Bad blood: old-rival Oligarch spews venom on Putin’s presidential campaign


December 7 , 2017 – FRN – 

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Echo Moscow  by Mikhail Khodorkovsky – translated by Inessa Sinchougova 

“A thief must be in prison. Do you think otherwise?” – Vladimir Putin.

“Vladimir Putin has announced his intention to run for the presidential post for at least one more time. 

An elderly politician who for 18 years has held absolute power and could have realized absolutely any of his ideas, but in the end fabulously enriched only a narrow circle of his friends. 

A person who for 18 years has become dependent on this very environment, which has turned into a criminal group, robbing the country.

The news was expected – this means that the country will lose another six years in its development.”

“Is six years a lot or little? It seems not that long. But this is only at first glance. Time is the only thing a person has. Six years is one-tenth of an adult’s life, if you are lucky enough to live to 80. Each of the 145 million citizens of the country will lose 6 years. It’s 870 million years for us all. 

For just six years of Putin, literally each of us will pay. Terminal cancer patients will continue to die in terrible torture and humiliating attempts to beat the disease in the country’s hospitals. Police stations will continue to route drugs.  And the likelihood that all this will not affect you personally, your family or your friends is ludicrous.

For the sake of what? Just so that the fifth presidential term in a row, well, be honest, this is the fifth term, the Kremlin criminal group remain in control of the state apparatus?

Presidential power today serves as a cover for the interests of the Kremlin criminal group – Putin’s classmates, partners in judo, guards, a secretary and a cook. The only question that now worries Putin and his entourage is the problem of preserving power for as long as possible. 

In March 2018 elections should not take place [in favour of Putin]. I see no reason to pretend that I believe in someone’s victory at all. Do not choose a winner. On voting day, I propose to come to the polls and either vote for a suitable person (not Putin), if there is one.

Six more years lost is too much. Believe me, I know the value of lost years.”

The video begins at 1.45

In the 1990s, after the collapse of the USSR – a number of individuals decided that that which once belonged to all of Russians, they could take for themselves alone. Whatever they called it – free market, venture capitalism or privatisation – ordinary people called it theft and opportunism. The oligarch parasites not only obtained that which wasn’t theirs, for pennies, they also attempted to sell state enterprises as well as state secrets (in the military sphere) to foreign powers. Khodorkovsky famously escaped to the West (after being pardoned by Putin from his prison sentence), from where to this day he spiels anti- Russian government propaganda and funds opposition NGOs.

Inessa Sinchougova is an Editor and Journalist at Fort Russ News, as well as a research fellow and translator of the Belgrade based think-tank, the Center for Syncretic Studies. She was educated at Victoria University of Wellington (New Zealand), in the field of Political Science and was previously employed in Marketing and Communications Strategy for a Multi-National Corporation. She runs a popular YouTube channel for translations of key Russian Foreign Policy figures and appears regularly on other alternative media channels.  

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