Monday

24th Jul 2017

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).

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now and get 40% off for an annual subscription. Sale ends soon.

  1. €90 per year. Use discount code EUOBS40%
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

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.”

Putin redraws map of Europe

Russian leader Putin on Tuesday signed a treaty making Crimea part of Russia, shortly before the crisis claimed its first casualty.

Opinion

Putin's calculations on Crimea

Putin has miscalculated many parts of his Crimea plan, but he seems to have counted right on a weak reaction by Western powers.

Juncker: Death penalty will end Turkey's EU bid

Turkish president Erdogan said he would reinstate capital punishment, for people behind last year's failed military coup. But European Commission president Juncker says the move would end Turkey's bid to join the EU.

Cyprus talks up in the air

A week after the failure of negotiations to reunite the islands, Greek Cypriots are calling on Turkish Cypriots to reaffirm their commitment to the process.

News in Brief

  1. Polish parliament adopts controversial justice reform
  2. GMO opt-out plan unlikely to go anywhere in 2017
  3. Slovak PM threatens to boycott inferior food
  4. France takes Google's 'right to be forgotten' to EU court
  5. Turkey accuses German companies of supporting terror
  6. Israel's Netanyahu caught calling EU 'crazy'
  7. UK does not collect enough data to expel EU nationals
  8. Polish president threatens to veto justice reform

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. European Jewish CongressJean-Marie Le Pen Faces Trial for Oven Comments About Jewish Singer
  2. ACCAAnnounces Belt & Road Research at Shanghai Conference
  3. ECPAFood waste in the field can double without crop protection. #WithOrWithout #pesticides
  4. EU2017EEEstonia Allocates €1 Million to Alleviate Migratory Pressure From Libya in Italy
  5. Dialogue PlatformFethullah Gulen's Message on the Anniversary of the Coup Attempt in Turkey
  6. Martens CentreWeeding out Fake News: An Approach to Social Media Regulation
  7. European Jewish CongressEJC Concerned by Normalisation of Antisemitic Tropes in Hungary
  8. Counter BalanceOut for Summer Episode 1: How the EIB Sweeps a Development Fiasco Under the Rug
  9. CESICESI to Participate in Sectoral Social Dialogue Committee on Postal Services
  10. ILGA-EuropeMalta Keeps on Rocking: Marriage Equality on Its Way
  11. European Friends of ArmeniaEuFoA Director and MEPs Comment on the Recent Conflict Escalation in Nagorno-Karabakh
  12. EU2017EEEstonian Presidency Kicks off Youth Programme With Coding Summer School

Latest News

  1. Dutch coalition talks lengthiest in 40 years
  2. Polish parliament steps up showdown with EU
  3. EU urges UK to clarify its Brexit positions
  4. Law expert: direct EU powers have become too complicated
  5. Winter is here for Spitzenkandidat, but he'll survive
  6. Mafia money pollutes the EU economy
  7. Central Europe should be wary of Brexit stopping
  8. Poland's 'July coup' and what it means for the judiciary