Friday

26th Aug 2016

Khodorkovsky: Putin fears Ukraine 'revolution'

  • Khodorkovsky has spent two days in Ukraine, making speeches and visiting hospitals (Photo: khodorkovsky.com)

Russian oligarch-turned-dissident Mikhail Khodorkovsky has said the Kremlin fears the Ukrainian revolution, but warned Ukraine not to expect too much help from the West.

The 50-year-old businessman, who currently lives in Zurich after being released from prison by Russian President Vladimir Putin last December, spoke at a meeting in The Kiev State Polytechnic Museum on Monday (10 March).

Dear EUobserver reader

Subscribe now for unrestricted access to EUobserver.

Sign up for 30 days' free trial, no obligation. Full subscription only 15 € / month or 150 € / year.

  1. Unlimited access on desktop and mobile
  2. All premium articles, analysis, commentary and investigations
  3. EUobserver archives

EUobserver is the only independent news media covering EU affairs in Brussels and all 28 member states.

♡ We value your support.

If you already have an account click here to login.

He told the students that Russia is describing the overthrow of Ukraine’s former president Viktor Yanukovych as a “coup” because to call it a “revolution” would have dangerous implications for the Russian elite.

“Coups primarily take place in situations where there is a constitutional regime. But Ukraine under the Yanukovych regime, as indeed, modern Russia, can hardly be called a legal state, despite the existence of a written constitutional charter. A legal state only exists where there is real separation of powers, an independent judiciary, a handover of power in fair elections, law enforcement. It is quite obvious that nothing like this existed either in Ukraine under Viktor Yanukovych or exists in Russia under Vladimir Putin,” he said.

He noted: “The second revolution in Ukraine [after the Orange revolution in 2004] is a universal event. Its significance goes far beyond Ukraine itself, what is happening now in Ukraine may lead to a reformatting of European politics … This makes Russian government nervous, because the same scenario may be played in Russia.”

“Ukraine could become a new beacon and source of values​​, values ​​for a new Russia, which has not yet been created.”

He warned the audience they should not expect the West to intervene decisively in Ukraine’s confrontation with Russia.

“You can do it [solve the Crimean crisis] yourself. And who told you that could be an easy path?” he said.

He also warned them that one of the biggest threats to the success of the Maidan, the protest movement, is an ethnic conflict between Ukrainian- and Russian-speakers in the country.

Khodorkovsky added that Crimea, which is under occupation by Russian soldiers and pro-Russian paramilitaries ahead of a referendum on joining Russia on 16 March, is considered “a kind of Holy Land” by many Russians.

He suggested it should be granted autonomy, on the model of Scotland and the UK, or on the model of the Belgian or Swiss federations.

His speech met with noisy applause, the Ukrainian newspaper, the Kiyvpost reports. His remarks on Sunday at the Maidan itself, the main protest camp in Kiev city centre, met with a similar reaction.

He said on Sunday he blames the Russian government for the violence in Ukraine which saw more than 100 people killed and thousands injured: “I was told and shown what the authorities did here. They did it with the consent of the Russian authorities … I felt like crying. It was horrifying. It is not my government.”

He noted: “I want you to know that there is an entirely different Russia … I believe that Russia and Ukraine have a common path of European development.”

Slovakia's Fico goes to Russia

The Slovak prime minister, whose country currently chairs the EU council, will meet the Russian leader ahead of upcoming EU talks on Russia policy.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. EFASpain is not a democratic state. EFA expresses its solidarity to Arnaldo Otegi and EH Bildu
  2. UNICEFBoko Haram Violence in Lake Chad Region Leaves Children Displaced and Trapped
  3. HuaweiMaking Cities Smarter and Safer
  4. GoogleHow Google Makes Connections More Secure For Users
  5. EGBAThe EU Court of Justice Confirms the Application of Proportionality in Assessing Gambling Laws
  6. World VisionThe EU and Member States Must Not Use Overseas Aid for Promoting EU Interests
  7. Dialogue PlatformInterview: "There is a witch hunt against the Gulen Movement in Turkey"
  8. ACCAACCA Calls for ‘Future Looking’ Integrated Reporting Culture With IIRC and IAAER
  9. EURidNominate Your Favourite .eu or .ею Website for the .EU Web Awards 2016 Today!
  10. Dialogue PlatformAn Interview on Gulen Movement & Recent Coup Attempt in Turkey
  11. GoogleA Little Bird Told us to Start Tweeting About Google’s Work Across Europe. Learn More @GoogleBrussels
  12. Counter BalanceThe Trans Adriatic Pipeline: An Opportunity or a Scam in the Making for Albania?

Latest News

  1. Italy earthquake is test for Renzi
  2. Let's fix EU copyright law, for innovation and creativity online
  3. French government tries to defuse burkini row
  4. EU to Turkey: Do you really want to join?
  5. US slams EU competition policies
  6. French diesel committee 'did not cover up for Renault'
  7. EU backs Greek ex-data chief over criminal charges
  8. EU must step up migrant relocation, say Italy and Greece