Thursday, December 19, 2013

Putin to Pardon Jailed Yukos Tycoon Khodorkovsky

Russian President Vladimir Putin said Thursday that jailed Yukos founder Mikhail Khodorkovsky had asked for clemency and would receive a pardon soon, reports MarketWatch.

“Mikhail Khodorkovsky … recently wrote to me and asked me for a pardon. He has already been deprived of his liberty for more than 10 years. It is a severe punishment,” Putin said. “He asked for a pardon for humanitarian reasons, his mother is sick, and I believe that we can make a decision and will soon sign a decree to pardon him.”

What's up with Putin? Yesterday, there was news that the two jailed Pussy Riot members would be released from jail as well as some Greenpeace activists. Fascinating.


The Christian Science Monitor reports:
News of Mr. Khodorkovsky’s potential release came on the heels of a sweeping amnesty for about 20,000 prisoners that was passed unanimously by Russia’s lower house of parliament Wednesday. That amnesty would apply to two activists of the punk rock group Pussy Riot and 30 protesters from the environmental group Greenpeace, cases that have drawn international criticism[...]
Experts said it appeared part of a public relations masterstroke that could clear away the bulk of Russia's most controversial criminal dockets just two months before the Sochi Winter Olympics, on which Mr. Putin has staked his own, and Russia's, prestige.
"This is all about Sochi," says Andrei Piontkovsky


  1. Putin is angling himself to be the new Tsar. It was not uncommon for the Tsar to pardon criminals (or political prisoners, in this case) for humanitarian reason. In fact, showing benevolence typically aggrandized his image as the Father of the Russian people. In turn, this allowed the "Myth of the Tsar" to develop where Russians believed that if there was an injustice, one only had to write to the Tsar and explain the travesty, and he, in his beneficence, would decree a reversal. This also led to the belief that if an injustice was allowed to stand, it wasn't the Tsar's fault, but rather his evil advisers keeping the Tsar from hearing his children's pleas for help (and led to a number of reprisals against the Boyar class). (During the USSR, this conception was applied to Stalin as well.) Putin's actions play to a people who want this sort of benevolent father figure as their leader. He calls it 'sovereign democracy', but in reality it is just the way that Russia and Russians work. And, as I'd argue, it's the way that Russia works best.

  2. He's putting lipstick and eyeliner on the pig in time for the winter Olympics in Sochi.

  3. Sometimes it seems as if Our entire foreign policy is based on who gets to do who.

    "came on the heels of a sweeping amnesty for about 20,000 prisoners that was passed unanimously"
    As Obama will lecture Putin on the false dichotomy of eagerly cheerleading with pom-poms accepting homosexuality or being a homophobe,
    Putin can lecture Obama on HIS world's largest prison population INSTITUTIONALIZING raping homosexuality.

    If I was Putin I would.....................Pussy Riot notwithstanding.