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Khodorkovsky Trial and the Real Issue Behind It
31.12.10 14:30 f.USSR

By F. William Engdahl 29 December 2010

The final decision in the Russian trial against former oil oligarch Mikhail Khodorkovsky has drawn dramatic statements of protest from the US Obama Administration and governments around the world labeling Russian justice as tyrannical and worse. What is carefully omitted from the Khodovkorsky story however is the true reason Putin arrested and imprisoned the former head of Russia’s largest private oil giant, Yukos. Khodorkovsky’s real crime was not stealing Russia’s assets for a pittance in the bandit era of Yeltsin.

Mikhail Khodorkovsky’s real crime is that he was a key part of a Western intelligence operation to dismantle and destroy what remains of Russia as a functioning state. When the facts are known the justice served on him is mild by comparison to US or UK standard treatment of those convicted of treason against the state. Obama’s torture prison at Guantanamo is merely one example of Washington’s double standard.

According to the politically correct sanitized account in Wikipedia, “Yukos Oil Company was a petroleum company in Russia which, until 2003, was controlled by Russian oligarch Mikhail Khodorkovsky…Khodorkovsky was convicted and sent to prison…Yukos was one of the biggest and one of the most successful Russian companies in 2000-2003. In 2003, following a tax reassessment, the Russian government presented Yukos with a series of tax claims that amounted to $27 billion. As Yukoss assets were frozen by the government at the same time, the company was not able to pay these tax demands. On August 1, 2006, a Russian court declared Yukos bankrupt. Most of Yukoss assets were sold at low prices to oil companies owned by the Russian government. The Parliamentary Council of Europe has condemned Russias campaign against Yukos and its owners as manufactured for political reasons and a violation of human rights.”i

If we dig a little deeper however we find a quite different case. As he stepped out of his private plane in Siberia in October 2003 Khodorkovsky was arrested. He was arrested, as Wikipedia correctly states, for tax crimes. What they did not say is that he at the tender age of 40 had risen to become the richest man in Russia worth some $15 billion by fraudulent acquisition of state assets during the lawless Yeltsin era. In an auction run by his own bank, Khodorkovsky paid $309 million for Yukos. In 2003 the same company was assessed as worth $45 billion, and not owing to Khodorkovsky’s management genius.

In 1998, Khodorkovsky had been let free in a US case where he was charged with helping launder $10 billion with his own bank and the Bank of New York. He had very influential friends in the US it appeared. The then head of the Bank of New York, Edmund Safra, was murdered some months later in his Monaco apartment reportedly from members of an alleged “Russian mafia” whom he had cheated in a drug money laundering scheme.ii

But there was more. Khodorkovsky built some impressive ties in the West. With his new billions in effect stolen from the Russian people, he made some powerful friends. He set up a foundation modeled on US billionaire George Soros’ Open Society, calling it the Open Russia Foundation. He invited two powerful Westerners to its board—Henry Kissinger and Jacob Lord Rothschild. Then he set about to develop ties with some of the most powerful circles in Washington where he was named to the Advisory Board of the secretive private equity firm, Carlyle Group where he attended board meetings with fellow advisors such as George H.W. Bush and James Baker III. iii

However, the real crime that landed Khodorkovsky behind Russian bars was the fact that he was in the middle of making a US-backed coup d’etat to capture the Russian presidency in planned 2004 Russian Duma elections. Khodorkovsky was in the process of using his enormous wealth to buy enough se3ats in the coming Duma elections that he could change Russian laws regarding ownership of oil in the ground and of pipelines transporting same. In addition he planned to directly challenge Putin and become Russian President. As part of the horse trade that won Putin the tacit support of the wealthy so-called Russian Oligarchs, Putin had extracted agreement that they be allowed to hold on to their wealth provided they repatriate a share back into Russia and provided they not interfere in domestic Russian politics with their wealth. Most oligarchs agreed, as did Khodorkovsky at the time. They remain established Russian businessmen. Khodorkovsky did not.

Moreover, at the time of his arrest Khodorkovsky was in the process of negotiating via his Carlyle friend George H.W. Bush, father of the then-President George W. Bush, the sale of 40% of Yukos to either Condi Rice’s former company, Chevron or ExxonMobil in a move that would have dealt a crippling blow to the one asset left Russia and Putin to use for the rebuilding of the wrecked Russian economy: oil and export via state-owned pipelines to the West for dollars. During the ensuing Russian state prosecution of Yukos, it came to light that Khodorkovsky had also secretly made a contract with London’s Lord Rothschild not merely to support Russian culture via the Open Russia Foundation of Khodorkovsky.iv In the event of his possible arrest (Khodorkovsky evidently knew he was playing a high-risk game trying to crwate a coup against Putin) the 40% share of his Yukos stocks would pass into the hands of Lord Rothschild. v

