"To my friends, everything; to my enemies, the law."
December 29, 2013 9:41 PM Subscribe
posted by Snarl Furillo (30 comments total)
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When he was arrested in Siberia in 2003
, billionaire oil oligarch Mikhail Khodorkovsky was "the Bad Bad Leroy Brown of Russia...In a nation of mobsters, he is king, a stone-cold ruthless genius
By 2010, however, something strange had happened: Khodorkovsky, whose resume included the vast expropriation of Russian oil wealth, a late-career push to promote opposition journalism and civil society in Russia, and, according to Vladimir Putin, murder, was "not quite yet a Gramsci
," but he had "nonetheless moved to the left, producing three consecutive epistles calling for a ‘left turn’ in Russian politics.
By 2012- after two problematic and occasional farcical trials and nine years in various Russian prisons, which included getting stabbed in the face, shitting where he ate, giving occasional interviews, and writing a number of stoic dispatches promoting civil society to the outside world
- Khodorkovsky had become "Russia’s most trusted public figure and Putin’s biggest political liability.
Earlier this month, Khodorkovsky was released from prison
, officially to attend to his elderly mother, and unofficially as part of a pre-Olympics public relations push. Also released
in advance of the Sochi games were members of the protest band Pussy Riot
. Singer Maria Alyokhina said of her pardon, "I don't need it. I'm not guilty, I'm not a criminal, I don't consider it mercy.