Businessman; former political prisoner of Putin
Mikhail Khodorkovsky is a former Russian businessman and political prisoner of Vladimir Putin’s regime. Prior to his arrest in 2003, Khodorkovsky was the head of Yukos, one of Russia’s largest oil producers. He is an increasingly outspoken critic of corruption in Russian life. He began funding opposition parties and established Open Russia, a non-governmental organization promoting a strong civil society.
Khodorkovsky was arrested and charged with fraud and tax evasion and sentenced to nine years in prison, prolonged to eleven years after the second trial. Khodorkovsky, declared a prisoner of conscience by Amnesty International, was released in December 2013. Following his release, he declared that he will support political prisoners and the civil society in Russia. In September 2014, Khodorkovsky re-launched Open Russia as a movement aimed at uniting pro-European Russian citizens.