The Trial Was a Pig-Circus, He Never Had a Chance


For defending jailed oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky and attacking Vladimir Putin's political party "United Russia," former Bolshoi ballerina Anastasia Volochkova claims that the Kremlin banned her from appearing on state television—a small problem in Russia, where the state controls almost all television channels. Volochkova's defense of Khodorkovsky, the subject of a much-discussed new documentary that recently premiered at the Berlin Film Festival, rankled Putin apparatchik and "chief ideologue" Vladislav Surkov, who will doubtless blow a gasket when he's sees this article in The Wall Street Journal. According to an assistant to the judge Khodorkovsky's case, her boss was only responding to government pressure when he meted out such a harsh sentence:

Natalya Vasilieva, an assistant to Judge Viktor Danilkin and press secretary of the Khamovnichesky Court, said in an interview broadcast Monday that the judge's original draft of the verdict was rejected and that he was ordered to read one written by senior officials at the Moscow City Court….

Ms. Vasilieva couldn't be reached for comment. Court officials said she was on vacation until next month. In the interview, Ms. Vasilieva said she expected "consequences," including losing her job, as a result of going public with her allegations. "We won't conduct any repressions against her," said Ms. Usacheva, the spokeswoman for the Moscow City Court, noting that any criminal investigation of Ms. Vasilieva for slander or surrounding her allegations would be a matter for prosecutors….

Ms. Vasilieva's claims support the widespread view that the latest trial of Mr. Khodorkovsky, once Russia's richest man and the former owner of oil giant OAO Yukos, was politically motivated. Kremlin officials have repeatedly denied those allegations. But courts in several countries in Europe have ruled in related cases that the prosecution of Mr. Khodorkovsky and the court-ordered breakup of Yukos appeared driven by the Kremlin's desire to scotch Mr. Khodorkovsky's political ambitions and nationalize his company.

The Guardian on the "unexpected hit" of the Berlin Film Festival.

NEXT: Take Arizona. Please.

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  1. Yeah, when I read that, I wondered aloud how many weeks until Ms. Vasilieva ends up dead or otherwise fucked up by Putin’s goons. Pretty brave of her.

    1. Depends on your definition by “fucked up”. Physically attacked? Probably won’t happen. She is way too visible in Russia for that. Have, say, her job suddenly disappearing? Already started, they are considering a lawsuit against her.

      1. Probably won’t happen right away. Vlad has a long enough memory to wait until this is mostly forgotten.

    2. I remember what “on vacation” means from Forrest Gump.

    3. Only a Christ-fag would speak ill of Putin.

      1. This reminds me. After reading sugarfree’s link this morning about masturbation: If I were a judge, and shreik ever came before me, my sentence would be for him to ghost-write articles for Christwire for X years, depending on the offense.

  2. The left’s recent attacks on the Koch brothers might be seen as the American version of this episode….

    But Khodorkovsky did enter politics. (the Kochs did as well but come on…funding a Libertarian campaign is not really a serious way of entering politics.)

    I think saying what happened to Khodorkovsky would be a better example of how Russia deals with their own Kennedy.

    1. joshua corning|2.15.11 @ 7:11PM|#
      “The left’s recent attacks on the Koch brothers might be seen as the American version of this episode….”

      Bit of hyperbole. The left screams and shouts, but the Kocks haven’t been hauled to court on trumped-up charges.
      We (the US) have problems, but….

      1. Bit of hyperbole.

        Give me a fucking break.

        Comparing and contrasting how different cultures and countries deal with tycoons who enter politics is not hyperbole.

        It is comparing and contrasting.

        It only makes it worse that you falsely accused me of hyperbole on a Moynihan thread.

        If you meant it ironically then you are worse then Stalin.

        1. “It only makes it worse that you falsely accused me of hyperbole on a Moynihan thread.”

          WIH is this supposed to mean? Hyperbole is hyperbole.
          Such as:
          “you are worse then Stalin.”
          Take a hike.

          1. WIH is this supposed to mean? Hyperbole is hyperbole.

            Moynihan is the king of being offended by phantom hyperbole.

            It is an illness and he does need to seek medical help.

          2. You know who else was worse than Stalin…

              1. Oh, I know. Genghis Khan!

      2. “The left screams and shouts, but the Kocks haven’t been hauled to court on trumped-up charges.”

        Just you wait!

    2. While the Koch’s stated home residence Kansas is doubtless its own special type of hell it doesn’t quite measure up to an out door Siberian prison and something makes me think the Kochs don’t spend a lot of time their – if they do – well that’s one thing to hold against them.

