Saturday, November 25, 2006


Russian Israelis or Russian "Putinists?"

According to news media accounts, all signs point to "Putinists" as the culprits for the murder of Alexander V. Litvinenko, a former Russian K.G.B. officer killed by radiation poisoning in London.

However, lost in the shuffle is the fact that, while working for the K.G.B., Litvinenko had been instrumental in the investigation of so-called oligarchs, mostly Jewish Russians with Israeli connections, who had abused their power and came close to controlling the State.

One of them, Boris Berezhovsky, had appointed himself Prime Minister during the Yeltsin era. There was a minor scandal when it became known that he (like most of the oligarchs) had acquired Israeli citizenship, but he gave up his Israeli passport and everything was in order again.

These oligarchs were a tiny group of entrepreneurs who exploited the disintegration of the Soviet system to loot the treasures of the state and amass fortunes amounting to hundreds of billions of dollars including control of Yukos, the largest energy producing company in Russia.

At one point, they had almost reached their objective of taking control of the State. Eventually, it was Putin to put an end of their abuses with the incarceration of Mikhail Khodorovsky (presently in a Siberian jail) and caused others such as Vladimir Gusinsky and Boris Berezhovsky to flee to Israel and England.

How the murder of Mr. Litvinenko will eventually play out is unknown at present and it is unlikely that the truth and nothing but the truth will ever be revealed in full.

What is highly likely, however, is that his life story will become a must-see movie when it is brought to the screen.


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