Mikhail Khodorkovskii shown during his trial (file photo)
1 August 2005 (RFE/RL) -- Jailed Russian oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovskii urges for the country's fragmented liberals to unite and to bring about a "left turn" in Russian politics.
Khodorkovskii, founder of the oil company Yukos, was sentenced in May to nine years in prison on tax-evasion and fraud charges
after a trial perceived to be Kremlin-orchestrated.
In an article published in the business daily "Vedomosti," Khodorkovskii said: "It's time for liberals to decide whether to join a wide social-democratic coalition or remain part of a grudging and politically useless fringe."
Khodorkovskii wrote that Russian President Vladimir Putin should leave office in 2008 at the end of his second term
, as called for under the constitution.
He added that a move to the political left will win votes from the majority of Russians who feel they lost out in the rush to switch to capitalism.