Russia » Politics
Author`s name Michael Simpson

Berezovsky Scheming Anti-Putin Campaign?

Sensational documents published for the first time
An unexpected event that occurred on the day of opening of the 16th Moscow International Fair may absolutely confuse the pre-election political game. Presentation of the book Gentlemen with Hexogen by Moscow journalist Kirill Belyaninov has become the strongest blow delivered against the forming coalition between former oligarch Boris Berezovsky and the Russian Federation Communist Party.

As it turns out, Boris Berezovsky is particularly anxious about the future of the Communist concept in Russia. The incumbent president of Russia is Berezovsky's main enemy. But in fact, the author of The Manifest of Russian Liberalism, this implacable fighter against the regime of Vladimir Putin, the organizer and inspirer of an independent investigation of explosions of apartment blocks in Moscow and the Nord Ost hostage taking, the key oppositionist of today's Russia is making his game with the only objective of winning the Nobel Peace Prize. The game of chess schemed by the oligarch in disgrace involves terrorist acts, the death of hundreds of people and also an incredible alliance with Russian communists.

This is true that Boris Berezovsky was always playing his games. People closely acquainted with him say that all of his games followed the same scenario: first a conflict political situation was caused and then Boris Berezovsky emerged on the scene and suggested an effective solution of the problem. This is the method that was applied during the hostage ransom in Chechnya; at the intrusion of the terrorists headed by Basayev and Khattab in Dagestan (former Interior Minister of Russia Kulikov says that before the intrusion Boris Berezovsky gave Shamil Basayev $10 million "for restoration of the republic"); while establishing contacts with the Taliban leaders in 1998 and 1999 and during cooperation with the Communist opposition now.
 
It was not yesterday that Boris Berezovsky started cooperating with communists. It was the disgraced oligarch who was in charge of financial relations of the Kremlin with the opposition in 1995; in 1997, at the instance of the Communist Party's second important figure Kuptsov, Boris Berezovsky made attempts to buy back the Pravda newspaper from Greek businessman Yanos Yannikos. The split in the Communist Party that occurred last summer was caused by the attitude of communist leaders to Berezovsky. Seleznev, Goryacheva and Khodyrev objected to relations with the oligarch, but Zyuganov, Kuptsov, Vildmanov and Prokhanov spoke in support of these relations. At that very period, an undisguised war of the Zyuganov - Berezovsky alliance with the Kremlin started. In the framework of this activity, Boris Berezovsky started receiving leaders of the people's patriotic union and representatives of "the independent republic of Ichkeria" in his London office.

Within the past ten years, people in Moscow at least twice organized barricades as they sincerely believed they were defending their right for a better life. As a result, we are suffering now from the sway of corruption, the power of oligarchs and terrible stratification of the society. Many people suffered from this fighting. But those who were behind the fighting for democracy are now safe and sound, rich and influential.

Today these people need masses of naпve and patriotic people to retain the positions obtained under Yeltsin. The figure of Boris Berezovsky is not that demonic in this case: he is just a stage manager of the present-day performance that is produced by almost all oligarchs of Russia. After the scandal about Vladimir Gusinsky, Russian oligarchs prefer ostensible loyalty to open political struggle. They have joined into the trade union on the basis of the Russian Union of Businessmen and Industrialists and sit at one table with those with whom they had no contacts a year ago.

But the fighting is still going on. Recently, Russia has almost lost a really serious political ally who perfectly understood the situation in Chechnya. Majority of observers declared that negotiations with Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon frustrated. It was the Israeli intelligence that helped Russia's special services fight against Islamic extremists in the Caucasus. But after the meeting with Russia President Vladimir Putin it was said Ariel Sharon felt bad and couldn't meet with Duma Speaker Gennady Seleznev and Russia Patriarchy Alexy II. As a result, a three-day visit to Russia was devoted to the Jewish community of Moscow and the leadership of the Russian Jewish Congress. For those visits the Israeli prime minister was quite healthy. Or at least it was done on purpose to make the Russian community draw conclusions from the situation. The matter of the fact is that during the recent elections in Israel PR-agents of Berezovsky were responsible for the agitation among Israelis coming from the former Soviet Union, and the activity was financed by oligarchs from the Russian Jewish Congress's presidium.

