Fallen Jewish Oligarch Boris Berezovsky Found Dead, Amid Depression and Mystery

Unconfirmed Reports Say Rasputin of Putin Era Killed Self

Fallen Oligarch: Russian tycoon Boris Berezovsky was found dead in London. Police said the death was ‘unexplained.’
getty images
Fallen Oligarch: Russian tycoon Boris Berezovsky was found dead in London. Police said the death was ‘unexplained.’

By Reuters

Published March 23, 2013.
  • Print
  • Share Share
  • Single Page

(page 3 of 3)

But Berezovsky fell foul of the Kremlin early in Putin’s first term and moved to Britain, where he was given asylum.

Sheltered from criminal cases in which he has been sentenced to years in prison in absentia, and which he has dismissed as politically motivated, he harried Putin for a decade from London. He teamed up with other exiles to implicate the Russian state in killings and rights abuses.

Russian authorities have rejected those claims as bids to blacken Russia’s reputation and tried to turn the tables, with officials and state media casting him as an almost clownishly villainous figure responsible for some of the same crimes himself.

Berezovsky’s fortunes fell when he lost a $6 billion legal battle last year with Chelsea Football Club owner Roman Abramovich, a former protege he accused of using the threat of Kremlin retribution to scare him into selling assets cheaply.

“After the loss in court … he was in deep depression,” said Alexei Venediktov, editor of Russia’s Ekho Moskvy radio.

“I think it was probably his health, including depression, and his age,” Venediktov said of his death. “Boris Abramovich never took it easy - he was a fighter, he led an active lifestyle, and unfortunately he has left life in this way.”

Berezovsky leaves a deeply mixed reputation. Many Russians, Venediktov said, “see Boris Abramovich as a mythological figure – as Heracles or, on the contrary, as Hades.”


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • Lusia Horowitz left pre-state Israel to fight fascism in Spain — and wound up being captured by the Nazis and sent to die at Auschwitz. Share her remarkable story — told in her letters.
  • Vered Guttman doesn't usually get nervous about cooking for 20 people, even for Passover. But last night was a bit different. She was cooking for the Obamas at the White House Seder.
  • A grumpy Jewish grandfather is wary of his granddaughter's celebrating Easter with the in-laws. But the Seesaw says it might just make her appreciate Judaism more. What do you think?
  • “Twist and Shout.” “Under the Boardwalk.” “Brown-Eyed Girl.” What do these great songs have in common? A forgotten Jewish songwriter. We tracked him down.
  • What can we learn from tragedies like the rampage in suburban Kansas City? For one thing, we must keep our eyes on the real threats that we as Jews face.
  • When is a legume not necessarily a legume? Philologos has the answer.
  • "Sometime in my childhood, I realized that the Exodus wasn’t as remote or as faceless as I thought it was, because I knew a former slave. His name was Hersh Nemes, and he was my grandfather." Share this moving Passover essay!
  • Getting ready for Seder? Chag Sameach! http://jd.fo/q3LO2
  • "We are not so far removed from the tragedies of the past, and as Jews sit down to the Seder meal, this event is a teachable moment of how the hatred of Jews-as-Other is still alive and well. It is not realistic to be complacent."
  • Aperitif Cocktail, Tequila Shot, Tom Collins or Vodka Soda — Which son do you relate to?
  • Elvis craved bacon on tour. Michael Jackson craved matzo ball soup. We've got the recipe.
  • This is the face of hatred.
  • What could be wrong with a bunch of guys kicking back with a steak and a couple of beers and talking about the Seder? Try everything. #ManSeder
  • BREAKING: Smirking killer singled out Jews for death in suburban Kansas City rampage. 3 die in bloody rampage at JCC and retirement home.
  • Real exodus? For Mimi Minsky, it's screaming kids and demanding hubby on way down to Miami, not matzo in the desert.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.