NEWSWATCH: “A Problem Much Bigger Than Putin” – New York Times/ Mikhail Khodorkovsky

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

“More than 25 years after the collapse of the Soviet Union and the attempt to build a democracy in its place, Russia has once again become an authoritarian state. The same inability to build democratic institutions plagued the leaders of the February Revolution of 1917, which led to the Bolsheviks gaining power later that year. … Still burdened by a ‘besieged […]

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Putin Isn’t About to Let Go of the Crown Jewels After Alrosa

Empty Boardroom

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Anna Andrianova, Andrey Biryukov – July 12, 2016) Hatched in harsh economic times, Russia’s latest wave of privatization is off to a mixed start, and a sequel is by no means guaranteed. The sale of a 10.9 percent stake in Alrosa PJSC was the biggest divestment of a state asset since the government reduced its stake […]

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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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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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Sweden delivers judgment in favor of Russia in dispute with Yukos holders

Map of Sweden and Environs

(Interfax – January 28, 2016) A Swedish appeals court upheld Russia’s appeal filed earlier in its dispute with the Spanish investment funds, which were holders of American Depositary Receipts (‘ADRs’) of Yukos, Kommersant newspaper reported on Jan. 28. The appeals court acknowledged the fact that the Arbitration Institute of the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce that sustained the funds’ claims to […]

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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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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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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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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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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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ECHR judgment on first Yukos case should lead to its review – Fedotov

European Court of Human Rights Building file photo

(Interfax – MOSCOW, July 30, 2013) The latest judgment of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) on the first Yukos case should lead to its review, head of the Russian Presidential Human Rights Council Mikhail Fedotov said. “There is no place else to go to after the Strasbourg Court – you can agree with it, you can disagree with […]

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Lawyer wants first conviction of Khodorkovsky and Lebedev annulled

Mikhail Khodorkovsky file photo

(Interfax – July 25, 2013) The Thursday resolution by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) regarding a complaint lodged by Yukos ex-CEO Mikhail Khodorkovsky and his former business partner Platon Lebedev should prompt the Russian authorities to annul their first conviction. “The court recognized a violation of [the right to] a fair trial. The conviction should be annulled,” Khodorkovsky’s […]

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No economic amnesty to Russian opposition leader, tycoon yet – ombudsman

Boris Titov file photo

(Interfax – July 23, 2013) Russia’s business ombudsman Boris Titov, who proposed the idea of economic amnesty, has said that it is difficult to grant it now to opposition leader Aleksey Navalnyy and former Yukos head Mikhail Khodorkovskiy from the legal standpoint. Titov said this at a news conference in Moscow on 23 July, as reported by Russian news agency […]

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Khodorkovsky Marks 50th Behind Bars

Mikhail Khodorkovsky file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Natalya Krainova – June 27, 2013) Mikhail Khodorkovsky, the former owner of defunct oil giant Yukos, spent his 50th birthday Wednesday behind bars after spending nearly 10 years in prison on charges of fraud, embezzlement and tax evasion in what many see as President Vladimir Putin’s revenge for the businessman’s political ambitions. Over the past […]

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Participant in Yukos case expertise says it was purely non-profit and voluntary

Kremlin and St. Basil's

(Interfax – MOSCOW, June 25, 2013) Mikhail Subbotin, a participant in the public expertise of the second Yukos case and senior scholar from the Institute of Economics and International Relations, who is expected at the Investigative Committee on Wednesday, has drawn a parallel between the current case of experts and “doctors’ plot” at the end of the Stalin era. “It […]

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Economic amnesty does not apply to Khodorkovsky, Lebedev – lawyer

Mikhail Khodorkovsky file photo

(Interfax – MOSCOW. June 25, 2013) Former Yukos CEO Mikhail Khodorkovsky and his business partner Platon Lebedev are not eligible for the economic amnesty, their defense said. “As we have suspected, although hope dies last, this amnesty was not intended to release Khodorkovsky and Lebedev,” Lebedev’s lawyer Vladimir Krasnov told Interfax on Tuesday. “Comparing what was planned at the start […]

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Khodorkovsky says could have committed suicide if had known he would be imprisoned

Mikhail Khodorkovsky file photo

(Interfax – MOSCOW, June 24, 2013) Former Yukos CEO Mikhail Khodorkovsky, who will turn fifty in several days, said he would have committed suicide by shooting himself if he had known what was in store for him after his arrest in Novosibirsk ten years ago. Responding to a question from The New Times as to what he would have done […]

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Yukos Report Authors to Face Questioning

Mikhail Khodorkovsky file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – June 25, 2013) Two of the co-authors of the expert report into the second Yukos case have been asked to attend interviews by the Investigative Committee, a news report said Tuesday. Lawyer Mikhail Subbotin told Kommersant that he would attend an interview Wednesday, while earlier this week it was reported that former Constitutional Court Judge […]

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NTV Yukos Film Fuels Campaign Against Khodorkovsky

Mikhail Khodorkovsky file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – June 25, 2013) The state controlled NTV channel has aired a documentary alleging that the Yukos founders, including Mikhail Khodorkovsky, were involved in the killing of the mayor of Nefteyugansk in western Siberia in 1998. The film is seen by experts as part of a campaign to set the scene for the third criminal case […]

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Khodorkovsky’s son says has no official info on ‘third Yukos case’

Mikhail Khodorkovsky file photo

(Interfax – MOSCOW, June 17, 2013) The family of Mikhail Khodorkovsky has no information on the possible third criminal case against the former Yukos CEO. “No charges have been filed, and the Investigations Committee and the prosecutors have not sent anything yet. However, I know what they say about the questioning of experts who stated their opinion on the second […]

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Guriev’s Exile Is a Huge Loss for Russia

Sergei Guriev file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Michael Bohm, opinion page editor of The Moscow Times – June 14, 2013) When the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum opens next week, a traditional fixture of the event will be conspicuously absent: renowned economist Sergei Guriev. During the forum, Russian officials will undoubtedly repeat the usual lines about the country’s untapped potential, its attractiveness […]

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Dvorkovich Sees Possibility of Guriev Return

Sergei Guriev file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Alexander Bratersky – June 13, 2013) Self-exiled economist Sergei Guriev met with the Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich on Wednesday in Paris ­ his first informal get together with a senior Russian official since he left the country last month, fearing pressure from law enforcement agencies. Guriev, who headed the liberal New Economic School until […]

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Russian Deputy PM Dvorkovich plans to meet with economist Guriev in Paris

Sergei Guriev file photo

(Interfax – PARIS. June 11, 2013) Russian Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich plans to meet with former head of the Moscow-based New Economic School Sergei Guriev in Paris on Wednesday. Guriev recently announced that he did not plan to return to Russia from France, where he was on vacation. “I have known Sergei for a long time, we are friends, […]

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