Alexander Lebedev’s Good Will

lebedev011509.jpgAlexander Lebedev is getting a lot of positive press lately after having made a bid for the London newspaper The Evening Standard.  Luke Harding of the Guardian describes him as an “oligarch we could learn to love,” despite the fact that his much ballyhooed new political party project with Mikhail Gorbachev seems to have completely disappeared, and the Kremlin might decide to take away his fortune.  Below is an excerpt from a profile on the BBC:

One of its journalists, columnist Yulia Latynina, told the Observer newspaper that Mr Lebedev was the genuine article – a tycoon intellectual with a social conscience.

“Most Russian oligarchs seem to settle into, ‘We can do nothing’,” she said.

“They spend their days in Courchevel (ski resort), drinking wine, eating caviar and watching girls dance on the table.

“Lebedev is trying to do something so the country will be better. But he knows that if he does anything to offend people in power there will be punishment.”

Photo: Russian businessman and parliamentarian Alexander Lebedevspeaks at a press conference with former Soviet President MikhailGorbachev, reflected in his glasses, in Moscow on June 4, 2008.Gorbachev said that for Russia it made no difference who the nextpresident of the United States would be. (AFP/Getty Images)