Evgeny Lebedev conjures up imaginary world

The Guardian had an excellent opinion piece from Evgeny Lededev, the elder son of former KGB billionaire Alexander Lebedev, who now runs the UK’s Independent newspaper – http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/oct/08/evgeny-lebedev-my-soviet-childhood?commentpage=1&fb=native

In an evocative account of his tough time in the Soviet Union and sudden move to the UK when his dad worked at the London Embassy as a KGB agent, Lebedev junior peddles a version of life that varies from the country most people remember. In a striking moment he mentions how the family were back in Moscow at the time of the coup against Gorbachev and how his father was a staunch advocate for Boris Yeltsin, considered at the time to be some kind of democratic leader. However, he then adds oddly:

“We had to return to London before the crisis was over”. The crisis only lasted a week – I was there.

So clearly his father wasn’t among the people standing in the square defending Yeltsin and his version of democracy. His father had “been forced” to return to the UK -presumably as soon as the coup started when the situation looked a bit dangerous.

In addition, the idea that joining the KGB was considered a good career move after the atrocities committed under Stalin is also spurious. Although of course, this may have been where Lebedev senior met his good friend and current President Vladimir Putin.

It would be good if Evgeny and his father spent the billions apparently made from selling shoes to good use, instead of fancy clothes and newspaper acquisitions  – maybe reducing poverty in Russia? I also assume that Evgeny pays 50 per cent tax on all his earnings, as he apparently loves living in the UK, and has not set up various funds to reduce that amount to close to zero?

Now that would be an interesting article!

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