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Russian dissident Mikhail Khodorkovsky speaks out

Russian dissident Mikhail Khodorkovsky speaks out
December 22nd, 2013
09:14 AM ET

Khodorkovsky: I don't know why I'm free

Khodorkovsky not ruling out politics

Mikhail Khodorkovsky: I've got an iPad

By Holly Yan and Dan Wright, CNN

(CNN) - For the first time since his release, Russian dissident Mikhail Khodorkovsky is telling the world about the 10 years he spent behind bars as a critic of the Kremlin.

The oil magnate, who backed an opposition party, had been in prison since 2003 and was convicted in 2005 of tax evasion and fraud. He was due for release next year, but President Vladimir Putin signed an amnesty decree for him Friday.

In an exclusive interview with CNN's Christiane Amanpour, the former Yukos oil tycoon said there were no conditions for his release.

"Mr. Putin, on a number of times, publicly said that he was ready to consider the question of my pardoning - but I had to say I was guilty for that," Khodorkovsky said during the interview in Berlin. "That was an unacceptable condition for me."


Filed under:  Christiane Amanpour • Russia
soundoff (20 Responses)
  1. M Alexander

    I have heard many reasons why the west and sympathetic countries around the world who have committed themselves to attending the sochi winter olympics – should boycott these games since Putin and his Russia have passed such unpalatible laws conerning the LGBT community and he continues to jail his opponents.

    In this regard, I think not only SHOULD these countries, those who do have legislation which protects the LGBT community and opposes the imprisonment of political figures – they must compete but... not take part in any ceremonies, not the opening, the medals presenations nor the closing ceremonies – we must show our disdain for Putin and his repressive practises, so, let's compete – win – and leave!

    I would hope that the heads of state of the countries who opt out of the grandiose and propaganddist side of these games and as an alternative – offer to present the medals to their athletes and accord them their time in the spotlight while also being on the right side of history – leave Putin to his opening ceremonies with just a handful of like-minded countries – he'd hate that ultimate snub – nothing less than he deserves!

    M Alexander

    December 22, 2013 at 10:45 am | Reply
    • Gazza

      "repressive practises"? Like what? Like preventing radical gay activists attempting to groom young boys under the cover of "education"?

      Russian population overwhelmingly approves, so you can huff and puff all you want, but the gay agenda suffers a defeat here.

      January 3, 2014 at 12:58 am | Reply
    • Fad

      Well, Such reaction will be harmful not for only for Mr. Putin and his party, but definitely for everone in Russia especially those who oppose Putin. They are so happy that their country gotta host such a global event and they want it to go on well. Such massive, extreme punishment which you are calling for are so backward and will be misunderstood by all Russians.

      January 6, 2014 at 2:05 pm | Reply
  2. ashok

    MK may have a better idea of what is in Putin's soul than President Bush who famously peered into it.

    December 22, 2013 at 12:31 pm | Reply
  3. Rochester Jezini

    Undoubtedly the decisions of Russian Court are not nonsensical. Let us remenber the good example of Al Solzhenitsyn whose existence changed the world, he was a dissident in the Soviet Union.

    December 22, 2013 at 11:20 pm | Reply
  4. K.Mar

    Opposition or no opposition every citizen must abide by the law. The former Ministry of Defence is facing tough charges today, but he is a firm Putin ally. Every crime commited in Russia today is justified by the media as long as the defendant is an opposition. Totally flawed!!

    December 27, 2013 at 8:42 am | Reply
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