Latest Issue

Fall of an oligarch

Khordokovsky's arrest shows that power in Russia now resides squarely with the men with uniforms.

By Robert Cottrell   December 2003

Mikhail Khodorkovsky is being taught a lesson – but only he knows what it is,” one Russian commentator said wryly in July when the Kremlin’s harassment of Yukos, the big Russian oil company, and of Khodorkovsky, its chief executive, was just beginning.

Now everybody knows what the lesson was. Khodorkovsky, the most respected businessman in Russia, had seemed too rich and powerful for anyone to touch. But the truth was, he had become too rich and powerful for the state to leave untouched. The arrest of Khodorkovsky in October and the impounding of his controlling block of Yukos shares, the…

Register today to continue reading

You’ve hit your limit of three articles in the last 30 days. To get seven more, simply enter your email address below.

You’ll also receive our free e-book Prospect’s Top Thinkers 2020 and our newsletter with the best new writing on politics, economics, literature and the arts.

Prospect may process your personal information for our legitimate business purposes, to provide you with newsletters, subscription offers and other relevant information.

Click here to learn more about these purposes and how we use your data. You will be able to opt-out of further contact on the next page and in all our communications.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to

More From Prospect