Friday, December 09, 2005

Jewish Godfather Boris Berezovsky and the failed revolution in Ukraine

BBC2 has a series on Russian Godfathers which began on 8 December 2005. The first programme told us about Boris Berezovsky pouring millions into the orange revolution in the Ukraine.

From an article in

Most Russians have suffered terribly during the Yeltsin years. According to Harvard University scholar Graham Allison, who is also a former US assistant Secretary of Defense, ordinary Russians have experienced, on average, a 75 percent plunge in living standards since 1991 -- almost twice the decline in Americans' income during the Great Depression of the 1930s. But in the midst of this widespread economic misery, a small minority has grown fabulously wealthy since the end of the Soviet era.

Although Jews make up no more than three or four percent of Russia's population, they wield enormous economic and political power in that vast and troubled country. "At least half of the powerful 'oligarchs' who control a significant percentage of the economy are Jewish," the Los Angeles Times has cautiously noted. (See also: D. Michaels, "Capitalism in the New Russia," May-June 1997 Journal, pp. 21-27.)

Almost certainly the most important of the "oligarchs" is Boris A. Berezovsky

From the Scotsman review of the BBC2 programme on Berezovsky

BORIS Berezovsky became a billionaire in Yeltsin's chaotic Russia (shot of mob waving little McDonald's flags). He invited ordinary folk to invest in a privatised car factory he was buying. He got his factory, they allegedly got nothing back in return.

That, according to Russian Godfathers, was how he got started. He ended up in Yeltsin's cabinet but got the heave when Putin took over. Accused of corruption, he sought asylum in Britain and, here, butlers bring him beverage as he sits plotting Putin's downfall. In the home counties, he owns big posh hooses, guarded by Foreign Legion veterans.

He also owns Russia's equivalent of the *Financial Times, which is edited by a man in a black polo-neck. He told a man in a sweatshirt, who edits Russia's main opposition paper, that he'd only been behind protests in Ukraine "in spirit". But, in secret, he'd poured material millions into the opposition...

Boris stirred things up in Latvia by calling a press conference to denounce Putin. The Russians went doolally and threatened to cut off Latvia's energy supplies, which plunged the government into chaos. Another day another dollar for Boris. He left in his private jet.

For a few dollars more, he soon returned, this time with a new software business partner: Neil Bush, brother of George.


According to

Yushchenko campaigned partly on a promise to pull Ukraine's troops out of the U.S.-led coalition in Iraq, but the Bush administration quickly adopted him as a democratic darling. The Ukrainian leader visited the White House in April.

Many Ukrainians now express disappointment at their nation's failure to improve living standards and battle corruption since the dramatic days of the street protests.

There have been no demonstrable improvements in poverty rates, and Yushchenko's approval ratings have plunged.


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