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Khodorkovsky given 'Knight of Freedom' award

PR dla Zagranicy
Roberto Galea 04.12.2016 08:24
Former Russian tycoon and Putin critic Mikhail Khodorkovsky has received the Pulaski Foundation's Knight of Freedom award for the promotion of freedom, justice and democracy.
Mikhail Khodorkovsky and Polish Commissoner for Human Rights Adam Bodnar. Photo: PAP/Jakub Kamiński.

Khodorkovsky received the prize on Saturday in Poland "for his uncompromising efforts to build the rule of law, civil society and promote European values in the Russian community," said Zbigniew Pisarski, head of the Pulaski Foundation, which hands out the annual award.

An exiled Russian businessman and formerly Russia's richest man, Khodorkovsky is one of Russian President Vladimir Putin's most vocal critics.

In 2003 he was accused of privatisation irregularities and arrested, a move regarded by many as political revenge by the Kremlin.

While under arrest he resigned as chief of oil company Yukos.

In May 2005, a Russian court sentenced Khodorkovsky to nine years' imprisonment, later reduced to eight years. He was pardoned by Putin on 20 December, 2013 and left Russia the same day.

Khodorkovsky relaunched his Open Russia Foundation, which promotes independent media, political education, and support for political prisoners in Russia, in 2014 after it was suspended after five years of operation in 2006.

Other recipients of the Knight of Freedom award, given out annually, include historian Norman Davies, former Polish President Lech Wałęsa and former Swedish Prime Minister Carl Bildt.

The Pulaski Foundation is an independent think-tank focused on foreign policy and international security.

It is named after General Casimir Pulaski (1745–1779), a “Polish patriot and U.S. colonial army officer, hero of the Polish anti-Russian insurrection of 1768... and of the American Revolution,” the foundation's website said. (vb/pk)

Source: PAP, pulaski.pl

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