      1. Since Koch Industries is headquartered in Wichita, KS…I would guess they spend quite a bit of time there.

        OTOH, I could just get all provincial, and say “fuck you”. Which imminently bankrupt state are you from?

  3. Who’s the tranny?

    1. Eastern European women’s taste in fashion is only better then eastern European men’s taste in women’s fashion.

      It is also a downard spiral of one upman ship.

      My prediction is that by 2020 Russian women will be wearing hoody footie PJs accessorized by iron maiden bandannas into night clubs.

      1. They’ll still look hot though. I’ll take a bad fashion sense epidemic over the obesity epidemic any day.

        And the K. movie was bound to do well as soon as some KGB genius decided to steal it. Those Chekisti really don’t understand psychology.

    2. also…is it just me or does that make-up accentuate, rather then conceal, her skin and facial flaws?

      1. Good grief Josh this is just what happens when Michael picks the pictures. Here is the photo El Jeffe would have used:…..niWcfgMmyQ

        1. That isn’t a tranny?

  4. It is truly incredible that the government continues to deny that Putin ordered the trial. Sending in masked gunmen to arrest somebody for tax evasion is as blatant proof as it gets.

    1. Political strongmen aren’t known for caring whether you actually believe their official denials.

    2. Here we only send masked gunmen in to break up poker games.

    3. While Putin is a first class asshole, I don’t get the love for Khodorkovsky. I mean, he’s probably order fewer murders than Putie, but he’s far from innocent.

      “The fact is that Khodorkovsky is guilty of all charges and possibly some others to include torture, criminal conspiracy, and homicide and there should be no doubt in anyone’s mind that he stole upwards of $15 billion from the Russian people. If Clinton and Obama had bothered to check they almost certainly would have discovered a file on Khodorkovsky’s activities about a foot thick at the FBI offices on Pennsylvania Avenue. Russian leader Vladimir Putin’s move to hold the oligarchs accountable for their crimes, which included multiple murders in addition to massive corruption and fraud, is extremely popular and so it should be. Most oligarchs have fled to Western Europe or to Israel to avoid prosecution.”…..-disorder/

  5. I complain a lot about US law and policies, but one thing I am thankful for is our relatively lax libel and slander laws (and the fact that they are civil rather than criminal in nature).

  6. Khodorkovsky. Putin.

    The only difference between the two is that one is in prison.



    [Reconstruction Political Gerrymandering]

    Now, we spent the last two days on (, blogging on the Matthew Yglesias, site, a [SUPERIOR SITE], and this is not meant to be a hit job we’re not Anthony come to bury Caesar, but that being said, he’s a far-Far-FAR-Left, Democratic Nelson Mandela/John Brown Abolitionist Socialist Activist Thinker, just to keep in touch with what, the Far-Left is thinking, now we seldom go on the Far-Right sites we pretty much worked as a hired mercenary for them all our lives, Marine Corp. Gen. Chesty Puller always said, the military were Wall St., enforcers, and that hit the nail on the head. And, Yglesias is a very bright individual and has thinking in line with that of Nelson Mandela, the concept that the transition from a North American Continent, of Anglo-Saxon based Heritage to one of a Black/Negro Based African Heritage, can be done thru peaceful political means, and much as with Mandela the road to Hell is paved with good intentions and has targeted the Confederate States of Mississippi and Alabama, for a [21st] Twenty-First Century re-creation of the [19th] Nineteenth Century Post War of Secession [1865] Reconstruction Era Period, using a new [21st] Century, Gerrymandering System, with the intent of, placing as in [1865], more Black/Negro faces into State thru Federal government.

    [White Man’s Burden/Black Man’s Revenge]

    But, that being said we found that Yglesias, while having the best of intentions, and the best laid plans of mice and men often, go astray, has followers much as Mandela’s, who have far less noble one’s as the Confederate States [19th] Century White Mans Burden, is seen more in view as an opportunity for Black revenge of the [21st] Century with Mississippi the top of the hit list with Alabama a close [2nd] Second. This would all seem like a bad dream or a badly made movie if it wasn’t for real. It’s stopped being about good government and more about some Zeitgeist in reverse, a skin pigmentation based Social Agenda, the oppressed must now be given rule, its much like the French Revolution, with Madam Guillotine and citizen mob ruling of France, now this may not be the intended out come, that Matt Yglesias envisions but his followers seem to have a vengeance is justified mine set, as much as the continued retribution served upon Germany over the last [65] Sixty-Five year, of Political house cleaning, Para-Military/Military/Police, occupation of some form and Economic repression, with reparations paid to the State of Israel, too now be wrought upon former Confederate States.

