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The Rise And Fall Of Yukos

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The rapid demise of former oil giant Yukos has been in the centre of Russian media attention for little under a decade. Yukos was Russia’s largest private company, worth more than 40 billion US dollars before tax authorities seized its largest production asset in 2004, primarily because of the oppositional political views and activities exhibited by its founder, Mikhail Khodorkovskiy. He openly criticized the government, confronting what he referred to as a ‘managed democracy’ in Russia, quoting one of his interviews to the Times: “It is the Singapore model; it is a term that people understand in Russia these days. It means that theoretically you have a free press, but in practice there is self-censorship. Theoretically you have courts; in practice the courts adopt the decisions taken from above. Theoretically there are civil rights established in the constitution, in practice you are not able to exercise some of these rights.”

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