Agence France-Presse quotes Mikhail Khodorkovsky from an Atlantic Council event on Russia’s isolation from the West, and the ways in which the rift strengthens President Putin’s regime: 

The Russia-Ukraine conflict has no short term solution and is part of a fabricated conflict with the West to distract everyday Russians from corruption and incompetence, a prominent critic of Vladimir Putin said Wednesday.

Mikhail Khodorkovsky, once Russia’s richest man but now living in exile after spending a decade in jail on allegedly trumped up fraud and embezzlement charges, said no real rapprochement with Russia is possible so long as President Putin and his regime remain in charge.

US-Russian ties are at their lowest point since the Cold War, and Russia’s ruling elite fosters such isolation from the West as a tool to stay in power, Khodorkovsky said in a speech at the Atlantic Council, a Washington think tank.

Read the full article here.