Rediscovering Russia: what Khodorkovsky did over the year at liberty

Yukos founder did not come back into the business, but began to actively develop social and political projects. What are his results on the eve of the first anniversary of his pardon?
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Exit to freedom of Mikhail Khodorkovsky in December 2013 after a decade of conclusion has become one of the biggest events of the past year. But by the time when the former oligarch left the colony, the final number of Forbes has already been put into print. Ignore his return we could not, therefore, Forbes editors decided to give the nomination "Comeback of the Year" Mikhail Khodorkovsky this year.

Once Russia's richest man, billionaire, and later the main prisoner of Putin's regime - which is now devoted himself to the former head of Yukos?

Releasing Khodorkovsky was a surprise for everyone. 2013 All media are actively discussing the "third Yukos case", and few believed that Khodorkovsky and his partner Platon Lebedev in the foreseeable future will be released. Why Putin suddenly decided, "Guided by the principles of humanity," to pardon Khodorkovsky six months before the expiry of the official, political analysts are wondering still.

Continued pressure from the German authorities, the opportunity to get rid of the most high-profile political cases before the Olympics in Sochi, creating reputation & laquo; a just and merciful Sovereign "- all this could affect Putin's decision. No less important was the desire to show all the critics of power that this power is not afraid of anything, including the release from prison of one of his "personal enemy". As he explained Khodorkovsky, Putin wanted to send a message not only to the world ( "I feel stable enough, I am not afraid"), but also their own environment - "stop ohrenevayu".

Nevertheless returning to full it is difficult to call. Right from the colony Khodorkovsky took the helicopter, and he immediately left Russia. And since then, and has not returned home, and, judging by his own words, he does not hope to come back as long as power remains Putin. "If Putin regime does not want to see me in Russia, at least for freedom in Russia, he had enough for now psevdoyuridicheskih mechanisms to prevent this", - he said in an interview. One of these mechanisms - alleged against him and Platon Lebedev tax debt of 17 billion rubles. Therefore, for most Russians, his return is a factmore virtual.

Do not place his return, and as a businessman - Khodorkovsky explained to Forbes, he himself in the business, no longer sees. At his first press conference Khodorkovsky also said that he had no political ambitions, he plans to engage in social activities only. Public activities, he stepped up just when the crisis began in Ukraine: in early March, in the midst of Ukrainian turmoil, he said that he was ready to act the peacemaker in the conflict, and has already performed at the Maidan after a few days.

"It's not my power. I want you to know, there is quite a different Russia ", - he said, and the crowd enthusiastically echoed him:" Russia, get up! "
In April, he along with former Interior Minister of Ukraine Yuri Lutsenko spent Intelligentsia Congress "Ukraine - Russia: Dialogue", which invited several dozens of Russian opposition figures and journalists, and immediately after that Khodorkovsky went to Donetsk. In the Donbas public figure waiting for a failure: the militia refused to communicate with him, saying that he had "betrayed their motherland" and "to visit his nicknamefor not calling. "

Critics began to accuse Khodorkovsky that he came to Ukraine, everything started well to engage in politics. And it soon became clear that the former businessman that does not hide. In an interview with the French writer and philosopher Bernard Henri-Levy, he said he made a commitment not to engage in politics only in the months of parole, that is, until August, 2014. "I'm not involved in politics directly, - he explained. - There is another fight, I intend to get involved in it: it is a struggle for the formation of Russia's democratic influence. "

Forming such an impact, Mikhail Khodorkovsky, counts with the help of special sites. One of them was to restart the project "Open Russia" - once the large-scale social organization with many regional offices, it is now the site with columns, views, and user blogs. At its base is a part of the journalists 'Rain' to the end of the year should run video portal, which are short videos ( "minimum analytics and more" naked "image") should be combined with dokumentalnymi movies and investigations.

"I do not invest in the media - he emphasizes Khodorkovsky Forbes comments. - To create a platform I serve to improve communications between the supporters of open Russia ". The only media project, in which Khodorkovsky was going to become an investor, though passive, was "Medusa" former team "". However, the parties have not been able to agree on cooperation.

Another major project is the former head of Yukos - the award for political prisoners, the organization of which he will help the team Alexei Navalny. "In the main we are allies, - Khodorkovsky wrote about Navalny tweeted. - In detail - will agree. " Assistance to prisoners and deal with other prominent oppositionists: Olga Romanova from "Rus sitting», Pussy Riot with "Mediazona".

"My working day begins at 9:00 and ends at one o'clock, - Forbes Khodorkovsky said. - On the afternoon break for family affairs. Sometimes let myself off. My task: the selection of socio-political projects and coordination of work, as well as permanent, etc.yamoe chat with fellow citizens. " With fellow citizens Khodorkovsky speaks the easiest position in his way - through social networks in which he is extremely active. Or through media interviews and comments: as befits a newsmaker of its scale and backgrounds, he says all the major events of social and political life of Russia from the collapse of the Malaysian "Boeing" to arrest Evtushenkova.

He is not afraid to shock liberal or public position on the Crimea and North Caucasus, no proposal to introduce surveillance of the authorities.

One of the latest dramatic statements of the former businessman was a speech on the 70th anniversary of the newspaper Le Mond. Asked whether he wants to become the president of Russia, Khodorkovsky said he did not want to, but is ready to go for it, if "the country is necessary to overcome the crisis." The opponents of Khodorkovsky immediately recorded the same bulk, which he himself responded to the competition imposed sarcastically: "It's funny it's - one under house arrest, the second in exile - and sitting are, find out which one of them becomes president."