#17 - JRL 7173
Liberal Russia member: Putin Passed 'Sentence of Death by Shooting' on Yushenkov
Tbilisi 24 Saati in Georgian 05 May 03
[Interview with Liberal Russia party member Valeriya Novodvorskaya by Rusudan Nikuradze in Moscow; date not given:
"Yes, Putin Is Berezovskiy's Project"]
[passage omitted on Novodvorskaya's political record]
[Nikuradze] There are so many theories regarding the assassinations of Sergey Yushenkov and Galina Starovoytova that anybody who is not familiar with the cases might get confused. Which theory do you personally support -- the political or the economic one?
[Novodvorskaya] There is only one theory regarding Sergey Yushenkov's assassination: It is the Kremlin, it is the Lubyanka, it is Putin. Our political stance regarding Galina Starovoytova's assassination has not changed. The assassinations of Russian opposition politicians are death sentences passed by the Kremlin, capital punishment, death by shooting. Putin also passed a sentence of death by shooting on Sergey. [passage omitted where Novodvorskaya suggests that Yushenkov was assassinated in order to prevent him from taking part in the parliamentary elections]
According to the new electoral law, Russia's democratic outcasts will not get parliamentary seats so they are gradually getting rid of those who are still in Parliament. Liberal Russia was the only party in Russia that openly supported the US-Georgian military cooperation and defended Georgia. Sergey's assassination proved that in Russia being a liberal has become tantamount to being a dissident. That is the reason for Yushenkov's assassination and we do not believe any other theory. [passage omitted where Novodvorskaya denies the possible involvement of Boris Berezovskiy in the assassination and talks of her attitude to him]
[Nikuradze] But Berezovskiy says the same things that you do. For example, he also accuses the special services of organizing the blowing up of apartment buildings in Moscow.
[Novodvorskaya] It was our idea to accuse the Lubyanka of blowing up the apartment buildings in Moscow, and Berezovskiy cannot take that away from us. It does not matter that he financed a film devoted to the investigation of these explosions. Sergey Yushenkov brought 900 copies of that film to Moscow. Berezovskiy simply repeated our information when we found out that the special services were organizing another terrorist attack in Ryazan. Not a single stupid representative of [Chechen leader Aslan] Maskhadov was interested in blowing up sleeping people in Moscow. They used Chechens in this terrorist attack. [Chechen Administration Chief] Akhmad Kadyrov is a Chechen too but he does not represent the Chechen people. The Lubyanka is working with the Chechens actively. Berezovskiy used this fact to take revenge on the Kremlin too. The Kremlin used the delivery of the copies [of the film] to Moscow as one of the reasons for taking revenge on Yushenkov.
[Nikuradze] In an interview to our newspaper Yushenkov once said that Berezovskiy is a great man, if only because he created Putin. Do you agree with this view? And if the Russian president is indeed the oligarch's "project," what could happen to him in the near future?
[Novodvorskaya] I like the phrase very much. Yes, Putin is Berezovskiy's project. But today Berezovskiy's activities are directed against Putin's regime and he is trying to discredit it. Berezovskiy's sole goal is to get into Parliament. Berezovskiy told me a few times how he found Vladimir Putin, took him to Yeltsin, and told him that he [Putin] would not be worse than Primakov. Berezovskiy did not know the most important thing: That Putin is a Stalinist. That is why Boris Abramovich [Berezovskiy] fell victim to his own political intrigues. Certainly Berezovskiy and Putin are the same today. They were simply unable to come to terms and divide certain things. Their methods of work are the same too.
In general, politics implies forgetting one's conscience. The Russian intelligentsia believes that it was Berezovskiy who suggested to Putin the idea of blowing up the apartment buildings. Berezovskiy is an evil genius. Because of their greed, he and [exiled businessman Vladimir] Gusinskiy defeated [United Energy Systems head Anatoliy] Chubays. They are to be credited for Primakov's failure and for [the emergence of] Putin. A new October Socialist coup is being planned in Russia now, and the process is starting from the Russian army, where generals like Leonid Ivashov are writing the following type of letter to Putin: "Make a decision to resign, or we will find new a Minin and Pozharskiy [leaders of the Russian popular uprising against invaders in the 17th Century]." That is the present situation among the high-ranking generals of Russia who hate Putin and are waiting for the right moment for a socialist coup, for a new GKChP [military and political junta during the August coup of 1991]. There is the Supreme Assembly of Russian Officers that objects to ending the war in Chechnya. They fight against Putin because he failed to become a new Stalin.
[Nikuradze] What will the elections in Russia be like?
[Novodvorskaya] I do not envy the Russian democrats in the upcoming elections. The authorities will put pressure on them and bribe them. [passage omitted on how the Kremlin has been intimidating and bribing opposition politicians] Russian people are serfs today. They will still support United Russia, the Communists, and [Liberal Democratic Party leader Vladimir] Zhirinovskiy. During the last election, they gave Putin another 11% while Zyuganov was the real winner. There is a chance that the democrats might win, if people wake up. We should expect that the democrats, the opposition will be intimidated before the elections and people will be taken to the polls like a herd. Putin will become president again, if the army lets him.
[Nikuradze] Russia is dissatisfied with the military cooperation between Georgia and the United States. You used to come to Georgia often in the past. What is your opinion regarding the current processes taking place there?
[Novodvorskaya] Military cooperation with the United States is the only reasonable thing Shevardnadze has done in his life and it was naturally dictated by Washington. But agreeing to this model is already an indication of reasonableness. It is also reasonable that Shevardnadze is making Georgia leave the CIS. What happened in the State Duma during the days when the statement on US-Georgian military cooperation was adopted is a shameful moment of Russian history. By doing what we did, we proved that some people think Georgia is part of Russia. The remnants of imperial thinking will prove fatal for our elite. I will never forgive Shevardnadze for [the assassination of former President] Zviad Gamsakhurdia, the loss of Abkhazia and Samachablo [South Ossetia], the deployment of the Soviet Army there, the instigation of the civil war in Georgia. Becoming another state of the United States is Georgia's only salvation and chance of survival. Shevardnadze is not lying about that. He buried democracy and sovereignty with Zviad, and now he is taking the right steps. Georgian people must support Shevardnadze's course now; otherwise he has got such protectors... or he might instigate another coup and that will be that! I still do not understand why the Georgian intelligentsia was not able to breed a worthy candidate for presidency of Georgia.