May 8th, 2012

Khodorkovsky reflects on Putin’s inauguration and the Russian judicial system

Mikhail Khodorkovsky

In a piece published in TIME magazine in time for Vladimir Putin’s inauguration, jailed former Yukos chief Mikhail Khodorkovsky writes about the lack of rule of law in Russia and how individuals looking for justice there can’t count on the judicial system, which remains under Putin’s influence.

“Perhaps an individual judge may be biased,” he writes,

but the judicial system as a whole can’t ignore both the law and self-evident facts. Therein lies the error in my reasoning. […] The main feature of the Putin regime, though, is its deceitfulness—from the very top, all the way down. Corruption, stealing from the treasury, persecution of political opponents—all these are consequences of the deep immorality of this government, a government that is more comfortable with smears and evasions than with transparency.

Khodorkovsky closes by saying that more and more, the Russian people are standing up to the regime and that this disobedience will soon bear fruit:

For the [younger generation’s] sake, we are beginning to stand taller at last. We are beginning to stand taller in the deceitful courts and on the streets of our cities. Yes, we are still afraid, but now, even more than that, we’re ashamed in the presence of our children. And we can’t be made to bend anymore.

Read Khodorkovsky’s full column here.

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