Mikhail Khodorkovsky’s net worth: Mikhail Khodorkovsky is a Russian businessman and philanthropist who has a net worth of $100 million dollars. He is a vocal critic of the Kremlin and Vladimir Putin following his exile from Russia and currently resides in London.
Mikhail Khodorkovsky was arrested in October of 2003 on charges of fraud and tax evasion. At the time, Mikhail was the richest person in Russia and the 16th-richest person in the world, with a personal net worth of $15 billion. Soon after his arrest, Vladimir Putin ordered that shares of his company Yukus be frozen on Russian stock exchanges. In May 2005, he was found guilty and sentenced to 9 years in prison. He was then further charged with money laundering and embezzlement. Mikhail Khodorkovsky was pardoned by Putin in December 2013 after spending more than 10 years in a Siberian jail. Upon his release, Mikhail was asked about the status of his former wealth, to which he responded “I have no idea about my financial situation”. Yukos, which was at one time one of the largest oil companies in the world, was bankrupt. Assets were seized and sold.
Early and Personal Life: Mikhail Borisovich Khodorkovsky was born on June 26, 1963 in Moscow. His parents, Boris and Marina, were engineers at a factory that made measuring instruments. His mother was a Russian Orthodox Christian and his father was Jewish. His parents were opposed to Communism but kept their opinions from their son, who become a supporter of Communism and a patriot of the Soviet Union in his youth.
He attended D. Mendeleev University of Chemical Technology of Russia where he received his degree in chemical engineering in 1986. While there, we was the deputy head of the Communist Youth League, called Komsomol. He also met a fellow student, Yelena, who he married and had a son with. However, he then left his wife after meeting another young student, Inna. He courted her by sleeping in his car outside of her apartment until she agreed to begin seeing him. They then married and have had three children together since. He was also able to maintain a good relationship with his first wife, Yelena, as well as with his first son.
Early Career: Khodorkovsky’s first career after finishing university was with the Komsomol, which was the typical path for individuals seeking to enter Soviet politics. However, rather than following the trajectory of slowly moving up the ranks into a management position, Khodorkovsky proved to be a keen business man, using his connections in the Komsomol to help open his first business, a café, in 1986. His efforts were made possible by Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev’s reform program, perestroika, which encouraged the developing Soviet free market.
In 1987, Khodorkovsky opened a Center for Scientific and Technical Creativity of the Youth, which imported and sold computers and also sold a wide range of other products. He also developed a number of connections with large banks, enabling him and his partners to open Bank Menatep in 1989, one of Russia’s first privately owned banks. The bank expanded quickly and was appointed by the government the right to manage funds allocated for the victims of the Chernobyl nuclear accident. The bank, along with other Russian banks, began the process of holding onto government funds for months at the expense of the recipients of the banks funds in order to enrich the bank’s owners. This loans-for-shares program introduced the term oligarch, describing the beneficiaries of these transactions, of whom Khodorkovsky was one. Khodorkovsky wealth increased dramatically during this time. He acquired the Yukos oil company and reportedly made millions in currency training. By 2003, Khodorkovsky was reportedly the richest man in Russia and was also a political influencer and advisor.
Arrest and Trial: While initially one of the political in-crowd, Khodorkovsky butted heads with Russian president Vladimir Putin, who had Khodorkovsky arrested in 2003 and charged with fraud. Not only did this affect Khodorkovsky, but also the Yukos oil company which experienced a sharp collapse following the freezing of its shares. Khodorkovsky stood trial for his alleged crimes and in May 2005 was found guilty and sentenced to nine years in prison. While serving his sentence, he was further charged with embezzlement and money laundering and his sentence was extended. Only after Hans-Dietrich Genscher lobbied for his release did President Putin pardon Khodorkovsky, releasing him from jail in December of 2013.
Khodorkovsky’s trial and sentencing were highly criticized abroad by the foreign press and governments, many of whom were concerned that his punishment was politically motivated. He filed several applications with the European Court of Human Rights, alleging multiple human rights violations committed by Russia. While the court did find that several violations had been committed, they ultimately ruled that the trail and arrest were not politically motivated.
Upon his release from prison, Khodorkovsky left Russian and was granted residency in Switzerland and then he moved to London in 2015. While his wealth had decreased significantly following the scandal of his arrest and time in prison, he was still a wealthy man by any margin and his wealth increased by the he made the move to London.
Open Russia: Khodorkovsky had originally launched the organization Open Russia in the early 2000s with the purpose of creating a foundation to strengthen the civil society of Russia. He relaunched Open Russian in 2014 as a nationwide community platform, much to the displeasure of President Putin and the Kremlin.
The organization advocates for independent media, the rule of law, political education, and greater support for political prisoners. They hope to eventually introduce sweeping reforms to Russia, including those aimed at law enforcement and elections. Khodorkovsky has said he hopes Open Russia can be a conduit through which a constitutional conference can be achieved to direct power away from the office of the presidency and towards the legislature and judiciary.
In 2017, the office of the Prosecutor General of Russia designated Open Russia as an undesirable organization, effectively banning it and all of its affiliated activities in Russia. The same year, it was also added to the registry of blocked websites in Russia. Fearing criminal prosecution of its members, Khodorkovsky announced Open Russia would official ceased its operations in Russia in 2021, though they remain active elsewhere in the world.
|Net Worth:||$100 Million|
|Date of Birth:||Jun 26, 1963 (57 years old)|
|Profession:||Businessperson, Political activist|