Vladimir Putin

Pardon of Khodorkovsky Could Buoy Putin Ahead of Winter Olympics

Also the mass amnesty?

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Former oil billionaire Mikhail Khodorkovsky was released from prison after a surprise pardon by Russian President Vladimir Putin, which stands to buoy the Russian leader's sagging human-rights record just weeks before the country hosts the Winter Olympics.

The former owner of Yukos Oil Co. and once Russia's richest man was released from custody after Putin signed a pardontoday, the prison service said in a website statement. Russia's most famous inmate had been in prison for more than a decade on tax-evasion and embezzlement convictions that the U.S. and European Union have said represent selec