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The Rise And Fall Of The Russian Oligarchs -

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(Sings in Russian) The London underworld in the 1920s, 'Threepenny Opera', as portrayed in Bertolt Brecht's is brought to life on a Moscow stage. violence and dirty money, In Russia, this tale of gangsters, seems uncannily contemporary. (Panting) We've all seen this news footage. Mikhail Khordokovsky, In 2005, this man, Russian State of millions of roubles was charged with robbing the Russia's largest oil company. while he was in charge Yukos - He's one of the oligarchs, their richest capitalists. as the Russians call

But today, he's a pariah. was as sudden as their rise. The fall of the oligarchs (Speaks Russian) RUSSIAN THEME MUSIC PLAYS first socialist revolution In the land of the everyone was meant to be equal. of history drew to a close, But when that particular period became fabulously rich. a handful of men the most famous Russian oligarchs. This is Mikhail Chernoy, one of production was in his hands. At one time 80% of Russian aluminium from where he runs his businesses. Since 1994 he's lived in Israel, Vladimir Dubinsky is a billionaire a theatre director. who started out as an industrial cooperative He then founded banking, and then the media. before getting into real estate, He too now lives in exile. a former mathematician. Boris Berezovsky is combining business and politics. He became a billionaire by cleverly homeland he lives in exile in London. Now wanted as a criminal in his during the 1990s, We met these men several times at the height of their success, started going badly. and then later when things of their rise and fall. This film tells the story RUSSIAN MUSIC PLAYS and raised in a country The oligarchs were born was synonymous with 'criminal'. where the word 'businessman' both the economy and people's minds. Back then, the Communist Party ruled old and decrepit, But its leaders became

in quick succession. and the funerals followed SAD MUSIC PLAYS Things had to change. BELL TOLLS began with this man, The story of the oligarchs Mikhail Gorbachev. political background, He had a traditional the system would have to open up but he was younger and he knew that if it was to last. 'perestroika' or reconstruction, He ushered in the age of

needed freedom of expression insisting that socialism and the creativity of its citizens. or money and freedom, For those dreaming of a better life they had been waiting for. this was the signal

on thousands of cars, Berezovsky managed to get his hands before he bought them. which he sold even of foreign markets. He also benefited from the opening up for export at a very low price. He bought Soviet cars intended

to Russian citizens Then sold them back at the price set by the authorities. only existed on paper. His car-export business, in fact, under coercion and lived by decree. Russia had until then worked by the Planning Administration. All industrial decisions were made was no more, Now that this centralised economy orders from on high. factories could no longer expect one of the first to realise Mikhail Chernoy was how the times were changing.

This is the role that Chernoy played. He took over from the State - with raw materials, supplying the factories supervising the processing, and selling it. picking up the finished product All this, as if it belonged to him. CHATTERING of everything for so long. There had been shortages The authorities told the people

do it for themselves, that they could and should just like the oligarchs. everyone was buying and selling, Very soon into one big marketplace. and the country turned BACKGROUND CONVERSATION DANCE MUSIC PLAYS were not supposed to exist. In the Soviet Union, rich people was in reach of a happy few. Now, all of a sudden, great wealth Wealth became fashionable. Russians with money. These were the new Russians, Soviet Union had been in upheaval. August 1991 - for six years the and they attempted a coup. The communists were losing their grip PEOPLE YELLING for the new entrepreneurs, Would this be the end the new millionaires, for freedom itself? CHEERING came out into the streets. The people of Moscow the movement to defeat the putsch. And President Boris Yeltsin lead APPLAUSE AND CHEERING CHANTS: Yeltsin. Yeltsin. had definitely begun. After the putsch, a new era Gorbachev was a man of the past. Yeltsin now had the upper hand. of socialism was over. The attempt at a renewed form was officially dissolved. Four months later, the Soviet Union for young entrepreneurs The time was ripe of the new situation. to take advantage to take measures They expected the new government for the privatisation of the economy. one man immediately stood out - At the heart of the new government Anatoly Chubais, a brilliant economist who had lived in the west and knew capitalism firsthand. Anatoly Chubais agreed to talk to us, just the once. We sat with him on a plane from take-off till landing - 40 minutes in all - and asked him precise questions about his role in history,

all of which he answered. Chubais believed that the only way to break the old system was to privatise as much as possible without delay. Every Russian would get their virtual share

of the vast treasure accumulated by the State during the Soviet era. State property was divided into 148 million vouchers which people could claim. And claim they did. But then what?

They started by buying them off each other before reselling them a few months later. People didn't understand what they were meant to do with their vouchers. Investment trusts were put in place to collect the vouchers, promising to make a profit from them. The problem was that the vouchers were used to invest in companies that were producing very little. Least of all, profits. The vouchers soon lost their value.

