Vedomosti Features Khodorkovsky as “Person of the Week”

The following exclusive translation comes from the Russian newspaper Vedomosti – it appears that his release would represent a boon to the stock market. mbk082508.jpgPerson of the week: Mikhail Khodorkovsky Kirill Kharatyan 25.08.2008, №158 (2180) The words of Mikhail Khodorkovsky, that he would bring society and family much more benefit at liberty, than in confinement, in practice turned out to be susprisingly true. It so happened that at 11:23 MOW «Interfax» erroneously broadcast that the court had supposedly satisfied his petition on conditional early release. Shares of Russian companies instantly shot up: literally in a couple of minutes the MICEX index, depressed by the forcing of peace on Georgia, jumped up by more than a percent. At 11:28 the agency corrected the error, and the index rolled back to starting positions just as suddenly. I think that in exactly the same way as in the economic realm, the conditional early release of Khodorkovsky would help Russia and Dmitry Medvedev personally in the political plane – moreover not only in the international one, where they would take this for an asymmetric apolgy for the South Ossetian campaign, but in the domestic one as well: citizens, despite the negative attitude towards the Chitan prisoner recorded by sociologists, would find, for example, in the supreme mercy yet another sign of the strength of the power. All the more so since the mercy would not change the situation in the least: Khodorkovsky would remain in the sizo, he is under investigation in another case.

But the independent Russian court does not take into consideration the here-and-now, as we know, politico-economic benefit, it impartially issues decisions based on the spirit and the letter of Russian law, and after all, won’cha looky here, Khodorkovsky had refused to train to be a sewing-machinist, in order to compensate more the damage caused to the motherland (what’s one measly percent on the MICEX!), and did not have merit points, and did not admit himself guilty…Probably, Mikhail Khodorkovsky as a thinker might even be amused by that unusual, world significance, that he has received, as a supposedly lowly Russian prisoner: any event in his biography acquires a symbolic cast. But it’s hardly likely that he likes it as an ordinary person, who has received from the new version as well of the power that locked him up tightly yet another unequivocal message that there will be no quarter for him. Although it’s doubtful, I think, that Khodorkovsky was serously counting on mercy.