The Corner

A New Khodorkovsky? Russian Billionaire Placed under House Arrest

The chairman of the conglomerate controlling one of Russia’s last remaining private oil companies has been placed under house arrest.

Vladimir Yevtushenkov, who chairs the Russian conglomerate Sistema, has been accused of money laundering by the Russian Federal Investigative Committee. Sistema owns over 70 percent of Bashneft, one of the few Russian oil companies not controlled by the state.

The arrest has been criticized by many as politically motivated and follows speculation that the state-controlled company Rosneft had recently attempted to purchase Bashneft. (Rosneft is Russia’s largest oil company and chaired by Putin ally Igor Sechin.)

The Yevtushenkov affair is reminiscent of the 2003 arrest and imprisonment of Russian oligarch Mikhail Khodorkovsky, whose own oil-and-gas company, Yukos, was subsequently dismantled, with the majority of its assets given over to Rosneft. Khodorkovsky was released from prison last December following a pardon by Putin, and now lives in Switzerland. He commented on the case earlier today:

Khodorkovsky told the daily “Vedomosti” that he believes Sechin, a powerful ally of President Vladimir Putin, wants to avert the threat of a decline in oil production by taking control of Bashneft, an oil company at the center of the case against AFK Sistema chairman Vladimir Yevtushenkov.

Khodorkovsky said “this is the very same Igor Ivanovich [Sechin], who has gotten no smarter in 11 years and may have gotten even greedier.”

Khodorkovsky has accused Sechin of engineering his 2003 arrest and the downfall of his company, Yukos, whose main assets ended up in Rosneft’s hands and helped it become Russia’s biggest oil producer.

Nat Brown — Nat Brown is a former deputy managing editor of National Review Online.

Most Popular

World

Canada Is Attacked Again

Media coverage of yesterday’s monstrous van attack in Toronto, which as of this writing is responsible for ten deaths and more than a dozen other casualties, was punctuated by political press conferences of the sort that are now an inescapable part of the dark theater of public tragedies. At his first ... Read More
World

Trump and the North Korean Tipping Point

The world has been stunned by North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un’s announcement last week that he was suspending his country’s nuclear tests in preparation for the impending meeting with President Trump. Even critics have had to concede that Trump’s bellicose rhetoric since last summer regarding the North ... Read More
Economy & Business

Trade Misunderstandings

I was distracted by other policy topics last week but not enough not to notice Peter Navarro’s article in the Wall Street Journal, headlined “China’s Faux Comparative Advantage.” Considering Navarro’s position in the White House, it is unfortunate that it demonstrates some serious misunderstandings ... Read More
U.S.

Joy Reid Denies Writing Homophobic Blog Posts

MSNBC personality Joy Reid's former blog, The Reid Report, published a series of anti-gay posts, which she claims were added to the site after it was shut down, by a hacker intent on destroying her reputation and nascent cable-news career. Reid, who discontinued the blog roughly a decade ago, apologized in ... Read More
Culture

Monday Links

A Supercut of Epic Movie Explosions. Can You Solve These 10 Medieval Riddles? The cost to make a Margherita pizza: $1.77. How much restaurants charge on average for a pizza: $12. The actual costs of restaurant foods. Vintage animation lessons -- how to make things cute. London's "Great ... Read More