jew Mikhail B. Khodorkovsky
The winds of change are blowing more noticeably now.
--- firstname.lastname@example.org wrote: > To: > email@example.com,firstname.lastname@example.org,email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org,email@example.com,firstname.lastname@example.org,mayor@london. gov.uk > CC: > email@example.com,firstname.lastname@example.org,email@example.com,firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com,firstname.lastname@example.org,email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org,email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org,email@example.com,firstname.lastname@example.org,trufax@cco. net,email@example.com,firstname.lastname@example.org,email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org,email@example.com,firstname.lastname@example.org,email@example.com > From: firstname.lastname@example.org > Subject: Bid-Time Jewish Crooks Arrested in Russia > Date: Sun, 26 Oct 2003 01:27:25 EST > > From : Nikita <email@example.com> > Date : 26-Oct-2003 12:58 > > All, > > "MOSCOW (AP) Head of Russia's largest oil producer, > Yukos, > detained by security police in Siberia, Interfax > news agency > reports". > > This item was just picked up from the Associated > Press wire. > It has since been on television, nationally, on all > networks. > The piece was also forwarded, to me, by a friend in > the United > States, so, apparently it is receiving at least > limited coverage, > abroad. > I have verified it with my own contacts inside the > Ministry of > Internal Affairs, and it is quite accurate, as far > as it goes. > The AP article is somewhat sketchy. It is not a > single arrest, > but seems to be several, with more coming. I will > send out a list > of the criminals, complete with name and ethnic > backgrounds as soon > as the Ministry of Internal Affairs releases the > complete list, > hopefully by the end of the week. > > At the moment, they are not releasing the identities > of all being > investigated, as they do not wish them to flee the > country before > they can be arrested. While the AP article does > mention one name, > I will not do so, at this time. Also, the AP article > does not mention > ethnicity of the criminal in custody, but, my > contacts at the Ministry > of Internal Affairs indicate that all involved, to > date, are Jews. > > This is absolutely true. The General Director of > Yukos, one of the > largest oil companies (not the largest... that is > GazProm, and it > underwent this same process about one year ago...) > in Russia, is in > custody. > He is the lastest Jew to be arrested on charges of > corruption and money > laundering theft of government assets and tax > evasion connected with > Boris Berezhovski's rigged privitization "auctions" > of the early 1990s. > The assets of Yukos, assessed for the time of Jewish > control, from 1991 > to the present date, have been frozen, pending legal > seizure, along with > the bank accounts and other assets of the leading > figures in the case. > The company will eventually be placed for open > bidding in a free and > honest auction. > > This is the eleventh case of one of the Jew > "ogliarchs", all associates > of arch-Jews Boris Berezhovski and Vladimir > Gusinski, being arrested in > the past 10 months. > > He faces a possible ten years, at hard labor (and we > mean that, literally, > here...) without parole or probation (which do not > exist in Russia) on > each charge, unless additional charges are added to > this, in the course > of the ongoing investigation. > > Expect the great "reformer" and head of the > "Yabloka" Party, Gregori > Yavlinski (guess what, folks, another hook-nose...) > to be next. > Yavlinski is currently under investigation for money > laundering, tax > evasion, governmental corruption and running a > prostition ring and white > SLAVERY ring through two casinos that he (up until > Putin's Tax Police > and the Ministry of Internal Affairs got on to him) > secretely owned. > > Yavlinski, on the surface, > simultaneously, an opponent to the > Berezhovski/Gusinski crime syndicate, > and vocal opponent of President Vladimir Putin's > program of removing Jews > from pubic office, masqueraded as a non-jew until > recently, when the on- > going investigation of him revealed the he was both > a Jew, and that his > various "business interests", mostly in the Moscow > area, including two > casinos and a massive up-scale restaurant, known to > be the most expensive > and "elite" in the city, were funded by Berezhovskin > and Gusinski, who > were "silent partners" in the "businesses". > > The Yukos General Director, who was taken into > custody earlier in the > week, has been arreigned on six seperate > indictments, on four charges. > He is also under investigation, along with his > master, Berezhovski, for > involvement in the death of General Alexander Lebed, > the popular Governor > of Krasnodar Region, and hero of the August Revolt, > who died under mysteri- > ous conditions when his airplane crashed, just over > one