Mikhail Brudno, a co-founder of the oil company YUKOS currently residing in Israel, was amazed by media reports that the Basmanii court in Moscow issued an order for his arrest on March 11. As reported by the Israeli news service, Cursor, Brudno said that, 'When on November 13, 2003, my property and bank accounts in Moscow were seized, the basis for that seizure identified by the General Procurator's Office was the announcement that an order for my arrest had been issued. And now, all of a sudden, it has become clear that such an order was issued only on March 11, 2004. One has to ask, what happened to the previous order? Did they lose it or something?'
In addition, Brudno noted that news of the arrest was a pleasant surprise. 'It was a somewhat awkward situation that all my colleagues at YUKOS have long been under arrest, while I, for some unknown reason, was not included in that group. Now I, too, am under arrest like the rest of them.'
Two officers of that company, Mikhail Khodorkovsky and Platon Lebedev, are already in custody and being held in pre-trial detention while awaiting a court date. Leonid Nevzlin and Vladimir Dubov are currently in Israel. Vasilii Shahnovsky has decided not to contest the charges and has pled guilty to tax evasion, for which he received a suspended sentence.
Forest fires in Siberia have been raging for three months already. They have become a disaster not only of Russian, but of global scale. The fires have already scorched 12 million hectares of land