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Thread: The rise and fall of Yukos.

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    Default The rise and fall of Yukos.

    Having failed to generate any intelligent comments on another board I'll try again here. Perhaps you're all above childish ego posturing... though I doubt it!

    It's a subject I've been following for a while, perhaps it's my residual soviet fascination, the power, the money or all of the above. But I think it speaks volumes about the troubles developing on Russia's political cold front (excuse the pun).


    April 1993

    As part of a sweeping restructuring of the oil industry, Yukos is created by merger of two state companies - Siberian oil producer Yuganskneftegas and Volga refining company Kuibyshevnefteorgsintez.

    End-1995

    Still in state hands, Yukos comes close to bankruptcy amid falling output and rising debt; it owes the government alone $3.5bn.

    1995-96

    Through a series of share offers, Yukos becomes the first fully privatised integrated oil company in Russia. Mikhail Khodorkovsky, a billionaire whose main fortune is in banking, acquires the firm for a sum variously put at between $200m and $1.5bn.

    1998

    Mr Khodorkovsky launches a major restructuring and modernisation programme, with the aim of making Yukos one of the few large Russian to match international standards for corporate behaviour and financial stability. The idea is first mooted of merging with Sibneft, another large producer then controlled by billionaire Boris Berezovsky.

    2000

    Yukos launches a corporate governance charter, and publishes its accounts to international standards. In 1999, the company had been punished by regulators after neglecting to file its quarterly results.

    At the same time, newly-elected President Vladimir Putin strikes a deal with 20 of the "oligarchs" of the 1990s, including Mr Khodorkovsky. According to Moscow rumour, tycoons are told their business interests will be allowed to flourish, as long as they stay out of politics.

    2001

    Yukos shares are listed in New York, London, Frankfurt, Berlin and Munich. Yukos becomes a major supplier to China after the acquisition of a refinery and other assets in the Russian Far East.

    2002

    The company's global ambitions step up a gear, with the acquisition of Lithuania's main oil company, a move into Slovakia, and plans to develop an pipeline to China.

    2003 When the trouble starts

    Mr Khodorkovsky gets into his first public row with the Kremlin, disagreeing over state control of the pipeline industry. He complains publicly about corruption, and begins openly funding various opposition parties, including the communists.

    2 July, 2003

    Platon Lebedev, a major Yukos shareholder, is arrested and accused of having illegally acquired shares in Apatit, a fertiliser company, in 1994. Mr Khodorkovsky is questioned and released two days later.

    16 July, 2003

    Russian tax authorities say they are to audit Yukos's books, as the investigation into the Apatit deal is dramatically widened. Yukos's offices are raided and records taken away.

    25 October, 2003

    Mr Khodorkovsky is arrested, flown to Moscow and charged with various counts of fraud of tax evasion.

    30 October, 2003

    The Russian authorities freeze the 44% stake in Yukos owned by Menatep Bank, Mr Khodorkovsky's main investment vehicle. Previously, Yukos had announced a $2bn dividend to shareholders - an attempt to extract money from the firm ahead of any possible confiscation.

    3 November, 2003

    Mr Khodorkovsky resigns as chief executive of Yukos in favour of Simon Kukes, and is reported to have handed his interest in the company over to associates outside Russia. Mr Kukes tries to distance Yukos from Mr Khodorkovsky, pouring cold water on previous plans to sell the company to a foreign investor.

    30 December, 2003

    Yukos is hit with a bill for $3.5bn, representing tax allegedly unpaid in 2000.

    11 March, 2004

    More than $5bn belonging to Yukos shareholders is frozen in Switzerland, after Moscow argues that the money has been stolen. Arrest warrants are issued for another 10 of the company's senior associates.

    27 May, 2004

    Yukos warns it will have to file for bankruptcy if the $3.5bn tax demand is pushed through.

    16 June, 2004

    Mr Khodorkovsky's trial finally begins, with the threat of up to 10 years in prison. The case is immediately adjourned.

    6 July, 2004

    Yukos gets more time to pay its tax bill, but is hit by a fresh demand for $3.4bn in unpaid taxes from 2001.

