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Kremlin Critic Khodorkovsky Launches 'Instead Of Putin' Project

  • RFE/RL's Russian Service

Mikhail Khodorkovsky (file photo)

Mikhail Khodorkovsky (file photo)

Russian tycoon and Kremlin critic Mikhail Khodorkovsky has launched a project to identify replacements for Russian President Vladimir Putin in the 2018 presidential election.

Khodorkovsky told Moscow journalists from London on September 12 that the project, called "Instead of Putin," had been launched online at Vmestoputina.ru.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told journalists on September 12 that Khodorkovsky’s project "has been outlined by people, who are irrevocably cut off from Russia and...Russian agenda."

The website lists possible successors to Putin and lets Russians elect a presidential candidate via an online poll.

Among the listed candidates on the site is the leader of the opposition Parnas party, Mikhail Kasyanov, the founder of the Anticorruption Fund, Aleksei Navalny, and the leader of the Yabloko party, Grigory Yavlinsky.

Khodorkovsky ruled out taking part in the poll as a candidate.

Once Russia's richest man as the chief executive of its most important oil firm, Yukos, Khodorkovsky spent 10 years in a Siberian prison on tax-evasion and embezzlement charges, which he says were politically motivated.

He left Russia for Europe after Putin pardoned him in December 2013. He lives mainly in Switzerland and Britain.

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