Regardless of a nearly 80% approval rating for Vladimir Putin, Mikhail Khodorkovsky, who was once the richest man in Russia but is now living in exile in Zurich, thinks support for the Russian head of state is evaporating.
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Khodorkovsky, 51, was head of Yukos oil, and was imprisoned for fraud and the government under Putin seized Yukos’ assets and destroyed much of Khdorkovsky’s wealth. As reported by Leader Post, Khodorkovsky might well have presidential ambitions on Putin’s collapse, which he thinks may come soon as Russia feels the brunt of international sanctions. In addition, oil, a major part of Russia’s GDP, is tumbling with no end in sight to declining prices. Even if oil prices were to rise, argues Khodorkovsky, Putin could not survive because of the amount of raw materials needed to sustain the country.
Khodorkovsky doesn’t think Putin will last another decade. “I think the problem for Putin will come from his own entourage, ” he said.
Khodorkovsky grew up in Moscow. His father was Jewish and his mother was Russian Orthodox; both worked as engineers.