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Grigory Pasko: Another Seven Years?

Procurator Lakhtin in the name of the entire UPG – united procuratorial group – demanded to deprive former head of YUKOS Mikhail Khodorkovsky and ex-executive of MFO “Menatep” Platon Lebedev of liberty for a term of 14 years with the serving of the punishment in a general-regime colony. This term, as the defendants’ lawyers clarified, includes within itself the punishment set under the first verdict of the year 2005. Then Khodorkovsky and Lebedev were sentenced to 8 years of deprivation of liberty each. In other words, if the court agrees with the procurators’ proposal, then Khodorkovsky and Lebedev will come out to liberty in the year 2017. Если Вы хотите прочитать оригинал данной статьи на русском языке, нажмите сюда.

Let us imagine for ourselves that judge Danilkin will take into account his critical retorts to the address of the procurators, who never did manage to prove the guilt of the defendants. In this case he will be able to reduce the term asked by the procurators by a maximum of 5 years. Then Khodorkovsky and Lebedev will be able to come out to liberty in the year 2010. And then most likely this will happen after the inauguration of a new president -that is V.V. Putin. Having ahead , in essence, a 12-year presidential term of cloudless rule and flush with his happiness, Putin is perfectly capable of generosity in the form of the release of his personal enemy Khodorkovsky. In so doing he will no doubt still bargain something (can’t do without this, of course!) out of the West: be -this preferences in the realm of trade in the raw-materials resources of Russia; be this guarantees of his and his friends’ peaceful existence and of the state of all their accounts after the presidency… I don’t know what kind of understandings they might have there.But they can have some.It is understandable that already now Khodorkovsky does not represent any danger for Putin’s regime. But Putin will nevertheless lock him up for another seven years with the hands of Danilkin. Because Putin – is a coward. He will do this just in cowardly case.Right now I’m not interested in the opinion of the procurators or of Putin: it has been known for a long time. I am not interested in the opinions of noted political scientists and prognosticators: they too are known. I am not interested in the opinion of the Russian people: the people, as a single unitary bearer of cultural and historical values, as the manifester of its demands and opinions with respect to the protection of its rights and liberties, guaranteed by the Constitution, I have not been observing for a long time already. The people don’t want to understand that the manifestation of unfairness in relation to one or two representatives of these people will inevitably entail the same kind of attitude towards tens and thousands of others. Precisely because the majority are silent and do not protest, a repeat of the unfairness is inevitable in the future.What I am interested in is the opinion of those western figures, businessmen and politicians, who, as it seems to me, are nevertheless capable of influencing Putin with certain tough ultimative demands of him. It is clear, after all, Putin does not recognize and does not understand admonitions and slaps on the shoulder. This means, one needs to act much more toughly in relation to him. I don’t know how exactly, but what I do know, I’m guessing, that it’s possible.If there’s a will. And it’s not at all worth waiting seven years for the appearance of this will.