Russia » Politics

Khodorkovsky's got "Nigerian wife"

Everything was fine up until the point when the ex-komsomol figure started writing penitential letters from jail.

There is only one step that separates tragedy from comedy. Here he is: a real hero; the one who decided to go to jail on behalf of the entire Russian business-community and to prove Russian government that one has to obey laws. This was exactly how Khodorkovsky's PR professionals attempted to present the situation to the Russian and the world's community alike.

Everything was fine up until the point when the ex-komsomol figure started writing penitential letters from jail. Soon, even those oligarchs who secretly supported their former colleague began realizing the whole frivolous and inconsequential nature of the case.

Well-paid PR professionals of Mikhail Khodorkovsky decided to use their main trick, the one that makes everyone's heart ache: pity. Several special Internet sites have been created asking for support in English; they also launched aggressive advertising campaigns in the West. PR professionals hope that perhaps one of the visitors of such sites will suddenly become overwhelmed with emotions and write a letter to Putin or Fradkov asking to free Khodorkovsky.

Poor PR, poor technologies-they failed at yielding significant positive results. So it seemed. Today, our staff at “PRAVDA.RU” learned that results of such PR campaigns can in fact be quite interesting. Those Internet sites which contained messages of help did not escape attention of a certain kind of web users. These people do not only e-mail Putin alone, they e-mail everyone.

In the course of the past three days, American and European inboxes are being overloaded with kilobytes worth of stories revealing difficult fate of the Russian oligarch, his money and how the recipient of the letter can receive a portion of the money. The e-mail reads that 12 million English pounds await their lucky owner in some South-African bank. The same bank that, according to numerous spam, also contains countless riches of Nigerian kings. 

Unfortunately, spammers used PRAVDA.Ru link to a Mikhail Khodorkovsky article in their messages. In this regard, we were able to learn of spammers' new move. In the meantime, more and more Western Internet users start associating the name of the former head of “Yukos” with spammers, with those who interfere with people's e-mail services. Obviously, their attitude towards the entire court case can change…for the worse.

As for spam, which will most likely continue to accumulate in inboxes worldwide, it will make us think about the effectiveness of the entire “Yukos” team. In the virtual realm at least, the team’s efforts resulted in the worst case scenario. Mikhail Khodorkovsky came in handy to “Nigerian wives” as a result of his PR campaign.


Pyotr Ermilin      

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