posted on Jul, 17 2006 @ 10:13 PM
Khodorkovsky is an interesting character, not necessarily worth denouncing as the expatriate Berezovsky is (and Abramovich). In reality they are all
oligarchs, cunning opportunists who caught the right moment to embrace the new, almost lawless capitalism in Russia in the early 90's.
They acquired the newly privatized assets in major industries (such as energy resources), for next to nothing through financial loans. the government
was too busy sorting out their new politics and separations of ex Soviet states to be too concerned with industries. Plus alot of politicians wanted
a piece of the pie. But one must not forget that only years ago these industries and resourses were owned by the nation- by Russian people. Profits
from them flowed into the national budget, and trickled down to social and economic programs (much to the military though). Now these assets were
suddenly owned by the few oligarchs (who got rich all of the sudden, starting with almost nothing), and the money paid for them was nowhere to be seen
for the regular people. You could say that the oligarchs together with their pal politicians, robbed what was left of Russia and what theoretically
belonged to the people. So as far as I see it nearly all of them are greedy capitalists first, and politicians after. One should not feel too sorry
for them losing all their wealth- it was easy to get and easy to lose.
Now Berezovsky and Khadorkovsky, simply chose the wrong time to "rebel" again those that sponsored them, and let their crimes go unpunished.
Realistically and fairly, all of these oligarchs could have been imprisoned for the same reason as Khodorkovsky. The government let all these
violations slide. But Putin was cunning enough, to not forget these violations and use them as a sort of political blackmail- and it worked.
Abramovich simply played along, and got to retire a rich and free man. A successful oligarch in Russia, is one that doesn't challenge politicians.
When the two mix however, trouble happens.
Putin had his new national agenda in his first term (which he started to realize in his second). To covertly renationalize all the major national
resources under one rook (Gazprom). Abramovich stayed out of Putin's politics, got paid for his nest egg, and went to live out his dreams carefree.
Khodorkovski and Berezovsky however (with some support from Western capitalists and US) didn't like what Putin was doing. So Khodorkovski got
punished, and his assets taken away. Russian democracy is such that they simply should not have stood in Putin's way to begin with.
Putin is very popular, and his party successor will most likely win the elections. As long as Putin's and his party's program remains in power and
has much support, Khodorkovsky will get nowhere even if he is released. He will most likely run to the West. They will be forgoten by most, and all
will be history. However if Putin is unsuccessful in putting his program in place for long, term, Khodorkovsky and Berezovsky might once again jump
into politics. Their future depends on who will come to power next- and that could be anybody's guess. If he gets out soon, he is not going to be
much of an opponent to Putin. He is going to be shut out of politics. In the long term possibly, but I doubt he could become a presidential
candidate. He might be a top member of some yet-unexistent opposition party, but as an ex-con - not a candidate.
[edit on 17-7-2006 by maloy]