Khodorkovsky: Putin’s Crisis With the West is Mostly Made-Up Crap


Made up by Putin that is, and it’s what I believe too.

Moscow: Russian President Vladimir Putin`s confrontation with the West is “artificial” and aimed at protecting Russia`s ruling elite and distracting attention from a corrupt system, a former Russian oil tycoon said on Wednesday. 

“The current confrontation with the West is absolutely artificial,” Mikhail Khodorkovsky told the Atlantic Council think tank.

“The cooling of relations has been inspired by those Russian elites who want to hold on to power.”

Speaking through a translator, Khodorkovsky, once Russia`s richest man, said, “They desperately need an image of an enemy who would distract the attention of the populace from the corruption and inefficiency that exists in the power.”

Khodorkovsky`s empire, which included now defunct Russian oil company Yukos, produced more crude than Qatar before he ran afoul of Putin and was jailed for fraud and tax evasion. Putin pardoned him in December 2013.

Khodorkovsky, one of Putin`s most outspoken critics, lives in Switzerland.

“Unfortunately, there can be no talk of any new strategic rapprochement while Putin remains in power,” Khodorkovsky said.

“In Russia such a system has been built under which any decision can be suddenly changed at the whim of one person, who is not controlled by any internal political mechanisms,” he said.

Asked whether he would run for president of Russia, Khodorkovsky replied, “I don`t want to waste questions that have no practical value right now.”

But, he said, “sooner or later” a power change would occur in Russia and the West should be prepared to help Russia quickly reintegrate into the global system.

That could happen by making Russia a member of NATO and the European Union.

Khodorkovsky said it would be in Putin`s interest to “freeze” the conflict in eastern Ukraine.

He cautioned Washington over sending weapons to Ukraine, and said most Russians already believed the conflict there was between Russia and the United States.

“This situation is going to keep on developing in this direction if arms start being shipped to Ukraine,” he said.

“Then you have the question whether the United States is ready to step into the conflict and to win because if it is not ready for that this will be interpreted as America having lost.”


  • I thought Putin could be trusted!

    • Drunk_by_Noon

      Well, once you know his game plan, he’s somewhat predictable.
      That’s the real problem in dealing with some of these foreign governments. That is, expecting them to behave like a rational actor in the west would behave.
      Putin’s not sweating his next election or wondering if the Duma will vote his way.

    • El Martyachi

      … seemed like a nice enough guy.

      • andycanuck

        And he comments at BCF all the time too that usually indicates being a great human being too.

        • El Martyachi

          … there is no higher calling AFAICT.

        • Billy Bob Thornton

          That guy is an impersonator. Putin at least looks after his nation. Russia is better off with Putin, and Russia will never go back to being a puppet state of the USA, which the West hopes for! He is a nationalist and someone that stands up for his nation and his nation is nearly debt-free, unlike the biggest debtor nation in the history of the world, the USA. The US has invaded close to 10 nations since 9/11. The US is the aggressor nation.

          • El Martyachi

            No, I’m pretty sure it’s really him. You can just tell by the way he posts.

          • Drunk_by_Noon

            Yes, I can tell by the pixels.
            It’s absolutely him.

            I also want to know what kind of idiots at Rogers Cable gave a goat internet access.
            A goat? Jokes on them if he ever decided to not pay his bill too.
            Every knows that you can’t sue a goat!

          • (sigh)

          • Clink9

            You tell ’em comrade. Don’t take any crap from Uncle Sam!

    • Alain

      Yes, Putin can be trusted like we can trust all politicians.

  • cmh

    i totally agree.. those people want stability that russia can give them. it is false and dangerous to meddle in this. harper is encouraging hatred toward canada by his war mongering….and in my opinion it is wrong

    • mobuyus

      Hmmm…Putin Harper…Harper warmonger…Hmmm.

  • Justin

    Khodorkovsky is a lying, anti Russian Western stooge. He should not be trusted.

    • Clink9

      If you’re not anti Russian, you’re not paying attention.

    • john s

      Stooge or not, people ought to be more skeptical about what this guy has to say. He has a pretty big axe to grind. I had to laugh a little though about the part where rich russians are manufacturing a crisis to keep them in power. Does this not ring a bell for westerners? Are we really free of such behaviour on the part of our pols and media? I think not.

      • Alain

        Yes, the same strategy is used in the West; I refer to creating a crisis/enemy in order to distract the citizens while removing their freedom one step at a time. Here it is the Muslim threat (brought to us by our own government) resulting in the erosion of civil liberties and basic freedom. The Liberals used the Muslim nut job who shot the female students in Quebec to trample on our gun rights. It just goes on and on.

  • Billy Bob Thornton

    Ukraine is nearly bankrupt and knows that the only choice they have left after poor leadership by Porschenko is to get a war started with Russia. Any Russian going against Russian nationalism is a pro-Western stooge just like Kasparov. I wonder how much Kasparov is being paid these days to give his anti-Putin speeches, even equating him to Hitler. It is clear that the US and the West want no nationalist states and nations that look after the best interests of their people. They just want bankrupted states like Ukraine.

    • Minicapt

      Anyone who advocates on behalf of Putin does not appreciate Quebecois cuisine.


  • Of course it is.

    If Russians focused on their tanking economy rather than Putin’s anti-Western sentiments, they would hate him.

    • El Martyachi

      The brokenness of his compact with domestic elites is irrevokable. Interesting times ahead…

      • Russian banks are trading with the yuan.

        Interesting times, indeed.

        • El Martyachi

          There’s a couple silver linings to 2015 Putinism.
          He’s reminded everyone, especially eurofags, that use of force, or at least the credible threat thereof, matters. He’s reminded westerners that treasonous fifth columnists are not exclusively on the left.

          • dance…dancetotheradio

            Love it!

          • But that’s typically Russian. He is an extortionist and a killer. He is a throwback from a bygone age.

          • El Martyachi

            … nobody’s perfect.

          • (sigh)