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Mikhail Khodorkovsky is a free man

MOSCOW — Former Russian oligarch Mikhail Khodorkovsky walked free on Friday, marking an end to a decade-long saga that helped consolidate domestic and international criticism of President Vladimir Putin.

By the way, Putin says Khodorkovsky will go free

MOSCOW  — It began and ended like any of Vladimir Putin’s beloved annual news conferences, devoted to showing off the ex-KGB spy’s characteristic poise under pressure. Which is why it was perhaps fitting that the real news came only after it was all over.

Putin's grip: Turn your head and Khodorkovsky

In the past decade, the country has arisen as a global energy power and foreign policy force to be reckoned with. President Putin has come to represent what his supporters say is its transformation from a fractured, suffering state into a heavily centralized bureaucratic machine. One thing has remained constant, however: the case of Mikhail Khodorkovsky, the former oil tycoon who was once Russia’s richest man before he was imprisoned for tax evasion, embezzlement and theft.
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