year ago. > Lebed, and the Mayor of the City of Krasnoar (who > died when a bomb exploded > in his car, while visiting Moscow, only a few weeks > after Lebed's death) > were, at the time, launching a Regional > investigation of theft of oil and > mining concessions in his jurisdictionn by > Berezhovski & Co. > > This arrest, and others which Ministry of Internal > Affairs officials > expect to result from it (some of which are now in > progress), is further > evidence of the great strides being made by the > administration of President > V.V. Putin to rid Russia of Jewish control, and to > bring the Jewish crimi- > nals to justice. > > It is uplifting to watch these Jews, on national > television, in a live > "special report" broadcast, standing in a steel > cage, under armed > guard, heads bowed to the point that their hooked > noses almost touch the > floor, knowing that they are finally being called to > account for their > crimes against the White ethnic Russian people. > > It is the greatest of shames that the most these > Jewish felons can expect > is a prolonged stay in Batirka or Lefortovo Prison, > and not the hospitality > of the old Lubyanka or the GuLag that their fellows > inflicted on ethnic > Russians. > Even if convicted of a capital offense, the worst > that they face > is death by hanging, which is nothing to what they, > themselves, and those > like them, have inflicted on ethnic White Russians, > for over eighty years. >
Media blackout by Orange County Register who REFUSES to report that Khodorkovsky is a jew
Wednesday, October 29, 2003
Russian market up after plunge over oil exec's arrest
MOSCOW The Russian stock market showed a tentative recovery Tuesday, a day after a steep plunge prompted by the arrest and jailing of the head of the oil giant Yukos, and Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov called for steps to stabilize Russia's financial markets.
But one of the country's most prominent politicians warned that the arrest of Mikhail Khodorkovsky could destroy investors' trust in Russia, and an influential lawmaker called on the Prosecutor General's Office to open an investigation of an oil company that is soon to merge with Yukos.
Khodorkovsky was jailed Saturday on charges of tax evasion, fraud and forgery. Many perceive the four-month investigation into Yukos oil and his other companies as an attack organized by some of President Vladimir Putin's associates to avenge the tycoon's political activities, including funding of opposition parties in the run-up to the Dec. 7 parliamentary elections.
The Russian Economy
by Dr. William Pierce
Every few months for the past several years I have used this program to warn against the policy of economic globalization, which has been one of the Clinton administration's favorite policies. I pointed out the dangers for America in so-called "free trade." In my past discussions of the subject I focused on America's loss of autonomy, which is an inevitable consequence of unrestricted international trade. That is, when one country is able to produce a class of products and sell them to another country cheaper than that other country can produce them for itself, the industry which produces that class of products will be driven out of existence in the second country. If that class of products is plastic hair curlers, for example, it doesn't matter. But if it's machine tools or some other product essential to an independent economy, the second country loses its autonomy.
In view of what's been happening around the world recently, and the repercussions of those happenings on Wall Street, this is probably a good time to point out that when we allow our economy to become closely linked to the economies of less stable countries, then we lose not only our autonomy but also our own economic stability.
It's absolutely crazy for the United States to develop strong economic linkages to countries in Asia or Latin America. Or perhaps I should say, it's treasonous. It's not even good policy to become economically dependent on countries like Russia.
The only situation in which any sort of close economic linkage with another country -- such as "free trade" on any significant scale -- makes sense is when there is a real community of interests. That is a fundamental and obvious truth, but it is completely ignored by the people pushing for globalization. In order for there to be a community of interests between two countries, in the first place their populations must be of the same race. Thus, it has been the sheerest folly to tie the U.S. economy to those of Asia and Latin America. The basic industries which have been driven out of the United States because of competition from these non-White areas of the world, where wage scales are so different -- our machine-tool industry, for example, and our consumer electronics industry -- were essential to our autonomy. And now, with the collapsing economies in Asia and Mexico pulling our economy down with them, we can't simply disengage, because we no longer have autonomy.
