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Mikhail Khodorkovsky

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Mikhail Khodorkovsky

Former Political Prisoner; Founder, Russian Anti-War Committee; Founder, Open Russia
Mikhail Khodorkovsky

Mikhail Khodorkovsky is the founder of the Open Russia, a movement committed to promoting democratic rule in Russia. A successful businessman, Khodorkovsky was head of YUKOS, Russia's largest private oil firm, where he established international management codes of practice and substantially increased production. An early supporter of democratic change, at a televised meeting with President Putin in early 2003, he criticised endemic corruption. Later that same year he was arrested, and jailed on charges of tax evasion and fraud, charges, which he denied and vigorously defended. Khodorkovsky was sentenced to fourteen years in prison. He was declared a prisoner of conscience by Amnesty International and finally released in December 2013. Today, Khodorkovsky advocates an alternative vision for his country: a strong and just state, committed to observing human rights, free and fair elections, and the rule of law.