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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Khinshtein's New Book Puts Berezovsky in KGB

Exiled oligarch Boris Berezovsky was a KGB agent for more than 10 years, according to a new book written by State Duma deputy and investigative journalist Alexander Khinshtein.

Berezovsky, who now lives in London, became a KGB agent after he was arrested in 1979 for black market activities in Dagestan, Khinshtein said in an interview published Monday in Komsomolskaya Pravda. He remained an agent until the early 1990s, Khinshtein said.

Khinshtein's book, "Berezovsky and Abramovich: Highway Robber Barons" will be published in September and comes complete with two compact discs with recordings of taped phone calls, he said. Khinshtein did not return calls on Monday.

Khinshtein said he asked both oligarchs to collaborate with him on the book. Berezovsky reportedly said he would rather read Mikhail Bulgakov, as Khinshtein was nothing but a secret service agent and it was obvious from the start that the book would be bad. Abramovich asked whether the book could just be about Berezovsky, Khinshtein said.

A member of the Kremlin-backed United Russia party, Khinshtein is known for his muckraking books and close sources in the security services. He has written a number of exposes dealing with Berezovsky, many published while the oligarch was a Kremlin confidant in the 1990s.

"I believe he has done the job he set out to do," Berezovsky said in a telephone interview from Britain, "They said I am an MI6 agent, and now they have no arguments left, so they say I was KGB."

Berezovsky said he would not sue Khinshtein. "I do not pay any attention to what he writes."

Khinshtein also alleged that Berezovsky had an affair with a 16-year-old woman, whom he set up in a flat in Moscow. Police later warned a foreigner who started seeing the woman that Berezovsky might make trouble for him, Khinshtein said.

The former Moskovsky Komsomolets reporter, who in the 1990s accused Berezovsky of siphoning funds from Aeroflot, also said Berezovsky did not write his doctoral dissertation on his own.

When talking about Abramovich, Khinshtein was more circumspect. He said the billionaire businessman had attempted to leave his post as governor of Chukotka, but changed his mind when he was then offered the same position in Kamchatka, Khinshtein said.

"When he saw what was there," Khinshtein said, "He felt sick."

Abramovich, like Berezovsky is not shy in spending money, said Khinshtein. He once bought an apartment for a journalist after she complained about her life during a work trip with Abramovich.

"She left the plane already owning a new flat in Moscow," Khinshtein said.

"I can confirm that Mr. Abramovich is generous," said John Mann, spokesman for Abramovich's investment vehicle Millhouse, who refused to comment on anything else in the Khinshtein interview.