I am too busy enjoying Kiev to really be in the mood to blog about the trial of Mikhail Khodorkovsky and Platon Lebedev, but I did want to say a couple of things
I don’t believe that Mikhail Khodorkovsky is “the Russian Nelson Mandela.” I think this categorization is ridiculous. I like what a colleague of mine said about the cartoonish proceedings surrounding his latest trial in Moscow: “two wrongs don’t make a right.” I don’t consider Khodorkovsky a hero – he certainly was the opposite of that before he went to prison, at the very least, and I wish people would remember that. Oligarchs don’t rise to power because they’re great guys who just happened to find billions upon billions in a trash bag on the sidewalk sometime in the 1990’s, OK? But this latest trial and sentencing of Khodorkovsky and his associate Platon Lebedev is an embarrassment for the Russian judicial system and the Kremlin and to business in Russia. And I don’t blame Khodorkovsky’s mother for raining down curses on the head of Judge Danilkin and his progeny at the sentencing. If I was in her position, I’d do the same thing.