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Saturday, July 21, 2007

Lucas on Berezovsky

Edward Lucas on the Berezovsky assassination attempt:

If, as some suspect, this assassination was meant to send a warning signal to Mr Berezovsky to halt his political rabble-rousing against the Kremlin, then it has had precisely the opposite effect. His pronouncements have become increasingly shrill.

He told a British newspaper that he wanted to remove Russia's rulers "by force" - infuriating the British government. At a recent debate at London's Frontline club, Mr Berezovsky kept Russia-watchers, journalists, spooks and fellow-emigres transfixed with his demolition of his native country's lethal fusion of business and political power, enforced by secret police tactics.

But a sardonic intervention from the audience left him - for once - speechless. "You have well described the monster that runs Russia. But it is one that you yourself created."

Mr Berezovsky's analysis may indeed be hypocritical, but it is still largely correct. And while he may be a difficult man to admire, if the Russian authorities have indeed tried to kill him, there could be little more convincing proof of the terrifying contempt in which the Kremlin holds our way of life.

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