With Russia we at least have racial similarity, but there are other reasons why too close an economic involvement with Russia is not good for us now. The most important of those reasons is the men who are now running Russia. The man out front, of course, is President Boris Yeltsin. But Yeltsin is, like Bill Clinton, a seriously flawed man: he's an alcoholic and a skirt-chaser. In fact, he is primarily a clown who also is a good actor, someone who can posture effectively for the television cameras and pull in the votes from the Russian masses. And because of his acting ability he has been strongly supported by the hard, sober men who for all practical purposes own Russia and tell Yeltsin what to do. Unfortunately, the majority of these men are Jews, and many also are gangsters, organized crime bosses.
A few days ago MSNBC posted on the Internet a list of what it called "Russia's Robber Barons: the Twelve Men Who Own Russia's Economy," along with brief biographical sketches of each of these newly made billionaires. It is interesting to note that none of these billionaires had as much as $10,000 to his name ten years ago. They all became enormously wealthy during the so-called "privatization" of the Russian economy after the collapse of communism at the beginning of this decade.
Of these 12 robber barons listed by MSNBC eight are Jews. Eight out of twelve. That is indeed remarkable in a country with only about one-half of one per cent Jews in its population. Not only that, but the Jews are constantly whining in their media about how they're being "persecuted" in Russia. They own the country, and they whine to us about Russian "anti-Semitism."
Of course, MSNBC won't tell you about the Jewishness of any of these robber barons. MSNBC calls them all "Russians." But in fact, Boris Berezovsky, Vladimir Gusinsky, Mikhail Khodorkovsky, Vitali Malkin, Mikhail Fridman, Alexander Smolensky, Vladimir Vinogradov, and Anatoly Chubais are Jews, self-acknowledged Jews, bragged about as Jews in the Jewish community publications that we aren't supposed to see. One of the twelve, Vladimir Potanin, is actually a Russian, one is probably an Azerbaijani, and I haven't yet been able to determine the ethnicity of the remaining two. And I should add that although Anatoly Chubais considers himself a Jew, he's actually only half-Jewish.
Before MSNBC's list of twelve "robber barons" was posted, the Russians had their own list: the Seven Oligarchs they call them, all of them new billionaires who have backed Boris Yeltsin with money and media support. The seven are the aforenamed Boris Berezovsky, Vladimir Gusinsky, Mikhail Khodorkovsky, Mikhail Fridman, Alexander Smolensky, and Pyotr Aven, who is also a Jew, and the Russian Vladimir Potanin. That's six Jewish oligarchs and one Russian.
Let me tell you how this bizarre and very dangerous situation came about. When the Bolsheviks overthrew the Russian government in 1917, murdered the Czar and his family, and formed the Soviet Union, there was an extraordinarily high quota of Jews among the communist revolutionaries who formed the Soviet government. Lenin, who was himself only a quarter Russian, had surrounded himself with Jews from the beginning. Lenin's chief financier during the revolutionary period was the Jew Israel Lazarevich Helphand, who used the pseudonym "Parvus." Lenin's right-hand man was the Jew Grigory Apfelbaum, who used the name "Zinoviev." After the revolution the Jew Lev Bronstein, who used the name "Trotsky," became the commissar of the Red Army. The Jew Maxim Litvinov became the best-known Soviet diplomat and the ambassador to Britain. Jews were very thick in Lenin's secret police and in every other branch of his communist government. After Lenin's stroke incapacitated him in 1922, the government was run by a coalition of three communists: Stalin, Zinoviev, and Leo Rosenfelt, who used the Russian-sounding name "Kamenev." Although Stalin, who was a Georgian, was surrounded by Jews almost to the extent Lenin had been, he managed to play the Jews off against each other. He outmaneuvered Zinoviev, Kamenev, Trotsky, and all the rest and eventually came out on top. It undoubtedly was to his advantage during this power struggle that the Russian people detested the Jews, from centuries of bitter experience with them.
Before Stalin became the undisputed boss of the Kremlin, the Jews had pretty well monopolized the entire Soviet bureaucracy, and even though Stalin began thinning them out a bit in the late 1930s, the Second World War came along before he had time to do much. And before he got around to continuing his program of de-Judaizing the Soviet bureaucracy after the war, he died -- with a little help from his right-hand Jew, Lazar Kaganovich, who later bragged that he had saved the Jews by poisoning Stalin. So the Soviet bureaucracy remained heavily loaded with Jews right up until the collapse of communism -- although they tried not to be too conspicuous -- usually occupying the second-rank positions, where they wouldn't be so visible.
