Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that Berezovsky recently asked Putin to forgive him too. “Some time ago Berezovsky passed a letter to Putin, written personally by him, in which he admitted having committed very many mistakes, asked Putin for forgiveness for these mistakes and addressed Putin with a request to be offered a possibility to return to the motherland,” Peskov told Rossiya 24.
In 2007, British police warned Berezovsky of a plan to assassinate him, and he fled the country for several weeks. In the meantime the police reportedly arrested a Russian suspect in a London hotel and expelled him to Russia.
Berezovsky blamed Putin for a number of assassinations, including that of former intelligence agent Alexander Litvinenko, who defected to Britain shortly after Berezovsky and whose body was found to have contained radioactive polonium.
Russian authorities, in turn, blamed Berezovsky for several killings, including that of Litvinenko.
In recent years, Berezovsky was believed to have suffered major financial setbacks, including a failed suit against pro-Putin oligarch Roman Abramovich, whom he accused of blackmailing him into selling him his shares of Sibneft.
“I know that Berezovsky has recently been living under tremendous stress given his deplorable financial situation,” attorney Dobrovinsky said. “Quite recently he asked our common friend to lend him $5,000 for a plane ticket, so bad his affairs were.”
Lilia Shevtsova, a senior researcher with the Moscow Carnegie Center, said that overall, his contribution to Russian history was largely negative.
“Berezovsky was one of the most talented and vicious minds of the time, and by creating what he thought would be his obedient Frankenstein he created the leader and the regime that threw the country back in time, and Berezovsky himself became one of the first victims of the regime,” she said.
His survivors include six children and a grandchild.