Now That Berezovsky Is Dead, Putin Needs a New Enemy

Berezovsky and Putin

Boris Berezovsky, one of Russia’s most prominent post-communist oligarchs, was found dead in at his home near London over the weekend.

The Russian tycoon, who died at the age of 67, was a known Putin-hater who emigrated to the UK in 2000 after a falling out with Putin and was granted asylum in 2003.

The details surrounding Berezovsky’s death are sketchy to say the least. The cause of the oligarch’s death still remains unknown, but those close to the tycoon are pointing to suicide and those close to Putin’s thoughts are pointing to homicide.

Given that so many of Putin’s enemies have ended up dead in mysterious circumstances (Alexander Litvinenko anyone?), it’s not a surprise many suspect foul play. And Berezovsky has encountered several prior assassination attempts, including a bomb that decapitated his chauffeur. However, British police gave his mansion the “all-clear” on Sunday after combing it for biological, chemical and nuclear materials. The police are still looking into things.

“It would be wrong to speculate on the cause of death until the post-mortem has been carried out. We do not have any evidence at this stage to suggest third party involvement,” Detective Kevin Brown of Thames Valley Police said, “The investigation team are building a picture of the last days of Mr Berezovsky’s life, speaking to close friends and family to gain a better understanding of his state of mind.”

Suicide is another viable option. Berezovsky had numerous debts as a result of costly court cases. He also reportedly lost more than £100 in a divorce settlement.

But the real loss in all of this is Putin’s. After putting so much effort into hating (and potentially killing?) Berezovsky, Putin will undoubtedly be left with a gaping hole in his life. And that hole will need filling. But who should be Putin’s newest arch-nemesis? Another oligarch? Pussy Riot? Bears? The Bank of Cyprus? Only time will tell who will wind up in the morgue next.

UPDATE: He died by hanging.

Via: BBC News

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