Khodorkovsky verdict: Views from Russia
- 27 December 2010
- From the section Europe
Former Russian oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky has been found guilty of embezzlement at his second trial in Moscow.
Khodorkovsky is already serving an eight-year sentence for fraud and tax evasion from his 2005 trial. His supporters maintain the case against him is politically motivated.
BBC Russian and BBC News website readers in Russia have been sending in their reaction to the verdict and what it means for the country.
This verdict is a disgrace for the Russian court system and for the state as a whole! Vitaly, St Petersburg
I totally agree with the guilty verdict. Khodorkovsky's supporters want the worst for Russia. I don't understand why Khodorkovsky should have had the privilege of producing oil (which should belong to the nation), making huge profits from it and then pulling fraudulent schemes to make those profits even bigger. Those rich people can never have enough. Vadim, Moscow
We shouldn't fool ourselves, Khodorkovsky is no saint. But then most Russian businessmen, or at least the oligarchs, who started out in business in the 1990s, could be jailed on the same grounds. So this verdict to me is yet another proof of the fact that there is no justice in Russia, the courts have become a tool to be manipulated by the powers that be. As for Russia's image, a country where there is no rule of law, it is not very attractive for investors. Mikhalych, Moscow
It is not a bad thing that Khodorkovsky is in jail. But it is a bad thing that others like him are not in jail. Sergei M, St Petersburg
There is no rule of law in Russia. But will this guilty verdict affect Russia's image abroad? I don't think so. The west is continuing to court Russia's duumvirate [President Dmitry Medvedev and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin]. Svetlana Terskaya, Kandalaksha, Murmansk Region
I had expected this verdict. It symbolises the strained relations between the authorities and business. Business knows what the authorities can do to it and will not contest their decisions. As for Russia's image, nothing will happen to it. Thanks to PR, Russia can project an image it chooses to project to the West. Vladimir Okhota, Perm
It is business as usual. Nothing has changed in Russia since Soviet times. Khodorkovsky is accused of having stolen from himself. This is sad and disgraceful. Russia is not a country to be dealt with. Dmitry, Saratov
I consider Khodorkovsky a victim of political repression. If he is guilty, he is no more guilty than other politicians and businessmen in Russia. Law should be the same for everyone. Yevgeny, St Petersburg
Bernard Madoff robbed the rich. Only rich people could be part of his Ponzi scheme. Khodorkovsky robbed the poor. His schemes where implemented when people were not receiving their salaries and pensions, when they had no money to by food or medicine. Both men are criminals, but what Khodorkovsky did disgusts me. Vladimir, St Petersburg
I did have a tiny bit of hope, I was counting on President Medvedev to change things. But now it is clear that it is all just games the duumvirate is playing. Andrei Sidorenko, Khabarovsk
I think the importance of this news has been blown out of proportion. No-one in Russia remembers the Khodorkovsky saga, apart from the people who have an interest in this - Khodorkovsky's former colleagues, those who were in power under Boris Yeltsin and who have now turned into the opposition. Khodorkovsky just fails to understand that he is not that popular among Russians, that his friends are a tiny percentage of the population. Oil and gas are a strategic resource and must belong to everyone through belonging to the state, like in Norway. Veronika, Moscow
For me this is the final disappointment. Hope, of which Russian patriot Mikhail Khodorkovsky spoke, has been extinguished. I want to learn a foreign language and leave Russia as soon as possible. And take my family with me. Ivan, St Petersburg
It's a verdict on Putin, not on Khodorkovsky. For Russia this means there's no lawful way to protect yourself against Putin and his huge pyramid. Unfortunately this opens too many law-breaking ways. If people can't find protection in courts, they have to protect themselves on their own. Interestingly enough, no single Russian media has this news. No media is left uncontrolled. Alexander Lazarev, Troitsk
I feel very disappointed about this verdict. Progressive-thinking people realise that the second conviction of the former head of Yukos means the end of hopes for Russia's democratic development. Nina Nikitina, Ekaterinburg
Just like the majority of Russians, I am glad to see this man behind bars. In my opinion, he is not a hero, only a thief who profited from the collapse of my country, ruining countless lives in the process. He did not create a new industry or become an innovator, he "privatised" an oil company, pumping my country dry of natural resources for the sole purpose of enriching himself. The fact that earlier this man was a communist, shows that he has no conscience to speak of and cares for nothing other than personal power and wealth. The fact that this former communist now says that the fate of my country depends on the outcome of his trial is beyond insulting. It's more than likely that the reason he and others like him were prosecuted was political. To me that doesn't matter, at least we get to see some justice done for what happened in the 90s. I hope he gets his wish and spends the rest of his life in prison. Vladislav, Moscow
The verdict is not a surprise for me but still I have been very upset and angry. Even for me who is not sophisticated in jurisprudence it is clear that this court has little to do with law and the prosecution is politically motivated. For Russia this is likely to mean more years of lack of political and economic competition, lawlessness and corruption growth. Igor Alyoshin, Novosibirsk
I'd set Khodorkovsky free whether he is to blame or not. Really, he has had enough spending behind bars, seven-plus years. I fully support the expression "a thief belongs in prison", but the question is why all other tycoons-cum-thieves are still free and happy? It is no secret that so-called oligarchs in Russia have become rich through stealing, all kind of embezzlement or patronage of the powers that be. All they plus those who initiated the rapacious privatisation here in Russia should have been put in prisoner's box next to Mikhail Khodorkovsky and Platon Lebedev. Alex, Moscow