Latest Issue

The Yukos affair

The dramatic arrest 18 months ago of Mikhail Khodorkovsky, then Russia's richest man, marked the end of the first, positive, phase of the Putin regime and the return of fear to Russian politics. But thanks to Kremlin errors and in-fighting, there is a new spirit of resistance to creeping authoritarianism

By Anthony Robinson   April 2005

The dramatic arrest 18 months ago of Mikhail Khodorkovsky is turning into modern Russia’s equivalent of the Dreyfus affair—a scandal that briefly illuminates and brings to a head normally half-hidden contests over power and principle. The indefinite detention of Khodorkovsky, formerly Russia’s richest man, and the effective renationalisation without compensation of the bulk of his Yukos oil company—worth nearly $40bn at its peak in mid-2003—marks the ascendancy of the former secret police or “siloviki,” whom President Putin has appointed to jobs throughout the government. They believe that regaining state control over the country’s vast natural resources to create a stronger…

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