    [Capitalist/Socialist Democratic]

    Now, we seem to have developed a split in the Democratic Party, now made up of [2] two types of Democratic, Capitalist and Socialist;

    [THE CAPITALIST DEMOCRATIC]: The Capitalist Democratic are like Ronnie Reagan, he didn’t leave the party the party left him, and then he became a Republican. Well, it seems the Capitalist Democratic are pretty much like Ronnie Reagan, they didn’t leave the party, the party, left, Left, LEFT, them, and the boys were left out in the cold, they were not Socialist Democratic, and they weren’t Republican, so what to do, not seek re-election, they haven’t got a political party that they can support, the [18th] Century government The United States of America doesn’t exist, having been replaced by the [21st] Century, American-Israeli Empire.

    [THE SOCIALIST DEMOCRATIC]: The American-Israeli Empire, far-Far-FAR-Left, Democratic Nelson Mandela/John Brown Abolitionist Socialist Activists, the My Way Or The Highway, Socialist, they hate, Hate, HATE, Tea-baggers and Republican’s, the white establishment, the White Devils, thinking in line with [Malcome-X/El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz], and Black Muslim leader Lewis Farakhan, and they have a lexicon of foul words used by Sailor’s and is not meant for civilized society, used upon those who’s comment’s don’t fix into the thinking of their blogging community, and will tell you to just leave their blogging community. There goal is one of retribution, much as occurred in The Union of South Africa, which became a blood bath, which ended up in the breaking up of the country, and return to a [3rd] third world status.

    [The Consequences of Empire in Decline]

    Now, the whole great social experimentation started in [1776] was never going to work anyway, as was said on [1] One episode of Inspector Lewis All Men Are Created Equal and how did that work out for you, to an American Tourist, one can only guess how this is going to work out as the [18th] Century United States of America Social experiment comes too a close, as a [21st] Century American-Israeli Empire, as an intellectually, financially, morally bankrupt, militarily weak, ungovernable, unfixable, unsustainable, Empire, governed by of an oligarchy of jaded pros, permanent residents locked in the Beltway whose only movement is from Pennsylvania Avenue, when they’re in office, to [K] Street, when they’re out — & back. We would suggest, much as the Union of South Africa, in blood-shed, and the breaking up forming New Republic and a new map of the North American Continent;

    * The Republic of Alaska

    * America [The Confederate States/The United States]

    * The Republic of California

    * Republic of Cascadia” [Northwestern separatists envision a “Republic of Cascadia” carved out of Oregon, Washington and the Canadian province of British Columbia.]

    * The Republic of Hawaii

    * The Republic of Texas

    * The Republic of Vermont carved out of [The New York Adirondacks, Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont, New Hampshire.]

    And, all this in the mist of a War of Economic Stimulus on the Islamic Crescent/Arabian Peninsula/Hindu Cush, as [NATO] The North Atlantic Treaty Organization falls apart, and the Empire of Japan demands ending of Empires, Far-Eastern [FOOTHOLD] established in Japan, with the replacement of the [$] Dollar as the World’s Base Currency, while living off the [PRC] Peoples Republic of China’s Credit unwilling too be dictated to by a debtor Empire in decline, printing [$] Dollars as fast as they can be printed, with a government in Grid-lock, The Consequences of Empire in Decline.


    1. HERCULE TRIATHLON SAVINIEN, have you met Walid ibn Terakh al-Hindi?
      HERC, please meet Walid, Walid, this is Herc. I’ll bet you two have a lot in common and a lot to discuss.

    2. You guys have the same favorite book: The Protocols. Wow so much in common! Use protection you crazy kids.

    3. Reason can I ask for a 2k limit on post size? This would help outsiders learn to write more concise prose, and also prevent regulars from making the embarrassing whole thread quote mistake.

      1. “making the embarrassing whole thread quote mistake.”

        It’s my mistake, not Reason’s. I’ve learned from that embarrassment.

        1. Yes, but everyone else has to suffer from it too.

      2. Seriously, INCIF (Firefox) and reasonable (Chrome). I didn’t even see HERCULE’s epic poem.

    4. This guy is a fucking douche bag. Wait, or is wrong to call a retarded person a douche bag?


  9. To the white folks who watched, he was a revolutionary bum. And to the black folks he was just a crazy…

  10. A well researched posts, I’ll link to it from my site thank you!

  11. I think saying what happened to Khodorkovsky would be a better example of how Russia deals with their own Kennedy.

    Gosh, when you put it that way, it doesn’t look nearly so bad.

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