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Khodorkovsky: Putin and Sechin Began Yukos Affair

Below is an excerpt of a new interview with Mikhail Khodorkovsky published by Newsweek:

How do you feel about Vladimir Putin and Deputy prime minister Igor Sechin? Do you think the Yukos case was their handiwork?

I think the case was created and continues to run thanks to a great many individuals. In fact, right now the case is mostly being driven by bureaucracy that isn’t even in the top echelon. Are Putin and Sechin involved? Yes, in the initial stages of the case they are the ones who shaped the political will. Now, I don’t know. What’s important to me now is to uphold my good name and achieve a fair court decision–the past cannot be recovered anyway.

Do you see a difference between Putin and Dmitry Medvedev?

Many commentators and experts go to extremes. The implication of what they say is that either Medvedev is merely a puppet in Putin’s hands or he is just waiting for a chance to rid himself of Putin’s influence. I think Medvedev is certainly different from Putin, but at the same time I have no doubt that the current president is completely loyal to the previous one. Will he be able to pursue his own policy, will he deem that to be necessary for himself? These are questions to which I don’t have an answer yet.