NEWSWATCH: “Russian Opposition Struggles 2 Years After Nemtsov Killing” – AP

Boris Nemtsov file photo

Two years after he was killed near the Kremlin, Boris Nemtsov can still attract crowds of supporters. But his death left in tatters Russia’s opposition movement, which is struggling with infighting and seems unable to rally behind one unifying figure. In the largest Russian opposition protest in months, thousands marched Sunday across Moscow to commemorate Nemtsov’s life, demand a thorough […]

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Khodorkovsky’s Group To Support Media Startups

Mikhail Khodorkovsky file photo

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – September 29, 2016) A pro-democracy group founded by exiled Kremlin critic and former oligarch Mikhail Khodorkovsky has launched a project to fund online media startups. Open Russia said on September 29 that the goal of the project was “to create communication channels within the part of the Russian society that considers itself independent from the government’s […]

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Putin’s Election Grip Is So Tight Even His Nemesis Can Take Part

Arm and Torso of Person in Brown Sweater Placing Paper Ballot into Ballot Box

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Henry Meyer, Irina Reznik – August 24, 2016) The last time Vladimir Putin’s political party won national elections, ballot-stuffing allegations sparked the biggest protests of his rule. Five years on, Putin appears to be so confident in his hold on power that even his most dogged adversary is welcome to challenge United Russia in next month’s […]

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Higher School of Economics shrugs off reports on its involvement in new Russian constitution drafting allegedly contracted by Khodorkovsky

Russian Constitutional Court file photo

MOSCOW. April 30 (Interfax) – Russia’s Higher School of Economics (HSE) said that it has nothing to do with any drafting of the new Russian constitution allegedly ordered by former Yukos chief Mikhail Khodorkovsky. “The National Research University Higher School of Economics is out of politics and does not engage in personal projects of any participants in the political process,” […]

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RBTH: Can two political émigrés foment a revolution in Russia from abroad?

File Photo of Kremlin Tower, St. Basil's, Red Square at Night

With half a year remaining before parliamentary elections in Russia, not only the Russian government but also its opponents have intensified their activities. In London two millionaires are open in their support for a revolution in Russia. But instead of undertaking concrete action they are waiting for the government to make mistakes. (Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – YEKATERINA […]

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Russia’s top investigator says Khodorkovsky acquired Yukos shares illegally

Vladimir Markin file photo

(Interfax – March 25, 2016) Russia’s Investigations Committee is close to proving that the shareholders of dissolved oil company Yukos acquired their shares unlawfully, spokesman Vladimir Markin has said. This would give Russia grounds to not pay the Yukos shareholders a 50bn dollars in damages pursuant to a 2014 Hague ruling. “This is a case that can be characterised by […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Mikhail Khodorkovsky Is Putin’s Most Powerful Enemy (in Exile). Russia may not be ready for the ex-billionaire to return, but his arguments are gaining ground.”

Mikhail Khodorkovsky file photo

… the Open Russia Foundation …. basically represents the brains and money behind the Russian opposition [and recently] held an event at its headquarters … in London. … predictions for Russia’s future seemed to grow darker by the minute.  * * * On the back row of the rather thin audience, the foundation’s sponsor, exiled Russian tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovksy – […]

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Russian Politicians Ask Khodorkovsky for Endorsement As Elections Near

Mikhail Khodorkovsky file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Anna Dolgov – February 18, 2016) Former oil tycoon turned opposition politician Mikhail Khodorkovsky’s pro-democracy foundation has received dozens of requests from members of Russia’s main political parties to endorse them during an upcoming parliamentary election this fall, the coordinator of Khodorkovsky’s Open Elections project said in comments published Wednesday. The requests that came in […]

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Khodorkovsky to Support Russian Opposition Candidates

Mikhail Khodorkovsky file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – January 22, 2016) Former oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky’s Open Russia foundation will support opposition candidates at Russia’s upcoming parliamentary elections, Kommersant newspaper reported Friday. Open Russia will aid candidates via its new Open Elections project, introduced last summer, according to Khodorkovsky’s website. “We will provide the resources. There aren’t any people who know to attract […]

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[Khodorkovsky:] Who is to blame for what happened to the Russian Constitution, and What do we do about it now?

