Accessibility links

Breaking News

Khodorkovsky Reunited With Son, Press Conference Announced

Jailed former oil magnate Mikhail Khodorkovsky (right) was unexpectedly released this week. (file photo)
Jailed former oil magnate Mikhail Khodorkovsky (right) was unexpectedly released this week. (file photo)
Freed former Russian oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky will outline his future plans at a press conference in Berlin at 1 p.m. local time on December 22.

On December 21, his son Pavel announced that the news conference will take place at the Berlin Wall Museum near Checkpoint Charlie, the best-known Cold War crossing point between East Berlin and West Berlin.

Pavel Kodorkovsky, who flew in from New York, also told reporters that his father was spending the day with his family.

"I am thrilled to be here in Berlin, in Germany today because my father is free," he said. "My family is finally reunited and we are very, very happy to be together after ten years of separation."

Khodorkovsky's release from prison in Russia on December 20 and his immediate departure for Berlin on the same day has created intense speculation about his motivations for leaving the country so quickly and about what his future plans may be.

ALSO READ: Khodorkovsky Released After Putin Pardon

On December 21, people on the streets of Moscow showed a mixture of reactions to the news that Khodorkovsky had been freed and had flown to Germany:

"He realized that personal relations, his personal life and family are more important than a public one," Gennady Kuznetsov told the Reuters news agency. "Otherwise he might have served another 10 years -- and what kind of a man would he come out after this?"

Another Moscow resident, who gave his name only as Dmitry, said he doubted Khodorkovsky eould return to Russia now that he is abroad.

"Where else would he go?" he asked. "There is no place for him in Russia anymore. He will not be allowed to live a normal life here. There was nothing else he could think of doing."

Khodorkovsky, who had been a prominent critic of the Kremlin, spent more than a decade in prison after being convicted of tax evasion and embezzlement, charges critics of the Kremlin say were politically motivated.

On December 20, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry welcomed Russian President Vladimir Putin’s pardon and Khodorkovsky's release from prison on what the Kremlin said were humanitarian grounds.

Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters late on the same day that Khodorkovsky is free to return to Russia.

With reporting by Reuters and ITAR-TASS
  • 16x9 Image


    RFE/RL journalists report the news in 27 languages in 23 countries where a free press is banned by the government or not fully established. We provide what many people cannot get locally: uncensored news, responsible discussion, and open debate.