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Behind Putin’s Surprise Release of Khodorkovsky: Sochi and Self-Confidence?

Two weeks ago, Russian prosecutors told reporters they were preparing a third case against Mikhail Khodorkovsky, the Russian oil tycoon who had already spent a decade in jail. Then, unexpectedly, President Vladimir Putin on Friday pardoned the man who was once his biggest political rival. Within hours, Khodorkovsky received a foreign travel passport, was whisked by helicopter from his penal colony near the Arctic Circle, and flown by private plane to Berlin. Why did Putin suddenly...

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