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Boris Berezovsky
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    (January 23, 1946-March 23, 2013)
    Born in Moscow, Russia
    Russian oligarch
    Owned the country's main television station, Channel One
    Member of Boris Yeltsin's inner circle
    Deputy Secretary of the Security Council (1996-97)
    Founder of the pro-Vladimir Putin political party Unity (1999)
    Member of the Russian Duma (2000)
    Went into exile
    Granted political asylum in Great Britain (2003)
    Found dead in the bathroom of the mansion of his ex-wife
    Initial post-mortem results pointed to suicide by hanging
    Was worth $3 billion at his peak
    He turned Channel One into a propaganda machine for Yeltsin and Putin.
    During the privatization of state properties, he acquired companies at a fraction of their true value.
    Politician Alexander Lebed called him 'the apotheosis of sleaziness. Not satisfied with stealing, he wants everyone to see that he is stealing with impunity.'
    Yeltsin's security chief said, 'He uses every person to the maximum. That is his principal in life.'
    He may have ordered the killing of journalist Paul Klebnikov for writing a critical article about him in Forbes (2004).
    He claimed to be behind the opposition to Putin, but was repudiated by United Civil Front leader Gary Kasparov, who said 'His extravagant proclamations are simply a method of attracting attention.'
    He lost a lawsuit against another Russian oligarch, with a High Court judge calling him 'an inherently unreliable witness, who regarded truth as a transitory, flexible concept, which could be molded to suit his current purposes.' (2012)
    He survived a car bombing masterminded by business rivals that killed his driver (1994).
    He negotiated the release of 21 Russian police officers held hostage by a Chechen warlord (1996).
    When he began criticizing Putin's increasingly dictatorial behavior, Putin none too subtly replied, 'The state has a cudgel in its hands that you use to hit just once, but on the head. We haven't used this cudgel yet.... [But] the day we get really angry, we won't hesitate to use it.'
    While in exile, he was forced to sell his Russian holdings at a fraction of their true value to Putin allies.
    British intelligence thwarted an assassination plot against him (2007).
    He won a British libel case against Russian state TV for alleging that he had been behind the murder of Alexander Litvinenko (2010).
    He posted an open letter on Facebook asking the Russian people to forgive him for backing Putin and failing 'to see in him a greedy tyrant and usurper who held Russia back.' (2012)

Credit: C. Fishel

    For 2019, as of last week, Out of 4 Votes: 75.00% Annoying
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