The Strange Story of Vladimir Zelensky

Novaya Gazeta recounts a curious case in 2006, when a man convicted of a crime, Vladimir Zelensky, came to the newspaper’s editorial offices, claiming to have taken part in a plan to organise the escape of former YUKOS boss Mikhail Khodorkovsky from the penal colony in Krasnokamensk.

Zelensky had wanted to arrange a meeting with Novaya Gazeta’s Anna Politkovskaya before the latter was murdered in October 2006. He was arrested in May 2006 and charged with “knowingly making a false report about a terror attack”; Zelensky was sentenced in November 2006 to four years hard labour.

Novaya Gazeta believes Zelensky may have been a provocateur, but the facts behind the case remain unclear. The newspaper speculates that Zelensky could be questioned in connection with the Politkovskaya case. Zelensky himself apparently does not wish to talk to media anymore.

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