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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

It's Too Late to Remake Berezovsky

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We are skeptical of Boris Berezovsky's latest attempts to use his checkbook to paper over a decade of self-serving sins that have laid waste to every value he now pretends to hold sacred. Having tracked his machinations for years, we have every right to question Berezovsky's motives, to believe that he continues to put his own interests above all else.

To be honest, we are even skeptical of the oligarch's "opposition" to President Vladimir Putin. We have noted that while no effort has been spared to destroy the life and business of Media-MOST founder Vladimir Gusinsky, Berezovsky has quietly sold off his assets — first ORT and, just last week, apparently Aeroflot — to Roman Abramovich.

The contrast of fates between Gusinsky's NTV and Berezovsky's ORT is simply too striking to be ignored, and we can't help but wonder whether Berezovsky's "opposition" party will be funded by Abramovich's money.

Is this what Berezovsky meant when he told journalists last week that "now, after one year of Putin's presidency, we have the necessary conditions to form a real opposition"?

Our skepticism about Berezovsky's intentions runs so deep, in fact, that it is difficult for us to take at face value his motives for supporting human rights. However, let's just suppose for a moment that his motives are pure.

In that case, Berezovsky should accept that he is an embodiment of all that is wrong with Russian business and politics. Every time average Russians hear his name or see his face, they are prompted to hate the concepts of democracy, open society and market reform that he has done so much to pervert.

Berezovsky's tainted money may indeed, in the right hands, be able to undo some of the harm he has wrought. But Berezovsky himself can do nothing.

If he sincerely wants to help Russia, he should put his money in some unquestionably reliable hands and then vanish, letting Russia and the world forget that he ever existed.

Berezovsky should stop appearing at press conferences, stop commenting on developments in Russia and stop fantasizing that any sincere, liberal-minded person is going to join any political movement that includes him.

If Boris Berezovsky really wants to do something for Russia, he'll let all of us hope and believe that he no longer has anything to do with anything that happens in this country.