Khodorkovsky claims Russia was complicit in Kyiv police violence

10 March 2014 14:00

Addressing thousands of people on Independence Square in downtown Kyiv, former Russian oligarch Mikhail Khodorkovsky has accused Russia of complicity in the police violence that claimed more than 100 lives during protests against Ukraine's ousted pro-Russian president, RFE/RL reports.

Khodorkovsky, a fierce critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin who spent a decade behind bars before his release in December, said that force was used against the protesters last month "with the agreement of the Russian authorities."

"I want you to know -- there is a completely different Russia out there. There are people who have kept coming out in Moscow to demonstrate against the war, despite the threat of arrest and long years in prison," Khodorkovsky said.

"There are people [in Russia] for whom friendship between Ukrainian and Russian peoples is more important than their personal freedom.

Russia, meanwhile, is tightening its military grip on Crimea.

Ukraine's State Border Service said Russian forces took control of a Ukrainian border guard post in western Crimea. It said Russian forces now control 11 border guard posts in Crimea."