Krastev asked Khodorkovsky about a recently published exchange of letters between his father and novelist Lyudmila Ulitskaya in which Mikhail Khodorkovsky says that he had been “backed into a corner from which there was no other honorable escape.” Pavel Khodorkovsky said he thinks his father actually believed he might get justice in Vladimir Putin’s Russia back then.
“I think that at the time my father was rather idealistic. He was innocent and he was confident he would be able to prove his innocence in court,” Pavel Khodorkovsky said. “But because neither the first nor the second trial was independent, he did not succeed. In retrospect, six years later, one can say that, yes, what he thought then was naïve. But at that time, he didn’t think so because there was a new president. There was a new wave of enthusiasm. People thought that these were changes for the better.”
Perhaps that’s what Mikhail Khodorkovsky meant when he told Ulitskaya that “a wise person most likely would have avoided such a fate.”
-- Robert Coalson