During the communist period Jews monopolized not only the Soviet government but also organized crime: black market operations, illegal currency transactions, large-scale theft of public property. Undoubtedly the Jewish organized-crime bosses had intelligence, organizational skills, and perhaps more of a nose for money than their Russian counterparts, but what gave them their real advantage over the Russians was collaboration from their fellow Jews inside the government. Knowing what the secret police knew and what the secret police planned to do provided a real edge for the Jewish gang bosses.
Several very informative books on Jewish organized crime in the Soviet Union during the communist period are available. Two that I've read are Hustling on Gorky Street by Yuri Brokhin and USSR: the Corrupt Society by Konstantin Simis. Both authors, by the way, are Soviet Jews.
Communism collapsed when the communists had bled dry the countries they were ruling and there was no more blood to suck. What would have been most beneficial then would have been the violent overthrow of the various communist regimes by the exploited Russians, Poles, Hungarians, Bulgarians, and so on, with a general massacre of the communists and their collaborators by the people. This also would have amounted to an ethnic cleansing of eastern Europe, putting a final end to Jewish mischief there. But instead, what happened nearly everywhere was that the communists realized the game was up, and they simply switched hats, declaring themselves "democrats" instead of communists. In many cases the same people continued to hold the same jobs in the government that they'd held before -- and they continued to collaborate with the same people outside the government that they'd collaborated with as communists.
So when the "privatization" of the communist economies took place -- that is, the sale of factories, mines, refineries, and other government-run enterprises to private entrepreneurs -- much of the wealth of each country suddenly appeared in Jewish hands. In Russia, for example, instead of giving groups of Russian workers an opportunity to buy shares in the factories where they worked, bureaucrats in many cases arranged "sweetheart" deals with people outside the government they already had been collaborating with. These collaborators got to buy big chunks of the Russian economy at bargain-basement prices. That's how virtually all of Russia's new billionaires -- and many of Russia's new millionaires as well -- got their start in this decade. And that's why at least two-thirds of these new billionaires are Jews -- at least two-thirds -- in a country where the Jews make up only half a per cent of the population. Jews are smart and often are clever businessmen, but in Russia it has been crookedness rather than business efficiency which has led to their sudden success in the post-communist era. They virtually stole Russia from the Russians.
And because organized crime already was in the hands of the Jews, many of Russia's new Jewish businessmen also are gangsters. Jewish billionaire Boris Berezovsky has been described by Forbes magazine as the godfather of Jewish organized crime in Russia. He speeds around Moscow in an armored limousine accompanied by an army of bodyguards. He has survived several assassination attempts and is said to be responsible for the "disappearance" of several of his business rivals. Berezovsky certainly seems to be the Jew who has the strongest grip on Boris Yeltsin. He likes to boast that he's the man who got Yeltsin elected to the presidency. Actually all of the Jews in Russia supported Yeltsin. The Jews in the United States did too. Yeltsin plays a role in Russia similar to the role played in America by Clinton.
After Yeltsin's second election in 1996 he appointed Berezovsky to the National Security Council, which supervises Russia's military and police organizations. When it became public knowledge that Berezovsky is an Israeli citizen, however, Yeltsin was obliged to dismiss him. Russian patriots were outraged that an Israeli citizen should be in charge of Russia's national security. Jews, of course, complained that "Russian anti-Semitism" was responsible for Berezovsky's dismissal.
One might ask, how do the Jews get away with it? Why do the Russian people tolerate them? And the answer is that they get away with it in Russia the same way they get away with it in America: they control the news and entertainment media, and with this media control they not only swing elections to whichever candidate best suits them, but they also keep most of the ordinary citizens distracted, confused, and hypnotized. Berezovsky, for example, controls Russia's biggest television network, ORT, as well as a number of newspapers and magazines. Vladimir Gusinsky, who also is the president of the Russian Jewish Congress -- and like Berezovsky an Israeli citizen -- owns Russia's second-largest television network and a number of newspapers and magazines, as well as one of Russia's largest banks. When Jews buy control of the mass media, they always have more than just making money in mind.
