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Last Updated: Friday, 23 January, 2004, 03:10 GMT
UK gives Russian tycoon new name
Boris Berezovsky
Whatever he calls himself, Berezovsky is wanted by Moscow
Britain has confirmed that exiled Russian billionaire Boris Berezovsky has been granted travel documents under a new name.

He has formally changed his identity to Platon Elenin, UK Home Secretary David Blunkett said on Thursday.

No reason has been given - but Platon is the name of the lead character in a film based on the tycoon's life.

Mr Berezovsky is wanted in Russia on fraud charges, but was given asylum by Britain in September.

Last month he was allowed to travel under his new name to Georgia - in an incident that sparked a row between Moscow and Tbilisi.

Russian officials said Georgia should have arrested the well-known fugitive.

He is accused of defrauding a regional government of US$13m during the mid-1990s.

Ups and downs

Mr Berezovsky, thought to be the second richest man in Russia, has said he is being victimised for his political beliefs.

He is one of the main backers of a fledgling liberal movement which opposes President Vladimir Putin.

Like other Russian tycoons, Mr Berezovsky profited from the rapid privatisation process in the early 1990s.

He built up an empire encompassing media, banks, cars, energy and a stake in national airline Aeroflot.

He was a close ally of then President Boris Yeltsin.

But his fortunes changed under Mr Putin, who has been trying to reduce the political influence of Russian tycoons.

Mr Berezovsky has been living in the UK under self-imposed exile since 2000.

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