Wikimedia CommonsBoris Berezovsky, an exiled Russian oligarch, was found dead in his British home this weekend. Exactly how he died remains unexplained.
But even those who suspect something fishy about his death couldn’t deny that Berezovsky’s state of mind seems to have been a problem in the last years of his life.
For a sad glimpse into his recent mindset, take a look at this Facebook message he posted just over a year ago. In it, he clearly begs Russia for forgiveness.
The translation below from Google is a little messy, but gets the gist across:
Up until today, I did not plan to open Facebook, did not want to live in social networks. Yesterday, on Forgiveness Sunday, I decided to repent, and wanted to publish it on his blog on “Echo of Moscow”. Repentance to the people of Russia for the mistakes that I made. However – was refused.
It seems to me quite intolerable that an Orthodox person in today’s Russia prohibit public penance. I do not have any claims to the editor of “Echo of Moscow” Alexei Venediktov the opposite – I am grateful to him. He held on to the end, allowing me to keep a blog. Now I use the last independent media in Russia – Facebook. Mark Zuckerberg will not be able to call the Kremlin and was forced to sell its social network of “Gazprom” threatened to send in the “Sailor’s silence.”
“Now every one from his evil way, and amend your ways and your doings,” prophesied the Lord through the prophet Jeremiah, and so it is today, Forgiveness Sunday, I tell you.
Years of exile have allowed me a different look at my life, the life of my country and are keenly aware that without repentance, without the recognition of past mistakes, without the courage to build a future, there is no development. Neither I personally nor each of you, none of the country.
I live a long, wonderful life. And along the way made a lot of actions, and inevitably wrong. Unrighteous deeds I committed consciously and even more – not knowing what I was doing. According to the penitential prayer – “maintain and ignorance, will and not the will.” I know that many of my actions are condemned by you, the people of Russia, of which I am, and whose fate, fishing Lord, execute assigned me the role.
I repent and ask for forgiveness for greed. I longed for riches, not thinking that this is to the detriment of others. Covering his sin “historic moment”, “brilliant combinations” and “exciting features”, I forgot about fellow citizens. And what did that I am not alone, does not justify me.
I repent and ask for forgiveness for me trampled free speech. Justifying themselves striving to save Russia from red-brown plague, I determined the policy of the Central Information horn country, neglected democratic values. My actions have begun the destruction of independent journalism. So I did not one, but that does not excuse me.
I repent and ask for forgiveness for what led to the power of Vladimir Putin. For what was required, but was unable to see in him the future of greedy tyrant and usurper, a man trampled freedom and stop the development of Russia. Many of us do not recognise it then, but that does not excuse me.
I blame myself more to Russia than not.
I understand that repentance – not just words, but the point. And it’s coming.
February 26, 2012:
The message has been rediscovered in the wake of Berezovsky’s death, and is seeing a lot of new comments debating whether Berezovsky should be forgiven or not. The Russian businessman was well-known in the country for his big, brash personality, but evidently things may have been tough for the oligarch.
The 67-year-old had been exiled from his country of birth for over a decade by the very person whose power he had helped create (Vladimir Putin). He had also recently lost the biggest private court case in history against rival oligarch Roman Abramovich — another protege — and was facing serious financial trouble.
More recent accounts clearly suggest Berezosky was depressed. Less than 48 hours before his death, Berezovsky met with a journalist with Forbes Russia. In an interview, the oligarch made clear he wanted to return home, apparently telling the reporter:
“I’ve lost the point… there is no point [or meaning] in my life. I don’t want to be involved in politics. I don’t know what to do. I’m 67 years old. And I don’t know what I should do from now on.”
According to Putin’s press secretary, Dmitry Peskov, Berezovsky had written to Putin recently to ask if he could be allowed to return to Russia. A politician who was attempting to broker the deal told Russian radio that Berezovsky “was prepared to return to Russia under any conditions.”
It is not clear if the Kremlin had accepted Berezovsky’s plan.
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