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Putin’s Yukos Finder’s Fee

The Mendeleyev Report has a piece looking at Vladimir Putin’s recent personal attack against Mikhail Khodorkovsky:

At times testy, at times tired, and at times funny, Mr Putin held court and you can bet that many a Russian tuned in.

How many times can you sell Yukos and imprison it’s owner? Apparently never enough. Just when you’d thought that Yukos was over, Mr Putin made it an issue again. This time the Prime Minister accused Mikhail Khodorkovsky of ordering murders while running Yukos. (…)

But information about Yukos assets being spent on housing is not new. In 2007, the State Duma passed a bill that allowed the government to pump billions of dollars from the sale of the assets into housing and high-tech research. Frankly, it’s meaningless to promise money from a trial that took place half a decade ago.  

The question that brought up Khodorkovsky’s case was raised when the call-in show’s host read out the question, “When will Khodorkovsky be released?” It was not clear whether the question was called in or read from a pre-prepared script as the question came from the radio host and not a caller. If from the host, then it’s a soft-ball set up question. If from a caller, then maybe it’s an indication that the average Russian is not so blind to what the government did to bring down Yukos.

Also noteworthy is that Mr Putin conveniently failed to mention is that he took a $200 MILLION finders fee while serving as president when ordering Khodorkovsky’s arrest and directing the sale of Yukos assets to a Kremlin controlled competitor. The average Babushka trying to survive on a meager penion has to wonder what happened to her finders fee.