Russian Constitutional Court file photo

(Institute for Modern Russia – imrussia.org – Mikhail Khodorkovsky – December 17, 2015) Mikhail Khodorkovsky, founder of the Open Russia movement, discusses why the Russian Constitution is “no more than a piece of paper-a sham symbol of federalism, freedom and democracy.” December 12, Russia’s Constitution Day, was marked by the detention of one of the Constitution’s authors for organizing a […]

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Back to the Uncertain Future for Mikhail Khodorkovsky

Mikhail Khodorkovsky file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Dmitry Elovsky, Mikhail Fishman – December 17, 2015) The mob-style execution of Vladimir Petukhov, mayor of the Siberian oil capital Nefteyugansk, one summer morning in 1998 was not an unusual occurrence for the “wild 90s” era of Russian business. But it has returned to the spotlight as part of the reanimated prosecution of former Yukos […]

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NEWSWATCH Reuters: “Khodorkovsky says Putin is leading Russia towards stagnation, collapse”

File Photo of Kremlin Tower, St. Basil's, Red Square at Night

Reuters covers remarks by former Russian oil tycoon, former prison inmate, political activist Mikhail Khodorkovsky. President Vladimir Putin will survive Western sanctions and lower oil prices but the Kremlin chief has brought such stagnation that Russia could eventually collapse, former tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky said …. Russia’s richest man, who was arrested in 2003 after falling foul of Putin and released […]

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Khodorkovsky Calls for Civil Disobedience against Unjust Laws and Putin’s Unjust System

File Photo of Kremlin Tower, St. Basil's, Red Square at Night

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, August 27, 2015) Mikhail Khodorkovsky says that Russian citizens are fully entitled not to observe unjust laws imposed not to promote justice but to protect the power of Vladimir Putin, a potentially dramatic development in the relationship between the Russian opposition, the Russian people, and the Kremlin. In a blog post on […]

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Unlike Stalin’s Show-Trial Victims, Russia’s Political Defendants Don’t Back Down

File Photo of Kremlin Tower, St. Basil's, Red Square at Night

(RFE/RL – Robert Coalson – August 20, 2015) There are, of course, many differences between the infamous show trials of Josef Stalin’s Great Terror and the politically convenient prosecutions of the political adversaries of Russian President Vladimir Putin. Stalin liked to try his victims in huge mass productions on blatantly political charges and then march them off for summary execution […]

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And now … a murder rap for Khodorkovsky?

Mikhail Khodorkovsky file photo

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – MOSCOW BLOG: Ben Aris in Moscow – July 2, 2015) On June 30, the spokesman for Russia’s Investigative Committee, Vladimir Markin, made a shocking allegation. He accused the former head of Yukos oil major Mikhail Khodorkovsky of ordering the 1998 murder of Vladimir Petukhov, the mayor of Nefteyugansk, and several other crimes. The announcement […]

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Kremlin Critic Emerges From Coma

File Photo of Kremlin Tower, St. Basil's, Red Square at Night

(RFE/RL – June 2, 2015) Friends and allies of prominent Russian opposition activist Vladimir Kara-Murza, Jr., who mysteriously fell ill with poisoning symptoms in Moscow, say he has regained consciousness after a weeklong coma. “Vladimir has come out of a coma,” former Russian oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky said in a June 2 tweet. Kara-Murza, 33, is a coordinator for Open […]

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Russian Political Opposition Uniting for 2016 Parliamentary Elections

Russian State Duma Building file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Peter Spinella – April 3, 2015) Russia’s currently fragmented political opposition – which covers a broad spectrum of ideologies, from the far left to the far right – has agreed to form single alliance for next year’s parliamentary elections, newspaper Nezavisimaya Gazeta reported Thursday. Nine of Russia’s most prominent opposition politicians, including Mikhail Khodorkovsky and […]

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Khodorkovsky Speech Aired in St. Pete Hotel Despite Chaos

Mikhail Khodorkovsky file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Ivan Nechepurenko – December 8, 2014) It seems St. Petersburg authorities on Sunday did not want a Holiday Inn conference room to show a speech by one of President Vladimir Putin’s most prominent and vocal critics: Mikhail Khodorkovsky. The conference area was searched for drugs, police attempted to evacuate the building because of a bomb […]

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Khodorkovsky expecting large-scale civil war in Russia

Map of Russia

(Pravda.ru – October 17, 2014) Mikhail Khodorkovsky said in an interview with the BBC that he was expecting a large-scale civil war in Russia in the future. “What is happening in Ukraine, is undoubtedly bad for Russia, as it strengthens the authoritarian regime in Russia and ruins the hopes of the progressive part of the society for the technological development […]

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VIDEO: Mikhail Khodorkovsky on Open Russia and Building Civil Society: A Conversation With Mikhail Khodorkovsky

