Experts on ongoing YUKOS probe

There are so many different battles now going on for the assets of Yukos, inside the company, between the management and the shareholders, between different shareholders, between Yukos and Sibneft, and between the company and the state authorities, it is easy to mistake the plot, the Russia Journal reports.

Last week, Yukos CEO Simon Kukes took out a full-page advertisement in the Financial Times of London. When it was the alter ego of Mikhail Khodorkovsky, Yukos never had any trouble getting its message across through the news and feature columns of the FT's ever-obliging editors and reporters. That Kukes had to pay for space in the conventional way signals just how much has changed in the dynamics of spoon-feeding by the Yukos PR machine and its rival, the Abramovich PR machine.

For months after Lebedev's arrest last July, the Yukos headquarters near Paveletskaya train station in Moscow was the general head quarters for a Yukos-bankrolled war against President Vladimir Putin. But after it became clear that Khodorkovsky was going to lose his political battle with the Kremlin, the senior executives of the company panicked. They told associates they would leave the company by January. Months later they are still there, explaining that out of loyalty to their imprisoned ex-chairman they are duty-bound to stay and try to keep the company together. But this isn't the same company, as the one Khodorkovsky, Lebedev and their partners Leonid Nevzlin and Mikhail Brudno believe they still own.

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