ELKOST International Literary Agency

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Mikhail Khodorkovsky

ELKOST Intl. literary agency handles world translation rights in writings of Mikhail Khodorkovsky on behalf of MBK IP Ltd.

2013 Lech Walesa Human Rights Award


Prior to his arrest, Mikhail Khodorkovsky (b. 1963) was known throughout the world as Russia's most successful businessman and leading philanthropist. He actively promoted civil society, fought corruption, encouraged foreign investment, and sought to integrate Russia into the world community. Mikhail Khodorkovsky is a patriot whose continued imprisonment is a scar on the Russian political landscape.

Khodorkovsky built YUKOS into one of the most successful businesses in Russia by bringing the best talent and best practices known in the oil industry. Wishing to share his success with his country, Khodorkovsky became a leading philanthropist, contributing millions of his own for civil society foundations, education programs, and student scholarships.

The arrest of Khodorkovsky's business partner in July 2003 was widely interpreted as a warning sign aimed at the YUKOS chief. Against the advice of many, Khodorkovsky chose not to leave Russia because he was determined to refute the charges against him. He also considered leaving to be a betrayal of his friends, his employees, and his homeland. On October 25, 2003 Khodorkovsky was arrested at gunpoint in the city of Novosibirsk.

After an unfair trial on trumped-up charges believed by many to be politically motivated, Khodorkovsky was sentenced on May 16, 2005, to nine years in prison. This sentence was reduced by the Moscow City Court to eight years. Khodorkovsky is currently held at a detention facility in Moscow while standing trial for the second time. The new charges were brought against him on June 30, 2008 and the second trial began on March 31, 2009.

Since his imprisonment, Khodorkovsky has continued to be a high-profile social commentator in Russia and abroad. He has authored numerous articles in leading Russian and international publications such as International Herald Tribune, Financial Times, New Times, Vedomosti, etc.

In his essays, Khodorkovsky has drawn attention to some of Russia's most pressing challenges by arguing for the urgent need to reform the country's ineffective legal system and highlighting the importance of diversifying the country's economy away from a reliance on natural resources.

To learn more about Mikhail Khodorkovsky please visit a webpage of Khodorkovsky & Lebedev Communications Center