In an interview Dmitry Gordon Mikhail Khodorkovsky told how in 1996 he turned to the then Deputy Prime Minister Anatoly Chubaisso that he would help businessmen to convince Boris Yeltsin not to follow the lead of the siloviki and not to cancel the presidential elections. “We came to Chubais. He says: “Do you need? Pay. ” According to Khodorkovsky, the Deputy Prime Minister asked for “either $ 2 or $ 3 million.” Having received the amount, Chubais soon arranged a meeting Yeltsin with the oligarchs.
Chubais called it a lie. According to him, the accepted 3 million was not a bribe, but a contribution to the organization of Yeltsin’s election headquarters, which was called the Center for the Protection of Private Property. From this money, Chubais and the staff of the headquarters received a salary. But Khodorkovsky insists: only part of the money went to the operation of the center, and Chubais “shared some with his friends.”
“Chubais and Khodorkovsky are actually arguing not about 1996, but about 2021. And not about Yeltsin, but about Putin, – I’m sure political scientist Sergei Markov… “This controversy reflects a heated debate between systemic liberals and anti-systemic liberal opponents of Putin.” In his opinion, the latter are trying by any means to “tear” the former from the president in order to weaken his power.