. Berezovsky was widely credited with persuading Yeltsin to pluck Vladimir Putin from relative obscurity and make him prime minister and then acting president of Russia.

But Putin astounds with his ingratitude. His prosecutors are after Berezovsky in connection with allegedly illegal transfers of funds from Aeroflot airlines to companies Berezovsky established in Switzerland. At the same time, the Kremlin seeks to take control of Berezovsky’s 49 percent stake in ORT television, claiming that ORT owes the government taxes, licensing fees, and loan payments that exceed the value of the shares.

Oligarchs who stayed out of the media business fare better. Take the case of