Mikhail Khodorkovsky file photo

The Council on Foreign Relations hosted an event featuring former Russia oil oligarch, and former Russian prison inmate, Mikhail Khodorkovsky. “Mikhail Khodorkovsky on Open Russia and Building Civil Society: A Conversation With Mikhail Khodorkovsky,” is archived at cfr.org/russian-federation/mikhail-khodorkovsky-open-russia-building-civil-society/p33555. Among other things, Khodorkovsky argued that Putin has become so entrenched as a strongman, that any successor might be regarded as merely temporary. This […]

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Khodorkovsky Says ‘No Politics’ Deal Made With Putin

Mikhail Khodorkovsky file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Anna Dolgov – May 2, 2014) Former oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky has said his surprise release from prison last December was facilitated by an agreement made with President Vladimir Putin to stay away from politics, but added that the deal expires in August. When asked about his abstention from political life since his surprise presidential […]

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Comment on the Economist editorial entitled “The triumph of Vladimir Putin” (JRL 2014-#21)

Kremlin and Saint Basil's

Subject: Comment on the Economist editorial entitled “The triumph of Vladimir Putin” (JRL 2014-#21) Date: Sat, 1 Feb 2014 From: Ben Aris <editor@bne.eu> [Editor, Business New Europe] I have to comment on the Economist editorial entitled “The triumph of Vladimir Putin” (JRL 2014-#22) as it is a classic example of Russian bashing that is full of mistakes, half-truths, omissions and […]

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Interfax: Lawyers of Lebedev, Khodorkovsky think their clients could be rehabilitated, repaid legal costs

Platon Lebedev

(Interfax – January 29, 2014) Former Menatep CEO Platon Lebedev could try to get his confiscated property returned and also receive compensation for moral damages inflicted on him during the criminal prosecution over the first Yukos case. “Due to the cancellation of the guilty verdict in the part of the conviction under the Russian Criminal Code Article 315 Part 33 […]

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Khodorkovsky Speaks About Time in Jail, Reasons for Release

Mikhail Khodorkovsky file photo

MOSCOW, January 27 (Kevin O’Flynn for The Moscow News – themoscownews.com) – Former oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky has spoken about his life in jail in detail for the first time in a wide-ranging interview published Monday in daily newspaper Moskovsky Komsomolets. President Vladimir Putin freed Khodorkovsky last month after a decade in prison on tax evasion and fraud charges in […]

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Lebedev to Walk Free After 10 Years

Platon Lebedev

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Yekaterina Kravtsova – January 24, 2014) The Supreme Court ruled on Thursday to reduce the sentence of former Yukos CEO Mikhail Khodorkovsky’s business partner Platon Lebedev and immediately release him, but critics have slammed the ruling as a meaningless gesture. Vadim Klyuvgant, one of Lebedev’s lawyers, said after the hearing that the ruling was welcomed […]

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Business Unimpressed by Khodorkovsky Release

Mikhail Khodorkovsky file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Anatoly Medetsky – January 24, 2014) Two international business forums covering Russia this month have appeared oblivious to former Yukos chief Mikhail Khodorkovsky’s recent release from jail ­ evidence that the drawing of a line under his politically tinged case hardly had an effect on the country’s investment climate. The Supreme Court’s ruling on Thursday […]

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Decision Looms in $100 Billion Yukos Lawsuit

Kremlin and St. Basil's

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – January 13, 2014) Businessman Leonid Nevzlin said that he would continue a $100 billion legal battle with the Russian government over the assets of defunct oil firm Yukos, in contrast to his former business partner Mikhail Khodorkovsky’s recent promise not to participate in the litigation. Nevzlin, who emigrated to Israel in 2003 after the Russian […]

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Russian Ex-Oil Tycoon Khodorkovsky Visits Israel After Release

Mikhail Khodorkovsky file photo

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Olga Tanas – January 10, 2014) Mikhail Khodorkovsky, Russia’s richest man before he was jailed in 2003, is visiting Israel after being freed by President Vladimir Putin last month. “It’s not a working or business trip; it’s a private visit,” Olga Pispanen, a spokeswoman for Khodorkovsky, said by telephone today, declining to comment on any meetings. […]

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Khodorkovsky Thinks One Out of Ten Officials Should be Fired

Kremlin and Moscow Environs Aerial View

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Delphine d’Amora – December 30, 2013) Former oil magnate Mikhail Khodorkovsky has a tough-love prescription for Russian officialdom ­ decimation, in the classical sense of the word. “We need a decimation. Firing a tenth of them. If it doesn’t help ­ do it again,” Khodorkovsky told Novaya Gazeta in an interview published Friday. In Roman […]

