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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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Saturday, Aug. 23


Uppsala Park plays host to Fairy Noon today, a performance of five separate fairy tales ranging from folk classics to more haunting selections. There will be three different renditions of the tales throughout the day and tickets start at 500 rubles ($13.80) for adults and 300 rubles ($8.30) for children.


Classic Finnish cartoon characters the Moomins expect to receive a warm welcome from Russian fans during today’s Moomin Festival at the Pearl Plaza Shopping Center at 51 Petergofskoye Shosse. Become a kid again or introduce a new generation to the beloved creation of Finnish writer Tove Jansson.



Sunday, Aug. 24


The tortured genius of Dutch master Vincent van Gogh gets his day in the center’s Konnushnaya Ploschad during Make Art Like Van Gogh, a daylong celebration of the artist that will allow amateur artists to try and replicate the work that made the famed painter world-renowned.


Experience a variety of dances highlighting the diversity of the world around as at the final day of the Ethno-Dance International Dance Festival that has been at the St. Petersburg Humanitarian University of Trade Unions this past week. Tonight’s performance will feature Egyptian dancers accompanied by local orchestras.



Monday, Aug. 25


Today kicks off the Elena Obraztsovoy International Competition for Young Vocalists in the large hall of the Shostakovich Philharmonic. Talented youngsters will showcase their range over the next six days before a winner is chosen on Aug. 30.



Tuesday, Aug. 26


Love movies but hate all those words? Then check out Rodina Cinema Center’s Factor of Consensus film forum this evening. Silent movie classics from the beginning of the 20th century will be screened and accompanied by a pianist, who will provide the soundtrack for the ongoing action. The screenings begin at 7 p.m. Check Rodina’s website for more details.



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