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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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Friday, Apr. 18


Teachers and students alike shouldn’t miss the opportunity to establish lasting contacts with Russian and foreign institutions during the 21st Education and Career Fair at LenExpo, beginning today and finishing tomorrow. Learn more about education in Russia and connect with your fellow scholars.


The Tromso International Film Festival, Norway’s largest, brings a short festival to St. Petersburg for one day only during Scandinavian Oddities, starting at 7 p.m. today at Rodina Cinema Center. Tickets for the event are 100 rubles ($2.80).


Sunday, Apr. 20


Celebrate Easter at Pavlovsk during the Easter Fair that begins today and continues through next Sunday. Visitors will have the chance to paint Easter eggs and children can take part in games as well as help decorate a tree in honor of Christianity’s holiest day.


Today is one of the final days to see the exhibit Cacti — Children of the Sun at the Peter the Great Botanical Garden. Starting Apr. 17, budding botanists will marvel at the variety and beauty of the desert’s most iconic plant.


Monday, Apr. 21


Improve your grasp of Neruda, Bolano and Marquez at TrueDA’s Beginners Spanish Lesson this evening at their location on the Petrograd Side. An experienced teacher will be on hand to help all attendees better understand the intricacies of the language and improve their accent.


Tuesday, Apr. 22


SPIBA’s Breakfast with the Director event series continues as the association welcomes Andrei Barannikov, general director of SPN Communications, to the Anna Pavlova Hall of the Angleterre Hotel this morning at 9 a.m. Attendees must confirm their participation by Apr. 21.


The AmCham Environment, Health and Safety Committee Meeting is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. this morning in the their St. Petersburg office.