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Berezovsky Lashes Out at Writer of Yukos Report

Published: August 5, 2003 (Issue # 890)


MOSCOW - Stanislav Belkovsky, the political analyst behind a report suggesting that the oligarchs are planning to turn Russia into a parliamentary republic, is an educated master of black PR and probably working for the special services lobby in the presidential administration, other political analysts and his former employer Boris Berezovksy said.

The "State and Oligarchy" report, released by Belkovsky's Council of National Strategy think tank in mid-June, is widely credited with triggering the Yukos crisis. It warned that Russia is "on the verge of a creeping oligarchic coup" that could seek to remove Putin from power.

"He is well educated. He is creative, but creative when it comes to black PR ... and he doesn't overprice himself," Berezovsky said of Belkovsky in a telephone interview from London, adding that he most recently hired Belkovsky to work on a campaign to unite "patriotically minded" political forces. He said the campaign was never finished and Belkovsky is no longer working for him.

Belkovsky called a rare news conference last week in an attempt to distance himself from growing media speculation that he is one of the people behind the monthlong attack on Yukos by law-enforcement authorities.

Among the media reports, the Kompromat.ru Web site published what it claimed were transcripts of Belkovsky's conversations with the president of state-owned oil major Rosneft and officials in the presidential administration. The conversations indicated that Belkovsky was playing a role in the Yukos attack.

Belkovsky said the transcripts were fake. He said his think tank acts entirely on its own accord and has not been in contact with law enforcement authorities, the presidential administration or President Vladimir Putin himself.

"I would actually very much like if there were some kind of mechanism to discuss or implement our ideas. But there isn't one," he said in an interview.

He said he is not on anybody's payroll and earns most of his salary through political consulting in the regions.

Belkovsky, who at his news conference clearly took delight in tossing out quotes from the likes of Sigmund Freud and Niccolo Machiavelli, insisted that his only goal is to help Russia find solutions to problems such as the growing poverty gap between the rich and the poor.

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ALL ABOUT TOWN

Friday, Aug. 1


Bikers from all around the world will gather to take part in a parade, extreme shows and rock concerts during the International Biker Festival that revs its engines today and runs through Aug. 3 near Olgino Hotel, 4/2 Primorskogo Shosse.


The Peter and Paul Fortress will be turned into an open-air cinema today and tomorrow as part of the 5th International Short and Animation Film Festival. A huge screen across the fortress walls will air short films non-stop with board games, photo sessions and other activities also on offer for visitors. For more information, visit www.opencinemafest.ru



Saturday, Aug. 2


Gatchina Palace Park Museum will host its second annual Night of Light, an impressive audio-visual show across the night sky. Tickets are 600 rubles ($16).


If graphic design is more your thing then check out Illustration Day, where you will be able to visit an exhibition, attend lectures by professionals and even show experts some of your own work. The event starts at noon at Zona Deystvia, 73 Ligovsky Prospekt. The entrance fee is 350 rubles ($10).



Sunday, Aug. 3


History lovers shouldn’t miss the chance to see reenactments of World War I battles in Pushkin at noon. Besides exciting war scenes, visitors can enjoy live music, historical costumes, an equestrian show and a fancy-dress parade starting from the Moscow gates.


Garage Sale, the popular and growing flea market where nothing is priced over 500 rubles ($14.11), starts today at noon in Loft-Project Etagi, 74 Ligovsky Prospekt. Be sure to get in early to score a bargain. Entry costs 50 rubles ($1.40)



Monday, Aug. 4


Continue the working week with a calm and steady mind with a free yoga lesson at 7 p.m. in the Bukvoyed store at 23A Vladimirsky Prospekt.



Tuesday, Aug. 5


Visit The Romanov Dynasty doll exhibition today, where more than fifty porcelain dolls depicting Russian rulers, and made by Olina Ventzel, will be on show. The exhibition continues through Aug. 31 in Sheremetyev Palace, 34 Fontanka Naberezhnaya.



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