    12 July, 2004

    The trial resumes. Prosecutors argue that Mr Khodorkovsky and Mr Lebedev ran an "organised criminal group". Mr Khodorkovsky says the charges are "absurd".

    20 July, 2004

    Russian bailiffs say they will sell off Yuganskneftegas, Yukos's main production unit, to pay off its back taxes.

    2 August, 2004

    Tax inspectors begin looking at Yukos's 2002 accounts, raising fears of a third multi-billion-dollar demand.

    1 November, 2004

    Yukos is reportedly hit with another $10bn tax bill, this time relating to 2002. Doubts remain over the fate of Yuganskneftegas, which is rumoured to be on the point of a sale. Yukos says its production will imminently come to a halt unless the situation surrounding any sale can be clarified.

    25 November, 2004

    All Yukos's top executives are reported to have left Russia, apparently fearing arrest.

    10 December, 2004

    Three firms, including dominant gas producer Gazprom, submit bids for the 19 December auction of Yuganskneftegas.

    15 December, 2004

    Yukos files for bankruptcy in the US, in an attempt to derail the Yuganskneftegas sale.

    16 December, 2004

    A US bankruptcy judge grants a temporary injunction blocking the Yuganskneftegas sale. But Russian officials say the Houston court has no jurisdiction in the case and call the ploy a "nonsense".

    19 December, 2004

    Auction of Yuganskneftegas in Moscow, which is sold to little-known firm Baikalfinansgroup for $9.35bn.

    23 December, 2004

    State-owned oil firm Rosneft - itself preparing for a merger with state-controlled gas group Gazprom - buys Baikal, thus acquiring Yuganskneftegas. The unit is effectively renationalised.

    12 January, 2005

    Mikhail Khodorkovsky hands over controlling stake in Yukos parent firm Menatep to fellow shareholder Leonid Nevslin, by now resident in Israel.

    9 February, 2005

    Menatep says it plans to sue Russian government for $28bn. Experts doubt it can succeed.

    14 February, 2005

    Yukos sues Rosneft, Baikal, and Gazpromand one of its units, claiming damages of $20bn for their alleged role in the Yuganskneftegas sale.

    25 February, 2005

    US court dismisses Yukos' bankruptcy petition.

    15 March, 2005

    Rosneft sues Yukos over an $11bn back tax bill allegedly owed by Yuganskneftegas.

    25 March, 2005

    Ex-Yukos security chief Alexei Pichugin convicted of murder and attempted murder.

    19 April, 2005

    Russian court freezes more of Yukos' assets as its own former unit Yuganskneftegas accuses it of having paid below-market prices for its oil and demands $6bn in compensation.

    27 April, 2005

    Judges postpone their verdict on Mikhail Khodorkovsky till 16 May.

    31 May, 2005

    After 12 days of summing up the trial, the judges find Mikhail Khodorkovsky, Russias' richest man and Platon Lebedev guilty of six charges including tax evasion and sentence them to nine years in prison each and ordered to pay 17 billion Roubles ($600m). George W Bush expresses concerns about the cast to the Kremlin.

    October 2003

    Khodorkovsky begins his nine year jail term in Siberia.

    Yukos offices in Russia and the Netherlands are raided as part of an inquiry into allegations that up to $7bn was laundered.

    23 December, 2005

    Aleksander Temerko, Associate of Khodorkovsky and former Vice-President of Yukos escapes extradition from the UK back to Russia.

    18 January, 2006

    Having been ordered by the Kremlin to pay $28 billion covering back taxes from 2000 to 2003, Yukos is now being ordered to pay a further $3.79 billion covering unpaid taxes and fines for 2004.
    Happiness is a dry martini and a good woman … or a bad woman.
    –George Burns

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    Politics.ie Member FutureTaoiseach's Avatar
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    Obviously this is part and parcel of the creeping totalitarianism of Putin's Russia, on which Western govts have sadly been all too silence, especially on the worst part of all, Chechnya. The courts in Ingushetia have just banned NGO's operating there for Chechen refugees. Until the West can wrest itself from overdependence on Russian gas and oil, I suspect this will continue.