The crocodile tears of Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama for the violations of Khodorkovsky’s human rights hide a far deeper agenda that is not being admitted. Washington used the Russian to try to reach its goal of totally destroying the only power left on the earth with sufficient military strike power to challenge the Pentagon’s Full Spectrum Dominance strategy—control of the entire planet. When seen in that light the sweet loaded words “human rights” take on a quite different meaning.

i Wikipedia, Yukos, accessed in

ii David Kohn, Murder In Monaco: An American On Trial Is Ted Maher Guilty Of Arson?, February 4, 2003, accessed in

iii Dateline D.C., Soros and Khodorkovsky, TribLiveNews, November 16, 2003, accessed in

iv AFP, Arrested oil tycoon passed shares to banker, November 2, 2003, The Washington Times, accessed in

v F. William Engdahl, Full Spectrum Dominance: Totalitarian Democracy in the New World Order, edition.engdahl, 2009, pp. 58-60.


Tet, EU01.01.11 10:17
Happy New Year. Nice to see that Engdahl is posting his articles on this site even before his own. Peace
01.01.11 13:40
Happy New Year, Tet! Our best wishes for you.
masky1907.01.11 14:11
Happy New Year.

For me this article is totally biased.
So now the totally "lawfull" Putin era, is allowed to arrest political enemies.

Is not about what he did(and he deserves prision time, he and the other hundreds of overnight bilionaires), its about a political law system, which can arrest and convict any citizen at any point in time, at the request of a political ruler.
Tet, EU07.01.11 18:38
Engdahl is simply pointing out that Khodorkovsky is an enemy of the State and was clearly trading with the enemy and deserved to be drawn, hung and quartered which was the English metod of dealing with traitors. Today the US Oligarchs simpy send their Political Enemies to Guantanamo where they have no access to the rule of law at all. If the Nation cant arrest its National enemies, you have something other than a Nation, more likely a debtors prison. Looks more like Russia is a Nation again and nolonger the Bank of London/Federal Reserve Debtors Prison that it was during Yeltsin era when Russia took its orders from Jacob Lord Rothschild and the Rockefellers. Peace.
masky1910.01.11 11:58
True, if you have limited "us vs them" nationalistic vision. And all the world is your enemy, as it doesnt let you be the dominant power you deserve to be.
False, if you want a Nation that is ruled by the law and not self-appointed demi-gods.

In any country, the law should be above anything else. As for US, for now, their political system is balanced, there arent any real friction between democrat and republicans, they all receive the same orders from the owners of the corporations and banks. So there is no need for Guantanamo.

As it is, right now the US, has a double standard law system, which is wrong and wont sustain for long a society, but it exists.
In Russia, it doesnt! And its visible with the amount in violent crime is on the rise, the people are not protected by the law anymore, the law protects the violent leaders which have appeared. It has turned in a primitive state, which resorts on primitive rethoric to control the masses.

The law should be protected at any cost and it has to be strict.
It has to be strict, in order to protect all people, but especially to protect the most important humans, the one who look outside the boundries, the one who think outside the box, the ones which will make our world evolve.

But hey, its easier to go back to the animal inside. Us vs Them, its best that way.
We can blame anything on Them, we dont need to prove anything. Them are the root of all evil, if it wasnt for Them we would be in Eden right now.
Peace is a state of mind.
Tet, EU10.01.11 18:58

I guess when someone breaks into your home, is in the process of stealing your possessions when you get home and claims what they are stealing is really their possessions because he has written his own Bill of Sale, you can either believe him and help him load up his truck with your stuff, or you can stop him from robbing you blind. Peace.

kouroush11.01.11 17:32
> masky19

> In Russia, it doesnt! And its visible with the amount in violent crime is on the rise, the people are not protected by the law anymore, the law protects the violent leaders which have appeared. It has turned in a primitive state, which resorts on primitive rethoric to control the masses.


Your opinion is heavily biased. Want to compare homicides in Moscow and Washington, D.C. ?

Do you know what life for ordinary Russian looked like in mid-1990s ? I guess not, so stop wring your hands over our fate. We are all right here, thank you very much.
PeresMeshnick13.12.11 12:30
heck how could an "oil tycoon" have acomplished something like that author pretended

to name a treason ? Israel is very well a functioning state with NO OIL at all ! As regards

what is now glibly called bandit era i am inclined to think interlocutors hardly know a

malefactor as the chief factor of human race progress, see Devil Dictionary by A Bierce

for details. Personally I have not been working for Ukoz for a day but i got wind of him

threatening to hire chinese blacklegs when russian specialists were on strike. This is

a thing he is now in due social position

for. needless to say if someone breaks into your home

you are within your rights to use violence and no questions



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