I don't mean to lead you to believe that the Jews control everything in Russia. In addition to the Jews there are many Russian criminals in organized crime in Russia, for example. The thug who comes by your shop to collect the weekly "protection" payment from you -- and to smash your shop window if you don't have it -- is more likely to be a Russian than a Jew. But the man who pays the thug to come by your shop is more likely to be a Jew than a Russian. Jews control the rackets, and it is Jewish influence which prevents the Russian government from cracking down on organized crime.
Organized crime by itself takes a huge toll on the Russian economy. Crime is an unproductive activity, and it operates on an enormous scale in Russia. And because so many of Russia's new Jewish businessmen also are involved in organized crime, business in Russia tends to be even more predatory than it is in the West. The concept of serving the community or serving the nation with their business activity is completely alien to these Jewish businessmen. Their only aim is to acquire as much money and power as they possibly can as quickly as they can. Not only do they have no patriotic feeling at all toward Russia, but they are positively hostile to any expression of patriotism by the real Russians. This sort of business attitude, the sort of business climate associated with this attitude, does not result in a really stable economy, of course. The irresponsible and unpatriotic attitudes and business practices of Russia's Jewish tycoons are the main reason for Russia's present economic collapse.
Unlike the situation in the United States, where every major politician is Politically Correct and every element of the mass media toes the party line, in Russia there are political leaders who do speak out against the Jews, and there are general circulation publications which do criticize them. Some journalists, for instance, like to refer to Boris Berezovsky using his patronymic -- that is, his middle name -- which is Abramovich. They call him Boris Abramovich. They do this not only to embarrass and irritate Berezovsky, but to remind the Russian people that he is a Jew, a zhid, not a Russian.
In one way Russia has an advantage over the United States, and that is that the Russian people are much less comfortable. While Jewish billionaires and millionaires buzz around Moscow in their armored limousines flashing their diamonds and furs, most ordinary Russians have a hard time putting enough on the table to eat. The recent devaluation of the ruble and the run on Russia's banks is making things even harder on the Russians, and it may be that not even the Jews' control of the television networks will suffice to save them from the well-deserved wrath of the Russian people.
And that's the whole reason behind Mr. Clinton's recent trip to the Kremlin to hold Mr. Yeltsin's hand. The people who sent Clinton to Moscow don't care at all about the welfare of the Russian people. But they are worried that if the Russian economy gets much worse, the Russian people may take it out on Berezovsky, Gusinsky, and the rest.
And that, of course, is exactly why it is not in our interest to bail out the Russian economy. What Russia needs is a cure for its long-term problem, not another Band-Aid. And the only thing which will cure Russia is a thorough program of ethnic cleansing, which leaves Boris Abramovich and all of his fellow tribesmen hanging from lampposts all over Russia: an ethnic cleansing which is sudden and sharp and absolutely thorough. That is what is in our long-term interest: a Russia under the control of the Russian people again -- our people -- after more than 80 years of alien domination.
The Russian people are, like the American people, quite passive by nature. It takes a lot to rouse them to do the difficult things they need to do -- but the more uncomfortable they become, the more likely they are to take action. Let's not help the thieves who have stolen Russia stay in power by propping up the Russian economy.
You know, some people who want us to keep Berezovsky and his pals in power warn us that if we don't prop up Boris Yeltsin and the Russian economy, the communists will take over again. That may be so. And you know what I think about communists. I believe that they all should be shot. But it will be better for the Russian people -- and for us -- for the Communist Party to regain power in Russia than for the crowd around Yeltsin to keep power.
Communism is based on two fundamental errors: it assumes that people are all born basically the same -- that is, communism is egalitarian -- and it stifles the great driving force of every healthy economy, which is the quest for private gain. And because it is based on error it certainly is not a system that we want to impose on any of our people, in Russia or elsewhere. But the people around Yeltsin -- the robber barons, the oligarchs -- are eating Russia alive, and even communism, so long as it is Russian communism and not Jewish communism, is better than continued rule by Jewish plutocrats.
