Is there any difference between Khodorkovsky and Ronnie Biggs who passed away this week? Ronnie became well known because of his role in the Great Train Robbery, his escape from prison and life in exile. The motives of the two men were no different; one word greed. The problem for poor old Ronnie was that he committed his crime using methods of the old fashioned style robber. The former was smarter, he played Monopoly along with a small group of mates to divide up a country’s assets between themselves and allowed millions of others to starve. He played his game as the railroad entrepreneurs as they raced to become the first to open up the Far (Wild) West of the USA over 150 years ago. Leave no doubt in your minds, he behaved no differently to the “bad railroad owners” of the Western films that confiscated land from poor settlers trying to earn a living off the land.
I’m not sure that the martyr Mikhail has got out of jail free though, there will probably be a hidden price. However, similar to his friend, the late Boris Berezovsky, he has the money to hire some very good marketing people. That those around him have been able to con Amnesty International to regard him as a prisoner of conscience is absolutely ridiculous. Under Russia’s Wild West Capitalism the positions of “Wanted-Dead or Alive” and Sheriff are interchangeable. Khodorkovsky still has ambitions to become the Sheriff, and will inevitably start to play the Berezovsky game of portraying himself as the only saviour of Russia.
Just wait for the coming weeks to see how his marketing machine has arranged to have him photographed with leaders of the Western “democratic” world in a clever ploy to promote himself; and allow our politicians to think they are embarassing Putin.