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    I was just off trying to find that story in the paper and add it an an addendum.

    I had hoped - and perhaps in my naive young eyes it did seem - that Putin was a step towards a more liberal (perhaps a bit too strong) Russian government. Though this quickly appeared not to be the case.
    Happiness is a dry martini and a good woman … or a bad woman.
    –George Burns

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    "Always do right. This will gratify some people and astonish the rest." Mark Twain

    “When a government is dependent upon bankers for money, they and not the leaders of the government control the situation, since the hand that gives is above the hand that takes. Money has no motherland; financiers are without patriotism and without decency; their sole object is gain.” Napoléon Bonaparte

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    Khodorkovsky today.

    Russia tycoon 'convicted of theft' - World News, Breaking News - Independent.ie

    Monday December 27 2010

    A judge has declared former oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky guilty of theft and money laundering charges in his second trial, Russian news agencies have reported.

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    .
    .

    This case provides all the evidence required that present day Russia is a kleptocracy which is avoided by all investors with an ounce of sense.
    The country's vast reserves of natural resources are being plundered by Putin and his pals from the St. Petersburg mafia.

    On 20 October 2005, Khodorkovsky was delivered to the labor camp YaG-14/10 (Исправительное учреждение общего режима ЯГ-14/10) of the town of Krasnokamensk near Chita.
    The labor camp is attached to a uranium mining and processing plant and during Soviet times had a reputation as a place from which nobody returned alive.

    27 Dec 2010
    Today a Moscow court found Mikhail Khodorkovsky and Platon Lebedev guilty yet again.

    Khodorkovsky & Lebedev Communications Center
    .
    .

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    Politics.ie Member bokuden's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by karldaly View Post
    .
    .

    This case provides all the evidence required that present day Russia is a kleptocracy which is avoided by all investors with an ounce of sense.
    The country's vast reserves of natural resources are being plundered by Putin and his pals from the St. Petersburg mafia.

    On 20 October 2005, Khodorkovsky was delivered to the labor camp YaG-14/10 (Исправительное учреждение общего режима ЯГ-14/10) of the town of Krasnokamensk near Chita.
    The labor camp is attached to a uranium mining and processing plant and during Soviet times had a reputation as a place from which nobody returned alive.

    27 Dec 2010
    Today a Moscow court found Mikhail Khodorkovsky and Platon Lebedev guilty yet again.

    Khodorkovsky & Lebedev Communications Center
    .
    .
    Jesus, labour camps... nothing changes, does it? Maybe the Russians were better off under Gorbachev style communism. At least their natural resources weren't being plundered so brazenly, and ordinary citizens had a modicum of safety.

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    Khodorkovsky should have played it smart like Abramovich. Instead he went up against a state which was intent on clawing back the enormous resources handed over by Yeltsin to the oligarchs. Whatever about Russia's institutional corruption, it's effectively renationalising resources that shouldn't really have been vested in such a small group of private individuals. Khodorkovsky decided to go into politics, and stirred up a hornets nets. He's now paying an admittedly excessive price for his poor judgement.

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    Politics.ie Member Catalpa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by McDave View Post
    Khodorkovsky should have played it smart like Abramovich. Instead he went up against a state which was intent on clawing back the enormous resources handed over by Yeltsin to the oligarchs. Whatever about Russia's institutional corruption, it's effectively renationalising resources that shouldn't really have been vested in such a small group of private individuals. Khodorkovsky decided to go into politics, and stirred up a hornets nets. He's now paying an admittedly excessive price for his poor judgement.
    Well put

    - he played with Fire - & got burnt.

    That being said these are turning into show trials now.

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    Politics.ie Member On_The_Far_Right's Avatar
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    Todays sentencing is not good at all. Whatever about the personal ramifications, the damage it is doing to democracy is worse. Political interference in the judiciary is still rife in Russia and in every other walk of life.

    The run up to the Presidential elections in 2012 will throw up a few interesting candidates, well funded and well positioned to challenge Putin.

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