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Russia Could Compensate Khodorkovsky for Case Violations

Mikhail Khodorkovsky file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – December 27, 2013) Russia will pay Mikhail Khodorkovsky a 10,000 euro ($13,700) fine ordered by the European Court for Human Rights, but may try to get the money frozen under the original Russian verdict that had put the former tycoon in prison for a decade, officials said Friday. Russia will transfer the amount as soon […]

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Interfax: Ombudsman: Khodorkovsky pardon unlikely to have much effect on Russian business

Boris Titov file photo

MOSCOW. Dec 23 (Interfax) – The Russian president’s commissioner for entrepreneurs’ rights has argued that President Vladimir Putin’s pardoning former oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky last week is unlikely to exercise any serious effect on business in Russia. “Of course, for Russian business it is not a big but a positive piece of news. However, this won’t radically affect the overall […]

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Why the Kremlin released Khodorkovsky

Mikhail Khodorkovsky file photo

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Georgy Bovt, special to RBTH – December 16, 2013) There are many reasons for the release of Khodorkovsky after 10 years in a Russian prison, some of them known and many that are unknown. The story of Mikhail Khodorkovsky’s release from prison is so full of mysteries and almost mystical coincidences that one […]

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Interfax: Comparing Khodorkovsky with Solzhenitsyn is inappropriate – top Russian senator

Alexander Solzhenitsyn file photo

MOSCOW. Dec 24 (Interfax) – Valentina Matviyenko, speaker of the Federation Council, the upper chamber of Russia’s parliament, has advised against comparing former Yukos CEO Mikhail Khodorkovsky, who was pardoned by the Russian president on December 20 and flew to Berlin immediately after his release from prison, with Soviet writer and dissident Alexander Solzhenitsyn, whom Matviyenko described as a prominent […]

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RIA Novosti: Nearly Half of Russians Approve Khodorkovsky Pardon

Mikhail Khodorkovsky file photo

MOSCOW, December 26 (RIA Novosti) ­ Almost half of Russians support their president’s decision to pardon jailed former tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky, an independent pollster said on Thursday. Levada Center said 14 percent of respondents said they “definitely approve of” the move, while 33 percent said they “mostly approve of” it. Only five percent said they had a “definitely negative” opinion […]

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Ordinary Russians React to Khodorkovsky’s Release

Mikhail Khodorkovsky file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber – December 23, 2013) The announcement of Mikhail Khodorkovsky’s release after 10 years of imprisonment has garnered mixed reactions from the Russian population, which remains torn between acknowledging the former oligarch’s hardships and despising him for the riches he acquired in the 1990s. President Vladimir Putin made the surprise announcement that he would […]

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Khodorkovsky and the Tsar: Why Putin’s pardon of his top foe doesn’t tell us anything that we didn’t know already

Mikhail Khodorkovsky file photo

(Moscow News – themoscownews.com – Anna Arutunyan – December 21, 2013) I don’t know quite how to say this without diminishing the importance of the incomprehensible inner trial that a Russian man undergoes in a Russian prison for amassing his own power and using it to defy the Russian state. First of all, I am sincerely happy that former oil […]

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Russian opposition figures differ on Khodorkovskiy’s political prospects

Mikhail Khodorkovsky file photo

(Interfax – December 22, 2013) Russian opposition politicians and human rights figures have expressed different views on the political future of former head of the Yukos oil company, Mikhail Khodorkovskiy, who was pardoned by President Vladimir Putin and released from prison on 20 December. Eduard Limonov, radical opposition figure and leader of the unregistered Other Russia party, thinks that Khodorkovskiy […]

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Putin’s Confidence Brings Freedom for Khodorkovsky

Mikhail Khodorkovsky file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Anatoly Medetsky – December 23, 2013) The opposition’s lackluster performance in recent regional elections has likely contributed to President Vladimir Putin’s stunning decision to pardon a former thorn in his side: Mikhail Khodorkovsky. In the most spectacular showdown, Alexei Navalny, a critic of Putin, mustered 27 percent of the vote in the race for the […]

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Khodorkovsky Says No Plans to Return to Russia

Mikhail Khodorkovsky file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Natalya Krainova, Ezekiel Pfeifer and Yekaterina Kravtsova – December 23, 2013) Former oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky, who was released Friday after a presidential decree ended his 10 years of imprisonment, said from Germany on Sunday that he would not return home for fear of being unable to leave again. Khodorkovsky, whose release was reportedly facilitated […]

