Exiled Russian Tycoon Berezovsky Dead at 67

Putin critic had gotten rich after collapse of Soviet Union

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff

Posted Mar 23, 2013 1:55 PM CDT | Updated Mar 23, 2013 2:20 PM CDT

(Newser) – One of Russia's famed "oligarchs" who became unimaginably rich after the collapse of the Soviet Union has been found dead in his London home at age 67, reports the BBC. The cause of Boris Berezovsky's death remains unclear, but the news is drawing lots of attention because the exiled tycoon was a big critic of Vladimir Putin and the Kremlin. He rose to fame and power in the 1990s with the help of Boris Yeltsin and became "one of the most extraordinary and revealing stories of the immediate post-Communist era," writes the Telegraph.

Berezovsky had survived multiple assassination attempts, including one in 1994 that killed his chauffeur. Last year, he lost a multi-billion-dollar legal fight with fellow Russian tycoon Roman Abramovich that involved accusations of blackmail and extortion on both sides. Berezovsky also is linked to the infamous 2006 poisoning of former Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko because Litvinenko worked for him. Berezovsky won a libel suit against Russian state television for a report implicating him in the death.

Russian tycoon Boris Berezovsky in London on Aug. 31, 2012.
Russian tycoon Boris Berezovsky in London on Aug. 31, 2012.   (AP Photo/Sang Tan)
Russian billionaire Boris Berezovsky yacht Lightning is seen in the harbor of Golfe Juan, southeastern France, in this file photo.
Russian billionaire Boris Berezovsky yacht "Lightning" is seen in the harbor of Golfe Juan, southeastern France, in this file photo.   (AP Photo/Lionel Cironneau)
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