UK & World News

  • 27 March 2014, 13:05

Russian Tycoon 'Predicted Crimea Annexation'

Boris Berezovsky predicted Russia's annexation of part of Ukraine before his death, his daughter has revealed.

The Russian tycoon was found dead inside the bathroom of a mansion in Ascot, Berkshire, owned by his ex-wife last March.

His daughter Elizaveta Berezovskaya told an inquest on Thursday everything her father - a former Kremlin insider - had predicted about Russia and President Vladimir Putin is now coming to pass.

"Everything my father was saying then is happening now," she told coroner Peter Bedford.

"Two years ago he was saying that Putin is a danger to the whole world. We see this now.

"He said that Obama couldn't understand why Ukraine is important. We see this now. He was the first person saying this. He was saying this for 14 years."

Russia annexed Crimea earlier this month after a hastily-arranged referendum showed overwhelming support for breaking away from Ukraine.

The vote was condemned by the West as illegal, but Mr Putin said it was necessary to protect against "nationalist bandits" in the country.

The hearing has heard evidence Mr Berezovsky was a "broken man" after a hugely costly legal defeat to fellow Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich.

His daughter said he had been suffering from a "deep depression and severe suffering" in the months leading up to his death.

The inquest was told on Wednesday Mr Berezovsky changed his will just nine days before he was found dead.

Ms Berezovskaya added: "He was religious in his own way. He believed in God. He thought of himself as Christian Orthodox. All his life he absolutely loved life."