Sunday, December 29, 2013

Khodorkovsky ≠ Solzhenitsyn

I think whatever I have wanted to say has already been said about Khodorkovsky, so this post will mostly just be a footnote.

I guess one solution is for Russia to have more visible, credible dissidents so at least the ignorant portion of the West can at least notice them. (Or is it just the West's fault for not noticing any?)

Pussy Riot, Berezovsky, Navalny, and Khodorkovsky are not true dissidents. They are perhaps some of the most self-serving people in Russia.

They are not heroic individuals who deserve to share this title with Solzhenitsyn.

You can read my angry rant from my earlier post about how the West and Russia consider different people to be dissidents and whistleblowers and you can see why I am so disgusted by the fact that certain people think Khodorkovsky as the "second Solzhenitsyn" . It's not just "inappropriate and impolite", it's degrading and extremely insulting to the memory of Solzhenitsyn.

Finally, just to be clear:
Khodorkovsky  Solzhenitsyn 

Interfax: Comparing Khodorkovsky with Solzhenitsyn is inappropriate – top Russian senator | Johnson's Russia List
MOSCOW. Dec 24 (Interfax) – Valentina Matviyenko, speaker of the Federation Council, the upper chamber of Russia’s parliament, has advised against comparing former Yukos CEO Mikhail Khodorkovsky, who was pardoned by the Russian president on December 20 and flew to Berlin immediately after his release from prison, with Soviet writer and dissident Alexander Solzhenitsyn, whom Matviyenko described as a prominent public figure.

“Solzhenitsyn was a person who did a great deal without politicizing the situation. He was a true fighter for human rights, freedom and equality. Solzhenitsyn was a great patriot of his Motherland. He was recognized by all people. And comparing Khodorkovsky with Solzhenitsyn is inappropriate and impolite,” she told reporters.


Natalie said...

I agree (kind of). Said individuals definitely aren't dissidents (in fact, most of them only oppose Putin because they seek power for themselves). I think you're a bit harsh on Khodorkovsky, though. I admit to being biased, as I kind of like him. I think he did some very good things for Russian business back when he was at Yukos. He also did some not-so-great things (wanting to partner with American oil companies, funding sketchy opposition groups, some possible tax fraud). Regardless, I think his prison sentence was very long and he has served more time than he deserved, and I'm very happy he's free.

Cheryl-Ann Tan said...

Khodorkovsky isn't the most evil of the oligarchs (that title goes to Berezovsky), but I think he was probably one of the most naive. I doing time did make him a little wiser, but I think 10 years for this Yukos scandal to be dragged out even further would be counterproductive to both sides and I'm actually also glad it's over.

The only issue I have right now is that people are holding him high up as some sort of heroic "dissident".