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Alexander Lebedev is looking pensive as he settles into a chair in his Moscow office. “I’ve been thinking about the theme of our interview and I’ve come to some conclusions,” he says in flawless English. Oh, good. And what are they? Lebedev frowns. “I don’t have a management style and I’m not a good manager.” Hardly the opening Monocle had expected – or hoped for – but very little is predictable in the figure of Alexander Lebedev: ex-politician, businessman, newspaper magnate and one-time KGB spy.

His reception room is bland enough: chintzy curt…



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