I was very disappointed that the review ‘Putin and the Kleptocrats’ gave such a misleading impression of Mikhail Khodorkovsky (August 2014). Nick Hordern seemed to have no idea of Khodorkovsky’s Damascene moments when he began to understand and adhere to the (small l) liberal underpinnings of a civil society, working on many fronts, and of course against the odds, to try to establish it in Russia. Yes, Khodorkovsky was imprisoned, but that did not stop him from becoming an iconic inspiration, as Richard Sakwa demonstrates but Mr Hordern bypasses. There is much talk of people underestimating others in this review, but in this case Mr Hordern has vastly underestimated one of the main subjects, as though Khodorkovsky were no different from the other oligarchs. As if!
Judith Armstrong (online comment)