The Kremlin believes that if you repeat a lie enough at least some people will believe it. (Perhaps more than some if you have total control of the mass media.) But the constant allegations that Other Russia is funded or otherwise supported by exiled tycoon Boris Berezovsky grew stale long ago. The latest round of this old game has been started by the Financial Times and an impromptu interview with Berezovsky in London. Based on the noisy and distracted nature of the interview it’s obvious to us Berezovsky did not understand the question being asked at the end, which he took as asking for confirmation that he funded the opposition in Russia. (The audio file is available, but cuts off abruptly after the desired answer is received so we are left in the dark regarding any clarification.)

When he found out what was being said about his remarks, Berezovsky quickly denied supporting Other Russia and denied claiming to have said he did. We are quite certain that had the interviewer added something such as “Kasparov” or otherwise made it clear — perhaps speaking in Russian instead of challenging Berezovsky’s English in a noisy room — this latest farce could have been avoided. Or are we supposed to believe that after repeated denials, Berezovsky would suddenly change his mind and confess to a “crime” he did not commit? And that he would do this one week after he stated in an interview with the Russian National Journal that he had “never given a penny” to Other Russia and had “never been asked to”? Such behavior is well below the journalistic standards of the Financial Times. The Other Russia coalition yet again denies any involvement with Berezovsky, as today’s statements from Garry Kasparov and United Civil Front executive director Denis Bilunov make clear.

Thanks to reader Zaxi, who has pointed to a page from Berezovsky's blog in Russian in which, on May 28, 2007, two days before the FT article appeared, he viciously attacked Other Russia for allowing the nomination of Bukovsky as a presidential candidate (LR reported on this previously), arguing that it might divide the anti-Putin forces (LR advanced this same argument). He stated that OR was too divided, confused and selfish and declared he would not "support" them any longer (it's not clear whether this term had anything to do with money). It's a gross lapse in journalism on the part of the Financial Times that Berezovsky's blog statement wasn't even mentioned, much less explored. It is of course quite strange that the FT only published a one-word answer with no followup, so it seems Mr. Berezovsky may have been misquoted, and if so as far as we're concerned that's a pity. Other Russia can't afford to be so choosy as to refuse support from any quarter it can, and Berezovsky should be filling Other Russia's coffers if he isn't already. As anyone who knows the first thing about Russia knows only too well, beggars can't be choosers. It's a sad commentary on the state of modern Russia that one of its greatest champions of liberty might be a mafia don,but better some opposition than none at all, which is what we would otherwise get from the cowardly, selfish and moronic majority of people of Russia, those who favor the malignant little troll that prowls the Kremlin with 70% plus approval even as he provokes a new cold war, sees 1 million lost from the population every year, AIDS rampant and $2.50/hour average wages. It's sad, but it doesn't make it any less of a fact. La Russophobe has no hesitation in saying that she would prefer to see Russia governed by a mafia don rather than a person who spent his whole life in the KGB any day of the week, if that is the only choice she is given. Just as America made common cause with the scum-sucking Bolsheviks in World War II against Germany, it can make common cause with Berezovsky against the evil incarnate of Putin -- if that is the only choice the cowardly "good people" of Russia provide.