It is interesting to note that even the Russian patriots, the Russian nationalists, agree with me on this matter. They are willing to make an alliance -- at least a temporary alliance -- with the communists in order to get the bloodsucking, culture-destroying Jews off Russia's back. Ultimately, of course, we want to see genuine nationalists guiding our people everywhere. If the Russians become hungry enough and exasperated enough to break the grip of the Abramoviches, perhaps similar developments will follow in Bulgaria, Hungary, and the other countries where Jewish Bolsheviks were permitted to simply change hats and declare themselves "democrats" a few years ago when it became unsafe for them to continue wearing their communist hats.
But it really will take a nationalist revolution in Russia to bring that about, and we don't want to do anything to discourage that. Meanwhile, I hope my comments today have helped you understand a little better what is behind Mr. Clinton's recent trip to the Kremlin.
ï¿½ 1998 National Vanguard Books ï¿½ Box 330 ï¿½ Hillsboro ï¿½WV 24946 ï¿½ USA
A cassette recording of this broadcast is available for $12.95 including
Michael A. Hoffman II, Editor
Nov. 3, 2003
That Poor, Persecuted Billionaire
EDITOR'S NOTE: The Zionist apologia for the billionaire-behind-bars in Russia (remember this one the next time you read about an unemployed Idaho logger who gets three years in prison for stealing forty bucks from a convenience store):
"I have no doubt that Khodorkovsky broke tax laws, and probably plenty of other laws - Yukos once had a distinctly dirty, even murderous reputation - but so has everybody else. If the Kremlin were arresting businessmen for corruption, it would have plenty of candidates to choose from. Why single out Khodorkovsky?" - Anne Applebaum, Sunday Telegraph (UK)
We also learn that Khodorkovsky is a former activist in the Russian Communist youth movement. So, is his arrest really just a sign that a reanimated Communist KGB faction in the Kremlin is trying to reassert Soviet control, or rather that a patriot movement has arisen in Russia that hews to the hateful notion (in the eyes of America's deracinated, super-capitalists), that Russia's resources should be owned by the Russian people, for their benefit?
The move against Khodorkovsky is a strike at the top of the international Money Power phalanx. Khodorkovsky "appears regularly at the 'masters-of-the-universe' conferences that American CEOs throw for themselves in mountain resorts every summer, where he is listened to with the respect that rich men show for one of their brethren. In Washington, where it is relatively cheap to buy goodwill, he has donated money to the Library of Congress - which threw him an elegant reception last autumn - as well as to just about every think-tank in town...He sees Henry Kissinger when he is in New York, Jacob Rothschild when he is in London, and is doubtless on first-name terms with half a dozen American members of Congress..."
Putin arrested Russia's richest man as a warning to the others By Anne Applebaum
Sunday Telegraph (UK), Nov. 2, 2003 http://www.telegraph.co.uk/opinion/main.jhtml?xml=/opinion/2003/11/02/do0202.xml
I first met Mikhail Khodorkovsky several years ago, just after he had embarked upon his amazingly rapid conversion from shady, highly-suspect oil billionaire to famous, philanthropist oil billionaire. The location was the Moscow home of a Russian friend who might be best described as a democracy activist, and the occasion was Khodorkovsky's first meeting with Richard Perle, a member of the Pentagon's Defence Policy Board.
Khodorkovsky didn't say much - you don't get to be a Russian billionaire by being overly talkative - but he was clearly impressed. He was then just beginning to realise that there might be a connection between the promotion of civil society in Russia, which he had just started to do, and the approbation of the political and business establishments in the West, which he very much wanted. To put it bluntly, he was interested in improving his company's reputation (and share price) abroad, in part by promoting freedom of the press, freedom of speech and the political opposition at home.
In the years since, Khodorkovsky's philanthropic activities have spread far beyond Russia, as has his network of contacts. He now appears regularly at the "masters-of-the-universe" conferences that American CEOs throw for themselves in mountain resorts every summer, where he is listened to with the respect that rich men show for one of their brethren. In Washington, where it is relatively cheap to buy goodwill, he has donated money to the Library of Congress - which threw him an elegant reception last autumn - as well as to just about every think-tank in town. As a result of all this charitable giving, Khodorkovsky now has friends. He sees Henry Kissinger when he is in New York, Jacob Rothschild when he is in London, and is doubtless on first-name terms with half a dozen American members of Congress.
