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Sharp work, Vlad

11 May 2007

The whole affair drove a coach and horses through notions of legality. That will leave an enduring stain. But the Kremlin s brilliant milking of Yukos also left the Russian state some $100bn richer. Not only did Putin get to lock up a pesky political opponent; he made a fortune out of dismembering Khodorkovsky’s oil company. Stateowned Rosneft bought Yukos’s assets for a pittance, and got global investors to fund the whole exercise at much higher valuations.

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