New charges are being brought against ex-oligarch Mikhail Khodorkovsky, whose trial and the destruction of his company, YUKOS, in 2003-2005 were a cause celebre. Andrey Piontkovsky puts the new trial in context.
The second trial of Mikhail Khodorkovsky began on 3 March 2009. It is a significant event, though not unique in the history of Russian political trials. The sadistic desire to kick a victim when he is lying down has inflamed Kremlin rulers more than once.
The fate of Mikhail Khodorkovsky today is also only an excuse for a showdown between the “party of blood” and “party of cash” in the Kremlin. Open confrontation between the two has been avoided so far. We can only guess at why the “party of blood” has raised the stakes so high and decided to hold this trial.