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Russia and the Rule of Law

In 2003, Mikhail Khodorkovsky, once one of Russia’s wealthiest businessmen as head of YUKOS Oil, was arrested on what most analysts considered trumped up and politically motivated charges of multi-billion ruble tax evasion.

When Khodorkovsky was eligible for parole in 2008, prosecutors leveled a second series of money-laundering charges against him, accusing him and his business partner of stealing 350 million tons of oil. The Economist described these charges as “Kafkaesque.” Khodorkovsky’s second trial is likely to wind up this fall.

The Khodorkovsky case exemplifies the abuse of the legal system, the state’s blatant role in property confiscation and redistribution, and wide-spread state corruption, all of which continue to rage in Putin’s Russia despite growing internal and international skepticism.

S. Enders Wimbush, Moderator

Hudson Institute Senior Vice President

Vadim Klyuvgant, Panelist

Lead defense attorney for Khodorkovsky

David Satter, Panelist

Hudson Senior Fellow

Andrei Piontkovsky, Panelist

Author of Russian Identity

Hudson Experts

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