But Khodorkovsky has tried to clean up the image of Yukos, his oil company, as well. He made the company's accounts more transparent, for the first time, and he hired Western managers. This wasn't altruism either. Among other things, the company's own public records show that that Khodorkovsky himself, a former activist in the Communist youth movement, owns some $8 billion worth of Yukos stock, more than a quarter of the total. Lately, there has been serious talk of a merger between Yukos and Exxon/Mobil, something that would have been unthinkable if Yukos's accounts had remained as murky as those of most Russian companies. If such a merger were ever to take place, Khodorkovsky, a bespectacled man in his early forties, would personally own a big chunk of the largest oil company in the world.
All of which is a roundabout explanation for the shock that Khodorkovsky's arrest has caused in Russia and abroad. In part, it is true, many are simply surprised. Last weekend, masked men boarded his plane while it refuelled on a Siberian runway, whisked Khodorkovsky back to Moscow and threw him into an ordinary criminal prison. Within days, Russian prosecutors had frozen his Yukos stock, giving no legal justification for doing so. It isn't every day that a billionaire falls so far and so fast.
More importantly, the arrest is widely seen as the culmination of a power struggle within the Kremlin, between a faction that wanted to let big business control the Russian economy, and the faction, coming from the old KGB, that wants to return to much greater state control. Although the Russian authorities have said that the arrest is linked to tax evasion, that charge just is not credible. I have no doubt that Khodorkovsky broke tax laws, and probably plenty of other laws - Yukos once had a distinctly dirty, even murderous reputation - but so has everybody else. If the Kremlin were arresting businessmen for corruption, it would have plenty of candidates to choose from. Why single out Khodorkovsky?
Khodorkovsky's growing financial and political power, combined with his good foreign connections, seem a much better explanation. Whether the struggle was really about the fact that he funded opposition political parties - an explanation he says he does not believe - or simply about the fact that his enormous wealth allowed him to ignore Kremlin orders, it now appears that the forces of the old KGB have won. There are other signs of struggle as well: this week, one of President Vladimir Putin's advisers, Alexander Voloshin resigned. Voloshin was long thought to be an opponent of the former KGB officials who came to power along with President Putin, a former agent himself.
Nor is Khodorkovsky's arrest an isolated incident. In fact, it follows on a long series of legal changes, clearly designed to suppress and intimidate whatever political opposition remains, in Russia. With a few exceptions, President Putin's entourage did not kill or imprison journalists, they simply took over the ownership of major television stations and newspapers, leaving the genuinely independent writers to operate on the fringes. In another incident, the Kremlin recently took control of Russia's most prestigious polling agency, removing a source of objective information. Instead of threatening all businessmen who didn't co-operate, the Kremlin has picked on one or two, including Boris Berezovsky, who now lives in London, in order to intimidate the rest.
Instead of shutting down independent groups and associations, the secret police intimidates them, sending agents to ask them questions and flip through their files. Westerners are not banned, but it has become remarkably difficult for foreigners to get a Russian visa. For the most part, these were all remarkably subtle activities, and President Putin's Western friends, notably George W Bush and Tony Blair, found them easy to ignore. No foreigner was going to protest about the ousting of a pollster, however well-known, and few were going to interest themselves in the ins and outs of Russian media ownership laws. The President of the United States is not going to protest if a KGB official starts silently shadowing the offices of a small environmentalist organisation.
But the arrest of Khodorkovsky takes the assault on free society, and on capitalism itself, to a different level. For all of President Putin's rhetoric about economic reform, the Kremlin appears to have been remarkably uninterested in the impact Khodorkovsky's arrest would have upon the Russian stock market, which sank by more than 10 per cent last week, and upon foreign investors' confidence in the country. The rouble plunged too, as investors now expect capital flight, which had slowed in recent years, to pick up pace once again, as other rich men make their preparations to flee.
A clear choice has been made, in other words: the Kremlin now cares more about winning its political battles than it does about the economic welfare of the country. And President Putin is not afraid to let everyone know it, either.
Anne Applebaum is on the editorial board of The Washington Post