By Gregory Tinsky (Russia)
Khodorkovsky as a one of modern Russian political system Framers
During next three or four years Mikhail Khodorkovsky became one of the wealthiest people in Russia. Due to the experts’ estimates his fortune used to make up $18 billion. Time of financial affairs, acquiring the best tidbits of the national pie was over. Being, without doubt, a very gifted man, Khodorkovsky understood that money is not everything at all. From now then his goal changed — he desired to become a part of establishment, gain more power rather than money.
People from the top brass (retired Interior and Security generals) started to appear in the closest surrounding of this young man; he began financing political parties. Wise billionaire didn’t risked, putting all of his eggs in one basket. Despite the superficial formal logic though, most of his money went to communists. At first glance, it sounded as a complete nonsense — capitalist spent his money on communists but after a short consideration it became clear that by then Communist Party had the second largest parliamentary group in the State Duma and, quite naturally, had an opportunity to influence the law-making process. In particular they’ve dealt with the financial and tax legislation — exactly the areas, Khodorkovsky was especially interested in. As Khodorkovsky himself used to say, he started to buy off the shares of Russian parliament in order to become a majoritarian shareholder. Yukos ordered well-known Russian political scientist Stanislav Belkovsky a new Constitution project. Due to the oligarch’s plot, presidential republic was to be transformed into parliamentarian one. Rumors had it that thus Khodorkovsky wanted to become a Prime Minister, i.e. top authority of the state — having the State Duma in his pocket, getting himself elected for this post would have been a trifle for him. As for the direct election, his chances were zilch (unfortunately, in Russia Jews have small chances of becoming Head of State).
Simultaneously with that Yukos was being spring-cleaned. Khodorkovsky spent millions of dollars for the best lawyer, consulting and tax agencies in the world. New public image of Yukos was being created — transparent business, answering the world requirements. And in order for these changes not to remain unnoticed by the Western investors, millions of dollars were spend for the services of the best American and British PR-agencies. Why Khodorkovsky needed this make-up at all? Some of his wise Western counselors gave him a tip that having attracted the Western investors, he may have earned some “extra” money. As Khodorkovsky himself stated during his interview to the “Business New Europe”: “I’m a personification of three Rothschild family generations in one man. Business sharks are the first generation, business development is the second and creation of a family ruling over America is the third one”.
Such people like Lord Owen — British ex-Minister of Foreign Affairs — fetched themselves among the Yukos board of directors. Khodorkovsky concluded amicable agreements with the swindled Western investors. In order to stop American citizen Kenneth Dart from filing lawsuits against Yukos and publishing articles all over the world, telling everyone how Khodorkovsky bilked him out for $100 million Yukos paid him 120 to 160 million dollars instead of Dart’s obligation to keep silence. Today this gentleman doesn’t even have a right to be interviewed about that matter. Mind that merely few years ago Ben Aris — “Business New Europe” publisher — was literally thrown into the street from the shareholders’ meeting by an armed Yukos security, in spite of the fact that he had Kenneth Dark’s warrant (who owned Yukos shares in the amount of $100 million) with him.
Mikhail Khodorkovsky’s career, history of his rise and fall still await a personal biographer. This could have been an excellent movie or a detective novel but for now its hero-to-be is still doing his time and he would hardly be able to walk free from jail before the court’s sentence would be served completely. There’s still a question why: why did he voluntarily went to prison although he had an opportunity to settle this issue with Putin or plainly leave the country? He didn’t want to. I think that he simply took the offence. Sounds stupid but that’s the way it looks. He tried to change Russian political system and become a master of a huge country. He attempted to sell Yukos, which he got from the state almost for free, to the Western corporations. However, Khodorkovsky has forgotten that if you live in house of glass yourself, throwing stones at other houses would be a foolish thing to do. Khodorkovsky’s case has changed Russia and I’m not sure that it changed it for better. But there are no doubts that it was him — Mikhail Khodorkovsky — who was the co-founding father of these changes.
Source: Russian Interests