Putin “totally surprised” as fiercely independent Russian judiciary frees Mikhail Khodorkovsky

24 Dec

MOSCOW–in yet another example of the successful division of powers that has made Russian democracy the envy of the world, President Vladimir Putin said today that he was “totally surprised” to find out that the courts had set jailed oligarch Mikhail Khodorkovsky free.

“I mean, I had no idea this was coming,” said Putin, speaking at one of the many no-holds-barred press conferences he conducts for domestic and foreign journalists. “I can never tell what the Russian courts are going to do. But of course, why would I?”

Putin added that he had never supported Khodorkovsky’s detention. “It always seemed to me that here was a viable opposition leader, someone with the resources, intelligence, and charisma to create a viable alternative center of power to the one I’ve built up,” he said. “That can only strengthen Russian democracy.”

In response to aggressive questions from Russia’s notoriously independent and open-minded media, Putin added that he hoped “Khodorkovsky would change his mind and re-enter Russian politics,” ideally in time for the upcoming presidential elections. “The more the merrier,” he said.

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