Was the whole system going to disintegrate into chaos for want of investors and businessmen? The government reformers wanted to do away with the old order. But how were they to go about it, and with whose help? The reformers needed entrepreneurs ready to buy up and finance the development of the companies that were up for sale all over Russia - huge factories employing millions of workers that were on the brink of bankruptcy. The oligarchs came through. They had the cash accumulated during the years of perestroika, and often in roubles, which was just waiting to be invested in industrial concerns. The method was simple. Private citizens didn't know what to do with their vouchers and wanted to get rid of them. So Chernoy would buy them up and use them to purchase stock of the ailing factories, thus becoming the owner. A single voucher may well have been worthless, but with hundreds of thousands Chernoy took control of the world's biggest aluminium giant. It was a time of confusion. Many people were reduced to poverty. And yet at the same time TV's most popular presenter was explaining in a commercial how, by investing a few hundred roubles today, you could earn thousands in dividends tomorrow. It was a time of hope and despair, a good time for shady deals.

Berezovsky was sure he had his finger on the people's pulse when he announced the first Russian people's car. He created a joint stock company. By subscribing, people would have a chance of owning one of the first cars made. He managed to collect $50 million, but the factory was never built. COMMOTION MAN YELLS ON MEGAPHONE

Who knows if Chubais really said this? In any case, he was terrified of the communists returning to power. He wanted to carry out irreversible changes as quickly as possible, whatever the short-term cost. The privatisation program had to go ahead even if it meant many workers losing their jobs. But in parliament the communists,

who were in the majority, opposed any reform. In this fledgling democracy discussions often turned to violence. COMMOTION Chubais had become a scapegoat for all those opposed to reform.

Yeltsin did finally decide to get rid of Chubais in an attempt to appease the opposition in parliament. But parliament, driven by the communists, continued to resist. Faced with the danger of their return to power,

Yelstin resorted to means that were in keeping with the country's authoritarian traditions. In the Autumn of 1993, he sent the tanks in against Parliament. The toll - 150 dead. He publicly humiliated the losers as they filed pitifully out of the parliament building, and then had the constitution rewritten to his own advantage. One thing was clear now to the oligarchs - with Yeltsin holding all the power, he was the one they had to get close to.

Yeltsin's power may have been increasing, but his health was declining. Too much drink, so popular opinion had it. In this power vacuum, appetites grew keen.

But one man was especially watchful - Korzhavkov.

Korzhavkov was Head of Presidential Security which meant he was always in close contact with the President. It soon became clear that access to Yeltsin was only possible through Korzhavkov. One place to approach the President was at his tennis club. As the President had a fondness for tennis everyone started to like it too, including the new entrepreneur.

It was here, between sets, that oligarchs like Berezovsky

managed to get their hands on new riches, here that he was given control of Sibneft, Russia's third largest oil company, for just $100 million. Banks had become the keystone of the new clan economy.

The most powerful oligarchs, having begun in industry, now turned to finance and banking.

The State had no cash left. Its money was all being lent to it by the oligarchs. The banks became so affluent that their owners transformed them into palaces. LIVELY CABARET MUSIC PLAYS How were the oligarchs to gain real power, and how were they to consolidate that power? They needed leverage and they found it in the media. Vladimir Gusinsky, a former theatre director,

understood the world of communication. As a banker, he had the necessary funds. He founded the first Russian commercial Television company, NTV. The larger the audience the greater the advertising revenues.

AUTHENTIC ORCHESTRAL MUSIC PLAYS Berezovsky was becoming a public figure. Behind the scenes he was preparing a major coup.

The best-formed defence being attack, he had his sights set on the privatisation of State television as a way of undermining Gusinsky's stranglehold on the media. APPLAUSE The goal was always the same - to exert as much influence as possible.

At the end of 1994 Russian State television ended up in the hands of Berezovsky for a few paltry millions of dollars.

As 1994 drew to a close, Russia was at war with Chechnya. NTV decided to let its journalists do their job reporting just what they saw. Was this done for the sake of truth, or simply as a novel gimmick to attract audiences? Whatever the reasons, the authorities were dumbfounded. PIANO MUSIC PLAYS

Korzhakov used to say, "I love hunting geese." And everyone knew what he meant.

Gusinsky was nicknamed 'Goose' by his friends. So Korzhakov organised 'Operation Face in the Snow'. In December 1994 a motorcade of Gusinsky's bodyguards was stopped while armed men in ski masks searched his offices. Gusinsky's employees were forced to lie face down in snow for several hours.

It was the sign of the times. Gusinsky drew the anger of those in power, but didn't have the means to protect himself and temporarily had to leave Russia. These were dangerous times indeed. Fortunes were being built that provoked greed, envy and violence. Armed men were breaking into buildings.

The police and private armies fought pitched battles. Either side may have been in the pay of the government,

business rivals, criminals, or all three at the same time. While the new billionaires were seizing the country's riches, bitterness and resentment were spreading.


In 1996, discontent was growing with the approach of the presidential elections in which Yeltsin intended to stand. The odds were not in his favour. People preferred the nostalgia of the Communist candidate Zyuganov, harking back to the good old Soviet days. Was a return to the past the only way to alleviate the difficulties of the present? Plenty of people thought so, and it was enough to cause the oligarchs some concern. The standoff between the oligarchs and the communists would take a new turn before the world's cameras at the World Economic Forum in Davos Switzerland in 1996.