On July 19, 2000 a mass meeting was planned to be held before the building of the RF State Duma. But people who were to participate in the meeting were all Caucasians: they had no permits to stay in Moscow and claimed they came to the Russian capital for an excursion.

As it turned out later, Boris Berezovsky had three airplanes on lease and sent the people to Moscow on one condition that before visiting the Moscow sights they must crowd before the State Duma building, shout and wave posters. The oligarch paid $70-100 thousand for the flight to Moscow and back.

Doesn't the scenario seem familiar to you? It is approximately the same according to which the October Revolution was started in Russia. Vladimir Lenin shouted his revolutionary slogans standing on an armored car; according to the slogans, the authority was to be given to workers and the land - to peasants. Today's slogans say that the authority must be given to governors. This is said to be the objective pursued by the "demon" of a new Russian revolution Boris Berezovsky. Certainly the oligarch has grown tired of numerous interrogations he had to attend in connection with different criminal cases.

As for other Russian oligarchs, they have grown tired of interrogations as well. Time has come for them to stop spending money on yachts and villas; now it's time to share with the Russian state budget because the IMF won't provide any financing to Russia any more.

Several years ago, someone managed to frustrate Berezovsky's plan to organize a mass protest action before the building of the State Duma. It was reported that one of the three airplanes ready to leave for Moscow was mined. A special team of the FSB left for the airport of Mineralnye Vody to neutralize the bomb. One of the three airplanes with 200 protesters on board still managed to leave the airport.
 
Today Boris Berezovsky is not scared with the possibility of more interrogations as he is given political asylum in Great Britain. This fact allows the oligarch in disgrace to cooperate with the Russian communist leaders and Chechen terrorists at the same time.

Everybody knows about the intention of Boris Berezovsky to cover all spending on legal defence of Ahmed Zakayev, Maskhadov's political emissary at the British court. This intention is quite understandable because Boris Berezovsky doesn't want any of Chechen leaders to testify about the actual role the disgraced oligarch performs in the events in the North Caucasus. This fact is proved with telephone conversations of Berezovsky with Basayev, Makhashev and Udugov intercepted by Russia's special services; with Berezovsky's transfer of money for purchase of weapons and with preparation of terrorist acts that the oligarch used for the sake of his own interests. According to one version, there is some evidence proving connection of Boris Berezovsky with the hostage crisis in the Moscow theatre center in October 2002.

Nowadays, there are three powers in Russia that are interested in destabilizing the authority. They are Boris Berezovsky, communists and Chechen terrorists. Even earlier their financial interests turned out to be quite close: in 1995, the key sponsor of the Communist Party, the Rosagropromstroi joint-stock company earned over 700 billion of rubles from the state budget for restoration of Chechnya; Boris Berezovsky earned millions in the North Caucasus where he opened some kind of a production line in ransom of hostages.

Stabilization of the Chechen situation will give up for lost the well-being and political ambitions of communists, Berezovsky and Chechen field commanders. This is the reason why the Communist Party is consolidating the pre-election efforts: Boris Berezovsky promised much money and absolute political immunity if he wins the race.

Yesterday, the fighter against Putin's regime delivered another blow. Berezovsky's open letter to American President George W. Bush was published on the day of Vladimir Putin's arrival to the UN General Assembly as advertising in the leading editions New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, The Times, International Herald Tribune, Le Monde, Corriere della Sera and in Russia's Kommersant and Vedomosti. Main idea of the letter says that when Vladimir Putin came to power he broke the basis of the democratic regime and distributed government positions among former officers of special services. At the end of the letter, Boris Berezvsky urges George W. Bush to look into his friend Putin's eyes. The letter is signed by Boris Berezovsky, Elena Bonner (wife of Andrey Sakharov), Vladimir Bukovsky, Ivan Rybkin and Ruslan Khasbulatov. 

To all appearances, this is too early to say if the anti-Putin advertising is effective or not. People living in the USA and reading the daily press say they would have never learnt about the campaign organized by Berezovsky if other people hadn't pointed to this advertising in the newspapers. 

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