Watch your back, Mr. Putin

Is it a blunt threat or just bluster?  The exiled Russian gazillionaire Boris Berezovsky tells the Guardian that he's financing a palace coup in Moscow with the help of people close to the regime of President Vladimir Putin:

"We need to use force to change this regime," he said. "It isn't possible to change this regime through democratic means. There can be no change without force, pressure." Asked if he was effectively fomenting a revolution, he said: "You are absolutely correct."

Although Mr Berezovsky, with an estimated fortune of £850m, may have the means to finance such a plot, and although he enjoyed enormous political influence in Russia before being forced into exile, he said he could not provide details to back up his claims because the information was too sensitive.

Maybe this is simply intended to make Putin paranoid, drive him to carry out some sort of Stalinesque purge of his own ranks…only in this case, it would likely make him appear weaker in the eyes of his countrymen, prone to panic, reminscent of his less-than-stellar handling of the Kursk submarine disaster during his early days in office.

There are no white hats in this long-running feud — the autocratic ex-KGB man Putin versus the oligarchs who plundered their country in the 90s — and a lot of it has to do with Russia's energy resources.  It's one of the areas of focus in a new special report from Strategic Investment's Dan Amoss.  You can read it right here.

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