Every now and then, acts of courage by ordinary citizens have big consequences. I still recall vividly (after twenty five years), the courageous women who demonstratively refused to count ballots stuffed for Fernando Marcos. The Marcos regime fell shortly thereafter.
A similar act of courage by Natalya Vasilyeva, the assistant to the presiding judge in the Khodorkovsky case, confirms that the verdict was dictated by higher ups in the Kremlin. Outside observers understood that the trumped up charges against Khodorkovsky were part and parcel of Putin’s vendetta against a potential political rival. We also knew this was a case of “telephone justice” where the presiding judge was given his verdict by superiors. But rarely do we have confirmation of such goings on from actual participants. To reveal such things is dangerous to say the least.