Interestingly enough, even there, Zyuganov's opinions found attentive ears.

Chubais had understood before anyone else the seductive power that Zyuganov exerted on the west. True to his convictions as a devotee of capitalism Chubais went to work to counter the fascination they felt. He took advantage of a conference attended by all the protagonists to spring into action. They were all there before the world's cameras - Yelstin's enemy Zyuganov, but also of course the oligarchs.

Chubais had succeeded then in uniting the oligarchs for the first time in an attempt to counter the return of the communists. The union was dubbed 'The Seven Bankers'. Yeltsin had no other option. He agreed to meet officially with the business community. From then on, Yeltsin's interests and those of the oligarchs were one in the same. Against all the odds, Yeltsin won the election. His victory was also theirs. Soon they would bring all their influence to bear

on the new government. Some were even given State functions. But today, less than 10 years later, all those oligarchs that are not in prison are living in exile. (All chant) And Russia has a new leader. Putin was little known to the general public, but he would soon change that. (Sobbing) He would use the war in Chechnya to consolidate his power. He would take back private companies and television from the oligarchs... ..and he would change the balance of power. Closed Captions by CSI ..

This program is not subtitled CC

Good evening. Police are on their

Good evening. Police are on their way to the site of a light plane crash,

off the southern coast of Victoria.

Rescue teams have been searching for

a cessna that went missing on

Saturday. It was on its way from

Melbourne to Merimbula in New South

Wales. The plane was carrying four

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says there are no survivors. The

troubled AFL star, Ben Cousins, may

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suspended for a year for bringing

suspended for a year for bringing the game into disrepute. Cousins was

sacked from the West Coast Eagles

last month, after being arrested on

drugs charges that were later

dropped. In order to make a

come-back, the player will have to

beat his drug addiction and return

beat his drug addiction and return to match fitness. For the first time,

experts will use an original German

account of the disappearance of HMAS

'Sydney' to search for its wreck.

'Sydney' to search for its wreck. The 'Sydney' sank off the West

'Sydney' sank off the West Australian coast in 1941, after a battle with

the German raider, 'Kormoran'. All

645 crew on board were killed. The

search for the wreck will begin

search for the wreck will begin early next year. Relief from the heat in

Melbourne and Adelaide, with storms

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Sydney. More news in 'Lateline' at 10:30.


Plus a plus a APPLAUSE

Thank you. More than any

public figure in Australia

this man divides the room. He

is won humanitarian awards

and been nominated for

Australian of the year but

you won't find many public

figures rushing to be

photographed with him. That's

because the cause he

champions is the most

emotional of all, euthanasia

T right to determine how you

die. Please welcome a man who

depending on where you stand

is either a Saint or a ghoul

- Dr Philip Nitschke.

You have said that when

you hear yourself being

discussed in the media as Dr

death it is as if someone

else is being described. What

is the difference between you

and the Phillip people see?

The idea of being called a

name like Dr Death is

something I find myself

constantly being exposed to

and you think it does not

matter, it is just a name. It

tends not to in any way

reflect what you are about so

I get sick of it but names

are names. Would people feel

more favourable if your

surname was not Nitschke?

Yes, I have had an idea that

this is a worry, this is a

name with a German background

and we worry with the role of

euthanasia at the time of the

Third Reich and this has been

brought up but our detractors and opponent

frequently. Because there is

Dr Kevorkian and Dr Philip

Nitschke. It sound Germanic.

It's different to deny

tonne. Have you not of

changing yourself the Dr

O'Reilly? I am Dr Death come

for you there!

Yes, that's Yes, that's right. Your

partner Fiona is here. What

do people miss about Phillip?

You have been together for

six years now. Without a

doubt his sense of humour. He

is one of the most

quick-witnessed people I have

ever met and within minutes

of meeting him he had me

rolling around laughing. You

will find out he is a very

funny, warm person. There is

not a lot of time for

laughing when you are talking

about death and dying. You

are under immense pressure

now If we can't make

euthanasia hilarious A hard ask. How many people would

you advice over the last 10

year, into the hundreds?

Yes, we get contacted

routinely by someone once a

day. Perhaps three or four a

week and what we talk about are their options really in

the context of what can I do

as a individual if it gets

too bad that I know will give

me a rely bl and peaceful

death so we try to rely people and make sure they

have a personal plan a

strategy where reliability is

the important thing. They

have access to a peaceful

death and that is not a

lawful choice. Whereas

suicide is lawful it is not

lawful in Australia to assist

someone now. It was briefly

between 95 and 97, the first

time it happened. Bob Dent a

Darwin resident. This is part

of the press conference that

Phillip held after Bob Dent

had been assisted to his

death. Mr Dent used Dr Philip

Nitschke's self-deliverance

software to ask the patient

questions to ensure death is

the reside result Sleep is