Obituary: Boris Berezovsky
Russian dissident Boris Berezovsky was a former Kremlin power broker whose fortunes went into dramatic decline as Vladimir Putin established himself as Russian president.
He remained a wanted man in Russia until his death, and was for a long time dedicated to the anti-Putin cause.
In recent years, his wealth is thought to have considerably diminished and recent court cases have left him struggling to pay legal fees and other debts.
In 2012 a court battle in London with fellow "oligarch" Roman Abramovich, his former associate with whom he fell out as Mr Putin came to power, ended in defeat, with his allegations that he was intimidated by Mr Abramovich into selling shares in Russian oil giant Sibneft for a "fraction of their true worth" entirely rejected by the judge.
Sources told the BBC that he had been depressed after losing the case, and moved suddenly out of his offices in central London.
And earlier this year, his ex-partner Yelena Gorbunova alleged in the High Court that he owed her millions of pounds from the sale of a £25m property in Surrey.
On 18 March The Times newspaper reported that Mr Berezovsky had been forced to try to sell a painting by Andy Warhol of the former Soviet leader Vladimir Lenin.
Media magnate The role of political plotter, and financier of Russian opposition parties, was the latest in a series of reincarnations that Mr Berezovsky went through in his 67 years.
His first career was as a mathematician, his second as a car salesman, his third as a political kingmaker, nicknamed Rasputin, under Russia's first president Boris Yeltsin.
Continue reading the main story
Boris BerezovskyI understood [then] that this way of open opposition doesn't work, at least for me - and that's the reason why I decided to choose the other way”
Mr Berezovsky made his fortune importing Mercedes cars into Russia in the 1990s, and setting himself up as a middleman distributing cars made by Russia's Avtovaz.While Avtovaz struggled to survive, Mr Berezovsky nevertheless made millions.
By the mid-1990s, he was one of Russia's leading oligarchs, a word used for those who made their fortunes during the wholesale privatisation of state assets.
As well as taking ownership of the Sibneft oil company, he became the main shareholder in the country's main television channel, ORT, which he turned into a propaganda vehicle for Boris Yeltsin in the run-up to the 1996 presidential election.
He has survived numerous assassination attempts, including a bomb that decapitated his chauffeur.
He took Forbes magazine to court for describing him as the "godfather of the Kremlin" and linking him to the murder of a popular television journalist.
Forbes settled out of court, accepting that the allegations were false.
Mr Berezovsky was at the height of his power in the later Yeltsin years, when he was deputy secretary of Russia's security council, a friend of Boris Yeltsin's daughter Tatyana, and a member of the Yeltsin inner circle, or "family".
Although he helped Mr Putin enter the family, and funded the party that formed Mr Putin's parliamentary base, the new president moved to regain control of the ORT television station, and to curb the political ambitions of Russia's oligarchs.
Open opposition Mr Berezovsky left Russia for self-imposed exile in the UK at the end of 2000.
An early attempt to promote opposition to Mr Putin, by funding the Liberal Russia party, ended in disaster when its two most prominent members were assassinated.
"I understood [then] that this way of open opposition doesn't work, at least for me. And that's the reason why I decided to choose the other way," he later said.
Without naming Mr Berezovsky, the Kremlin accused its foreign-based opponents of organising the 2006 assassinations of former KGB agent Alexander Litvinenko and the campaigning journalist Anna Politkovskaya, in order to discredit Mr Putin.
Mr Berezovsky denied the allegation, and accused Mr Putin of himself being behind Litvinenko's death.
Mr Berezovsky bought the ex-spy - himself in exile in London - a house in Muswell Hill and helped him to publicise claims that Mr Putin organised the bombings of apartment blocks in Russia, in 1999, which paved the way for Russia's second military intervention in Chechnya.
He said Mr Putin was prepared to kill anyone that he defined as an enemy of Russia, and that he himself was a target.
That is why the mansion he bought for £10m from former disc jockey Chris Evans was equipped with bullet-proof windows, laser monitors, spy cameras and reinforced steel doors.
Boris Berezovsky death: Chemical hazard police give house all-clear
The home of the late exiled Russian tycoon Boris Berezovsky has been given the all-clear after it was searched by police for chemical, biological and nuclear material.A cordon around his Berkshire house has now mostly been lifted.
Mr Berezovsky, 67, was found dead on Saturday and police are currently treating his death as unexplained.
He emigrated to the UK in 2000 after falling out with Russia's president, and was granted asylum in 2003.
'Nothing of concern' Mr Berezovsky's body was reportedly found in a bath at the house in Ascot on Saturday afternoon. An ambulance was called to his house at 15:18 GMT.
His body remained at the property while the search - described by police as a precaution - was carried out.
Supt Simon Bowden, of Thames Valley Police, thanked residents for their patience and apologised for the inconvenience.
"However, we needed to ensure that all precautions were taken prior to entering the property.
Boris Berezovsky amassed a fortune in the 1990s after the privatisation of state assets following the collapse of Soviet Communism.
He survived numerous assassination attempts, including a bomb that decapitated his chauffeur.
In 2003 he was granted political asylum in Britain on the grounds that his life would be in danger in Russia.
The tycoon's wealth is thought to have considerably diminished in recent years, leaving him struggling to pay debts in the wake of costly court cases.
Litvinenko's friend In 2011, Mr Berezovsky reportedly lost more than £100m in a divorce settlement. And, last year, he lost a £3bn ($4.7bn) damages claim against Chelsea Football Club owner Roman Abramovich.
In an informal interview with journalist Ilya Zhegule on the eve of his death, and published on Forbes' Russian language website, Mr Berezovsky reportedly said his life no longer made sense and spoke of his desire to return to Russia.
"There is nothing that I wish more today than to return to Russia," he is quoted as saying.
"I had underestimated how dear Russia is to me and how little I can stand being an emigre.
"I have changed my opinion on a lot of subjects. I had a very idealistic idea on how to build a democratic Russia. And I had an idealistic idea of what democracy is in the centre of Europe.
"I underestimated the inertia of Russia and greatly overestimated the West."
On Saturday a Kremlin spokesman said that Mr Berezovsky had recently written to Mr Putin, saying he wanted to go home.
Mr Berezovsky was a close friend of murdered Russian emigre and former KGB officer Alexander Litvinenko, who died in 2006 after he was poisoned with the radioactive material polonium-210 while drinking tea at a London meeting.
Without naming Mr Berezovsky, the Kremlin has accused its foreign-based opponents of organising the assassination. It was thought that Russia was, in part referring, to Mr Berezovsky.
He denied the allegation and accused Mr Putin of personally being behind Mr Litvinenko's death. A former Russian intelligence officer, Andrei Lugovoi, has refused to attend the Litvinenko inquest, saying he will not receive "justice" in Britain.
Russian media have described Mr Berezovsky's death as "the end of an era".
On its website, the pro-Kremlin paper Komsomolskaya Pravda describes Mr Berezovsky as having been "clever, cunning, resourceful... a master of chaos".
Meanwhile, Novaya Gazeta - which is normally critical of the Kremlin - described him as someone who "viewed Russia as a chess board", albeit one on which "only he would be allowed to move the pieces".