Khodorkovsky: a few thoughts
You know, I always imagined the day of Khodorkovsky’s release would be a sort of — to use the common cliché — “Mandela Moment”. And the fact that it did not happen that way feels very upsetting. Some of my disappointment stems from my own too high expectations, of course. But I have to wonder if that wasn’t the goal from Putin’s point of view. By staging Khodorkovsky’s release the way he did, Putin managed to portray the former Yukos chief as a sellout. And at his press conference in Berlin today, Khodorkovsky did little to dispel that impression.
For example when asked about his future plans:
I am not going into politics, which I mentioned in my letter to President Putin and have stated many times in the past. I am going to get involved in social activities. In other words, struggling for power is not my cup of tea.
When asked about his personal feelings toward Vladimir Putin, Khodorkovsky responded:
I didn’t have to be out-of-proportion emotional about this because I realised that my family wasn’t suffering. That they were humane vis–à–vis my family. And because of that, I thought I should also be pragmatic. And when you are pragmatic, you don’t need to do things which are as dramatic as hatred would be, or revenge.
But I think Vicki Boykis summed it up best when she tweeted:
The big news from Russia is that nothing has changed there since the 15th century, only now we have confirmation via Twitter.