Exiled tycoon says he funds underground anti-Putin groups
Exiled Russia tycoon Boris Berezovsky said Friday he is funding underground groups to "prepare people to go to the streets" to overthrow President Vladimir Putin's government.
Berezovsky said Putin had violated the constitution and therefore his ouster was legitimate -- and forecast a possible uprising like Ukraine's Orange Revolution between elections in December and March.
"I don't fund parties which are openly presented on the Russian political scene because it's absolutely useless, but I (fund) people who are underground and that are trying to fight against the regime," he told reporters.
"They are doing what underground movements all around the world are doing, they prepare people to go to the streets, to fight, to use force power against a criminal government."
He said such an uprising could come after parliamentary elections on December 2 and before presidential polls three months later.
"I think it will be very dangerous months for Russia," he said.
Asked when such an underground movement could emerge onto the streets, he added: "I don't think it can work before parliament election, but it can work between parliament elections and presidential election."
The tycoon refused to rule out violence (NWN emphasis), but insisted the Kremlin would be responsible.
"It's impossible to exclude (violence) in Russia. But the responsibility for this violence is the responsibility of government, as is all the time when the people go to the streets."
"I mean force as what has happened in Ukraine, the Orange revolution, it was force because they pressed government but luckily without blood," he added.
Democratic movements staged the Orange Revolution in the former Soviet republic of Ukraine in 2004, a popular uprising that brought pro-Western President Viktor Yushchenko to power.
Berezovsky, who faces a number of charges in Russia, was a key Kremlin insider in the 1990s, but left Russia after coming into conflict with Putin and was granted political asylum in Britain in 2003.