In December 2013, when Vladimir Putin released Mikhail Khodorkovsky from prison after 10 years, the former oil tycoon and political prisoner said he would not enter politics. Only months later, however, he is spending millions to build a new political infrastructure to prepare for what he says is the inevitable fall of Putin’s regime.
“When I left prison, I announced that I am not interested in engaging in politics. I never promised anyone I wouldn’t engage in it and I continue to be not interested in engaging in it,” Khodorkovsky told The Daily Beast in an interview in Washington. “At the same time, I feel it imperative to attempt to influence the power. I feel it imperative that that section of the population that is Europe-centered would have the opportunity to impact the way the country develops.”
Khodorkovsky has resurrected his foundation, Open Russia, which was established in 2001 by shareholders of Yukos, his former company. It was shuttered in 2006, though, when Putin’s government seized its assets following Khodorkovsky’s conviction in two corruption cases, widely considered to have been politically motivated. The group’s mission is to build a civil society and political infrastructure among pro-European Russians to influence the post-Putin political system.
Very Interesting read...