Russian Dissident Calls for Armed Citizenry to Defend Against ‘Own Government’

Mikhail Khodorkovsky believes an armed citizenry is central to a free society. (Photo:

Long-time Kremlin critic Mikhail Khodorkovsky has a vision for the future of Russia, and it looks something like the United States. Along with a “constitutional republic” and decentralized government, Khodorkovsky believes an armed citizenry will help secure freedom for the people of Russia.

“I think that if we want to be a free people then people should have weapons,” he said in an interview with Current Time TV, as reported by RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty.

“And these weapons should allow them not to defend themselves from criminals,” he continued. “Criminals should be dealt with by the politicians working in conjunction with law enforcement authorities. The people should have weapons to defend themselves from their own government.”

Khodorkovsky claims to be personally familiar with the threat to freedom posed by a tyrannical government. He was Russia’s richest man until the early 2000s, when he ran afoul of the Kremlin and spent 10 years in prison on fraud and embezzlement charges. His supporters, along with most observers, believe the charges were politically motivated.

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He was released in 2013 (just prior to the 2014 Winter Olympics in Russia) and now runs the pro-democracy Open Russia foundation in London.

Khodorkovsky says that he lives in fear of his life but does not employ a personal security detail, according to the Guardian. He told the news service that if Putin wants him dead “no amount of security measures can prevent that,” and he reiterated that idea to Current Time TV.

“I know that in the current situation if Putin were to decide to have Aleksei Navalny or me, or anyone, killed, then it is doubtful we’d be able to defend ourselves. But for whatever reason that decision hasn’t been made,” Khodorkovsky said.

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Still, he “dreams” of one day seeing Russia become a “constitutional republic” with power spread among the regions in a more decentralized system. He wants to see 10 or 12 large urban centers “minimally,” rather than one megapolis in Moscow.

“The idea that this will lead to the collapse of Russia, I completely reject. That’s because the country’s territorial profile would mean that if one part were to break away, its future would likely be bleak,” Khodorkovsky predicts.

Russian citizens are permitted to own firearms, but the process is onerous and relies on the say-so of local, sometimes corrupt police departments. According to the Library of Congress, “Russian legislation on gun control is relatively strict, limiting the circulation of firearms to Russian citizens older than eighteen years of age with a registered permanent residence, and for the purposes of self-defense, hunting, and sports activities only.”

Purchasing a firearm requires acquiring a five-year license from the local police and are only granted after a thorough background check, including a review of the petitioner’s ability to store guns safely and an evaluation of his/her medical records.

As of 2012, 6.3 million nonmilitary weapons had been registered in Russia with a population of 142.5 million people. For comparison, U.S. citizens hold approximately 393 million firearms with a population of 326 million people.

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About the author: Jordan Michaels has been reviewing firearm-related products for over four years and enjoying them for much longer. With family in Canada, he’s seen first hand how quickly the right to self-defense can be stripped from law-abiding citizens. He escaped that statist paradise at a young age, married a sixth-generation Texan, and currently lives in Waco. Follow him on Instagram @bornforgoodluck.

{ 8 comments… add one }
  • Da Ruestir December 7, 2018, 4:54 pm

    Supremacy Clause in the Constitution basically states:
    \”If there arises a conflict between local and State laws, the Constitution reigns supreme\”.
    A Right is: \’that which cannot be taken away\’
    Unalienable is: \’that which cannot be given away\’
    Unalienable Rights are endowed, (a gift from ones creator) unto those who are NOT members of the ruling class, (We the People).
    Not merely privileges to be granted or revoked by the corporation(s) functioning as civic government(s).
    The Second Amendment is not about guns, it describes \” …that which we cannot be without, (necessary), to make without fear of loss, (security), to be without undue imposition, (free), as our condition of existence, (state).
    Nowhere does 2A define what is a weapon or proscribe limits on what can be called a weapon to be employed by a rapid reaction Well Regulated, (self-imposed adherence to the order of law, (not bandits)), Militia, (civilian army/navy), in pursuit of that condition of existence.
    ARMS (all weapons) are the tools of liberty to facilitate (keep (have in one’s passion)) and enable (bear (uses as lethal force)) to ensure that outcome.
    The beauty of the Second Amendment is that it does not define the enemy which We the People SHALL eventually have to bear arms against.
    Nowhere does it declare, bandit(s), government(s) or foreign invader(s) to be the force of undue imposition to be defeated.
    The true value of the Federalist Papers is that in the Founding Fathers writings they repeatedly make it quite clear who they believed the most dangerous enemy will inevitably be, tyrannical government!

  • AK December 4, 2018, 3:59 pm

    Mikhail Khodorkovsky was the richest man in Russia before his arrest in 2003.
    He took control of Yukos, the largest oil company at the time in Russia.
    He was worth 15 billion at the time.
    Khodorkovsky was one of the original Russian Jewish oligarchs.
    Khodorkovsky started the “Open Russia Foundation,” had Lord Rothschild of London and our own inimitable Henry Kissinger for his board of directors, and said that there was no connection with the Soros “Open Society Institute” although they did fund some projects together, like trying to dismantle the Russian government and getting Putin thrown out of office, amongst others.
    Khodorkovsky has close ties to Soros and the Rothschild banking dynasty.

  • Marcelino November 30, 2018, 10:11 am

    Putin has shown his KGB instincts; dead people don’t cause trouble.

    • krinkov545.4t November 30, 2018, 6:57 pm

      The Clinton crime cartel motto.

  • ~ Occams November 30, 2018, 10:02 am

    Too bad you all read and watch MSM liars. Otherwise, you’d understand that Russia and Russians have FAR MORE FREEDOM than the USSA

  • December November 30, 2018, 9:17 am

    A little nerve gas here a little nerve gas there, easy peasy lemon squeezy no more dissidents.

  • joefoam November 30, 2018, 8:39 am

    Imagine that, someone figuring out what our forefathers knew 240 years ago. An armed citizenry can stop a tyrannical gov’t.

  • SuperG November 29, 2018, 10:47 am

    Oh look, someone just wrote their name on Putin’s hit list.

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