Intensifying his battle with the Kremlin, the Russian oligarch Boris
A. Berezovsky said today that he was just weeks away from laying out
documentary evidence that Russia's security services were involved in
apartment- house explosions in September 1999 that killed more than
In an interview here, he said his investigation of the bombings, which
were ascribed to separatists in Chechnya and touched off a full- scale
invasion of that rebellious republic, was the reason Nikolai
Patrushev, Russia's intelligence chief, accused him last week of
providing financial support to Chechen "terrorists."
Mr. Berezovsky said his evidence "is no less than the evidence the
United States had that Osama bin Laden was responsible for the World
Trade Center attack."
He said the key to his case was the discovery in late September 1999
that Russia's security services had placed what appeared to be a large
bomb in an apartment in Ryazan, 115 miles southeast of Moscow.
When residents discovered the bomb and called the police, the Federal
Security Service, or F.S.B., issued a public apology and asserted that
the "explosives" were actually bags of sugar tied together with wires
and a detonator, a dummy used as part of a security exercise.
A number of Russian legislators called for an independent
investigation of the bombings and the actions of the security service
in Ryazan, but in March 2000 Parliament defeated a motion to open an
inquiry. Vladimir V. Putin, a former head of the Federal Security
Service, won the presidential election the same month. Mr. Patrushev
succeeded him at the security service.
This is what my first instinct told me when I heard about these
bombings. I believe I mentioned it here as well.