attack
- Others say he was ‘destroyed’ after losing £3bn court case with Abramovich
Friends of Boris Berezovsky have claimed that the Russian oligarch was strangled to death despite a post-mortem examination suggesting there was no evidence of a struggle.
The 67-year-old’s body was discovered on the bathroom floor of a £20million Berkshire mansion on Saturday after a bodyguard became concerned and smashed the door open.
That member of security staff said he left the house at 10am to run errands which took until 3pm and when he returned he noticed several missed calls on Mr Berezovsky’s mobile phone.
A pathologist said he died of injuries ‘consistent with hanging’, but sources suggest that he may have been murdered.
Last night, one family friend claimed Mr Berezovsky’s body showed ‘traces of him being strangled around the neck’.
Nikolay Glushkov, 67, said the tycoon’s former wife noticed marks on his neck minutes after he was found dead, adding: ‘A scarf was there. There were traces of him being strangled around the neck.’
Family and friends raced to the bathroom and saw him lying fully clothed with a scarf by his side. They said there was no sign of blood.
The results of the post-mortem examination came as the storm of controversy surrounding the death raged on.
Experts in chemical, biological and nuclear emergencies also spent hours combing the house amid fears that Mr Berezovsky could have been poisoned by the Kremlin, but no radiation was found.
Another report claimed yesterday that detectives investigating the death did not find a suicide note.
Some friends continue to insist Mr Berezovsky was the victim of a professional hit for speaking out against Vladimir Putin’s regime. Others believe he killed himself after becoming depressed over the loss of his wealth and status.
The mansion in Ascot where he was found is understood to be owned by his former wife Galina Besharova, 54.
Last night her close friend told the Mail: ‘Galina is very upset about Boris’s death, as are their children. She remained close to Boris after they split up and it was at her house that he died.
‘She really does not want to talk about how he died. But there are many ways to induce what may appear to be a natural death like a heart attack.’
As speculation raged on yesterday, an adviser to Putin even claimed Mr Berezovsky may have been killed by British security services.
Using the inflammatory rhetoric of the Cold War era, Sergei Markov said the tycoon was assassinated because he knew too much about Western plots to undermine Putin and planned to trade this knowledge for a return to Russia.
Mr Markov, a former Russian politician, said: ‘I cannot say no to the version that it was a murder committed by those who were scared Boris Berezovsky would go back to Putin’s side.
‘I do not exclude that the secret services joined this work. I think they may have guessed that Berezovsky would give away all information, and they decided to get rid of him.
‘In the stock of modern secret services, there are many things . . . which can provoke a heart attack and a stroke, and experts will not diagnose it.’ He added: ‘There is no trust for the British secret services.
‘After their participation in the plot aimed at occupying Iraq, their role in the plot targeting the leader of Libya, then the plot aimed at knocking down the government in Syria, it is clear that their methods are highly dirty.’
Mr Markov denied speculation that a Russian hit squad could have been sent to kill Mr Berezovsky. ‘After all, there are civilised politicians in the Kremlin,’ he added. ‘They do not use the methods of political murders.’
(There are civilised politicians in the Kremlin, that do not use the methods of political murders? OH, SURE!!! – Infinite Unknown)
A senior detective said yesterday that there was currently ‘no evidence of third party involvement’ in the death.
Mr Berezovsky was thought to be on the brink of financial ruin after losing a £3billion legal action against his former business partner, Chelsea football club owner Roman Abramovich.
He had also been facing another court battle brought by former girlfriend Elena Gorbunova, who had applied to the High Court to freeze his reported £200million assets.
In the 1980s and 1990s, Mr Berezovsky was one of the most powerful men in Russia and helped choose Putin as president. However, he emigrated to the UK in 2000 and became one of Putin’s fiercest critics.
He survived a number of assassination attempts, including a bomb in his car which decapitated his chauffeur.