By F. William Engdahl
Translated by J M Damon
The abbreviated version of the original German message is posted on several websites including
The guilty verdict in the trial of the former Russian oil oligarch Michail Chodorkowski has been widely criticized by columnists such as Trudy Rubin of the Philadelphia Inquirer
It is significant that the Establishment media have kept quiet about the real reason why Putin arranged for the conviction of the former head of YUKOS, the largest Russian oil conglomerate.
The real threat and crime of Michail Chodorkowski consisted of playing a key role in an operation conducted by Western secret services that was designed to destabilize and destroy Russia from within.
Chodorkowski’s verdict is mild in comparison to what can be expected by defendants in the USA or UK who are accused of high treason.
Let us take a closer look at the rise and fall of Michail Chodorkowski.
In October of 2003, he was arrested in Siberia as he was leaving his private jet.
At that time he was accused of tax evasion.
At age 40 he had become the richest man in Russia, with a fortune of around 15 billion dollars.
He had acquired this fortune during the lawless Jelzin era, when he came into control of national resources by questionable means:
Through an auction conducted by one of his own banks, he had paid a paltry 309 million dollars for the YUKOS oil concern.
Within a year Yukos’s value was estimated at 45 billion dollars, and this “appreciation in value” was most certainly not due to his congenial management style.
Michail Chodorkowski’s background includes events and circumstances that are even more sinister than his acquisition of YUKOS, however.
In a court trial in the USA in 1998 he was acquitted of using his bank to launder money in conjunction with the Bank of New York.
The trial revealed that even then, he had underground connections and very influential friends in the USA.
Several months later Edmund Safra, the head of the Bank of New York, was killed in his apartment in Monaco, apparently murdered by members of the “Russian Mafia” that he had swindled in the course of money laundering.
At this time Chodorkowski was forming close ties with the West, using the billions he had swindled from the Russian people to develop contacts and make influential friends.
Following the example of George Soros’s so-called “Open Society,” he founded a corresponding society called the “Open Russia Foundation.”
He offered seats on the management board to Henry Kissinger and Jacob Rothschild as well as others in the most powerful circles in Washington.
He was invited into the advisory committee of the Carlyle Group of financial investors, which is known for its extreme secrecy, and he took part in meetings of the directorate with other advisors such as George H. W. Bush and James Baker III.
Together, with assistance of the government in Washington, they concocted the nefarious plan that did not succeed...