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May 13 2013 - 00:05

Berezovsky Buried at Low-Key Funeral in Britain

Former Kremlin powerbroker Boris Berezovsky has been laid to rest with a low-key funeral at a British cemetery.

About 30 people, including Yelena Gorbunova, his partner of 15 years, and the bodyguard who found his body, attended the funeral at Brookwood Cemetery in Surrey, British newspapers reported Thursday.

Security was tight during the ceremony Wednesday.

Berezovsky, who is credited with playing a key role in President Vladimir Putin's rise to power but then fled to Britain after a falling out, died at his home outside London on March 23. Police said he died by hanging.

Earlier this week, Russian state television reported that relatives had decided to postpone the funeral indefinitely as they sought to keep the event private.

Berezovsky's relatives initially had hoped to repatriate his body to Russia and give it a Russian Orthodox funeral. But an Orthodox funeral proved difficult because the church considers suicide a sin.

Berezovsky had been living in self-exile in Britain after the falling out with Putin in 2000. Russian investigators opened a slew of criminal cases into his business activities, and Berezovsky fled to Britain, which granted him asylum.

In the months before his death, Berezovsky apparently sank into deep depression as his wealth dwindled and he lost a multibillion-dollar lawsuit against former business associate Roman Abramovich in a London court. He told friends that he missed Russia and longed to return home, even reportedly writing a letter to Putin seeking his forgiveness.



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