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Interfax: MHG head sees Khodorkovsky as spiritual leader, compares him with Gandhi, Sakharov and Havel

Lyudmila Alekseyeva file photo

Moscow, December 20, Interfax – Former Yukos CEO Mikhail Khodorkovsky, who was pardoned by President Vladimir Putin on Friday, will become a spiritual leader for Russia’s civil society, the country’s veteran human rights campaigner Lyudmila Alexeyeva told Interfax on Friday. “I am convinced that Mikhail Borisovich [Khodorkovsky] is well-equipped to play the role of a spiritual leader who will provide […]

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Interfax: Evidence collection for third Yukos case started directly after 2nd conviction – source

Mikhail Khodorkovsky file photo

MOSCOW. Dec 18 (Interfax) – Investigative procedures in the so-called “third Yukos case” started two weeks after the second sentence was handed down on former Yukos CEO Mikhail Khodorkovsky. “Two weeks after Khodorkovsky and former top manager Platon Lebedev were sentenced, i.e. in the beginning of 2011, the police started to collect evidence for the third case,” a source familiar […]

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RIA Novosti: Russia Mulls New Case Against Khodorkovsky – Paper

Mikhail Khodorkovsky file photo

MOSCOW, December 9 (RIA Novosti) ­ Russian law enforcement officials are considering bringing new charges against jailed former oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky and other figures over alleged money laundering, Vedomosti daily reported on Monday. Deputy Prosecutor General Alexander Zvyagintsev told Russian media last week that “several cases against former Yukos CEO Khodorkovsky and other people are being probed,” fuelling speculation […]

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RIA Novosti: Russia Accepts Khodorkovsky’s Damages Claim

European Court of Human Rights Building file photo

MOSCOW, November 7 (RIA Novosti) ­ The Russian government said Thursday it had not appealed a ruling by the European Court of Human Rights that could prompt a rollback of the Yukos case. The Strasbourg-based court ruled in July that the rights of former Yukos oil company head Mikhail Khodorkovsky were violated during his trial and continuing imprisonment in Russia […]

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10 Years on, Khodorkovsky’s Arrest Called a Turning Point in History

Mikhail Khodorkovsky file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Yekaterina Kravtsova – October 25, 2013) When Vladimir Pereverzin woke up on Oct. 25, 2003, he had no reason to suspect there would be anything unusual about the day. But when he clicked on the television, he saw mind-boggling news: billionaire Yukos owner Mikhail Khodorkovsky, once Russia’s richest man and Pereverzin’s former boss, had been […]

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Amnesty proposed by Russian rights body could see high-profile prisoners freed

Russian Jail File Photo Showing Outer Wall, Windows, Barbed Wire

(Interfax – October 16, 2013) Anti-Kremlin protesters prosecuted in the so-called “Bolotnaya case” could be freed under the amnesty proposed by the Human Rights Council (HRC) under the Russian president, privately-owned Russian news agency Interfax reported on 16 October. The draft submitted to President Vladimir Putin specifically mentions people who “took part or were convicted for taking part in public […]

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Khodorkovsky lawyer doubts human rights council’s idea on new amnesty will be implemented

(Interfax – MOSCOW, August 19, 2013) The defense lawyers for former Yukos CEO Mikhail Khodorkovsky said he doubts that the idea of the presidential human rights council to declare a new amnesty to mark the 20th anniversary of the Russian Constitution, which could apply to the former Yukos managers, will be implemented. “The idea of this amnesty is constantly present […]

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New Khodorkovsky Investigation Gathering Pace – Report

Mikhail Khodorkovsky file photo

(RIA Novosti – MOSCOW, August 8, 2013) ­ Deputies from Russia’s State Duma and senior officials could be questioned by investigators looking into a decade-old case against jailed tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky, sparking renewed fears that fresh charges against the once powerful businessman are imminent, Vedomosti newspaper reported Thursday. Legal experts were first questioned in September last year in connection with […]

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Sentence Reduced In Yukos Case

Mikhail Khodorkovsky file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Yekaterina Kravtsova – August 7, 2013) The Supreme Court ruled Tuesday to cut the sentence of former oil tycoon and Yukos CEO Mikhail Khodorkovsky and his business partner Platon Lebedev by two months, but their supporters called the move a “pathetic gesture” and their lawyers promised to appeal the court’s decision. Khodorkovsky and Lebedev were […]

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