Russia showed no signs of yielding in the Crimea standoff as Ukraine’s prime minister prepared to meet U.S. President Barack Obama and western nations threatened further repercussions if Russia failed to defuse tensions.
Mikhail Khodorkovsky, the Russian ex-billionaire who spent a decade in prison after opposing President Vladimir Putin, in his most public criticism since being released in December backed the anti-Kremlin uprising in Ukraine and called for Western support against Russia.
Ukraine began military drills as Russian forces tightened their hold on the Crimean peninsula and the Foreign Ministry in Moscow warned of “lawlessness” in the former Soviet republic’s eastern provinces.
Mikhail Khodorkovsky, the former Yukos Oil Co. owner who was released after 10 years in prison by Vladimir Putin, said Ukraine’s “revolution” is legitimate and not an unconstitutional coup as characterized by Russia.
Russian stock investors have become experts at bracing for the unexpected from President Vladimir Putin. After watching him seize companies, jail dissidents and support Syria, investors have put a discount on Russian stocks that makes them the cheapest in emerging markets.
When Igor Sechin was working as President Vladimir Putin’s deputy chief of staff a decade ago, visitors to his Kremlin office noticed an unusual collection on the bookshelves: row after row of bound volumes containing minutes of Communist Party congresses.