CREATED APRIL 1993
As part of a sweeping restructuring of the oil industry, Yukos is created by merger of two state companies – Siberian oil producer Yuganskneftegas and Volga refining company Kuibyshevnefteorgsintez.
Still in state hands, Yukos comes close to bankruptcy amid falling output and rising debt; it owes the government alone $3.5bn.
Through a series of share offers, Yukos becomes the first fully privatised integrated oil company in Russia. In late 1995 Mikhail Khodorkovsky,using his holding company Menatep acquired a major Russian oil producer, Yukos, which had debts exceeding $3.5 billion, FOR $300 MILLION .
Khodorkovsky launches a major restructuring and modernisation programme, with the aim of making Yukos one of the few large Russian to match international standards for corporate behaviour and financial stability. The idea is first mooted of merging with Sibneft, another large producer then controlled by billionaire Boris Berezovsky (Jewish Oligarch)
In a Foreign Affairs article on the situation in 1998–99, Lee Wolosky, a former counterterrorism official under the Clinton administration, described how Khodorkovsky had engaged in massive asset stripping of Yukos subsidiaries following the 1998 financial crisis: After three international banks acquired approximately 30 percent of Yukos following a default on a loan to an affiliated bank,Khodorkovsky sought to turn Yukos into an empty shell. He forced it to convey its most significant asset – its controlling position in oil production subsidiaries – to unknown offshore entities. At the same time, he attempted the mother of all share dilutions: by transferring a massive number of new shares to offshore entities he is believed to control
I Prosecutors conducted an extensive investigation into Yukos for offences that went beyond the financial and tax-related charges. Reportedly there were three cases of murder and one of attempted murder linked to Yukos, if not Khodorkovsky himself.One area of interest to the Prosecutor-General included the 1998 assassination of the mayor of Nefteyuganskin the Tyumen region, Vladimir Petukhov. Nefteyugansk was the main centre of oil production within the Yukos empire. Suspicions arose in Nefteyugansk because Petukhov had publicly and frequently campaigned about Yukos’ non-payment of local taxes.
Ammnesty International has declared this Crooked Murdering Shyster a Prisoner of Concience
Yukos shares are listed in New York, London, Frankfurt, Berlin and Munich . Yukos becomes a major supplier to China after the acquisition of a refinery and other assets in the Russian Far East.
The company’s global ambitions step up a gear, with the acquisition of Lithuania’s main oil company, a move into Slovakia, and plans to develop an pipeline to China.
Khodorkovsky gets into his first public row with the Kremlin, disagreeing over state control of the pipeline industry. He complains publicly about corruption, and begins openly funding various opposition parties, including the communists. In short a mainly business dispute with the state is transformed by PR firms into a political dispute
2 JULY, 2003
Platon Lebedev, a major Yukos shareholder, is arrested and accused of having illegally acquired shares in Apatit, a fertiliser company, in 1994. Mr Khodorkovsky is questioned and released two days later.
16 JULY, 2003
Russian tax authorities say they are to audit Yukos’s books, as the investigation into the Apatit deal is dramatically widened. Yukos’s offices are raided and records taken away.
25 OCTOBER, 2003
Khodorkovsky is arrested, flown to Moscow and charged with various counts of fraud of tax evasion.
30 OCTOBER, 2003
The Russian authorities freeze the 44% stake in Yukos owned by Menatep Bank, Mr Khodorkovsky’s main investment vehicle. Previously, Yukos had announced a $2bn dividend to shareholders – an attempt to extract money from the firm ahead of any possible confiscation.
2 NOVEMBER , 2003
CONTROL OF MIKHAIL KHODORKOVSKYS SHARES IN YUKOS HAVE PASSED TO JACOB ROTHSHCILD , under a deal they concluded prior to Mr. Khodorkovsky’s arrest, the Sunday Times reported.Mr. Rothschild now controls the voting rights on a stake in Yukos worth almost $13.5 billion, the newspaper said in a dispatch from Moscow. http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2003/nov/2/20031102-111400-3720r/
3 NOVEMBER , 2003
Mr Khodorkovsky resigns as chief executive of Yukos in favour of Simon Kukes (American Jew), and is reported to have handed his interest in the company over to associates outside Russia. Mr Kukes tries to distance Yukos from Mr Khodorkovsky, pouring cold water on previous plans to sell the company to a foreign investor.
11 MARCH, 2004
More than $5bn belonging to Yukos shareholders is frozen in Switzerland, after Moscow argues that the money has been stolen. Arrest warrants are issued for another 10 of the company’s senior associates.
16 JUNE, 2004
Khodorkovsky’s trial finally begins, with the threat of up to 10 years in prison. The case is immediately adjourned.
19 DECEMBER, 2004
NOW UP TO THIS POINT JACOB ROTHSCHILD OWNS 44 PERCENT OF YUKOS THE BBC DOESNT SAY WHETHER THE SHAREHOLDERS (ROTH AND CO) OR THE CREDITORS (STATE OF RUSSIA) GET THE 9 BILLION —–REMEMBER KODORKOVSKY PAID JUST 300 MILLION FOR YUKOS
23 DECEMBER, 2004
State-owned oil firm Rosneft – itself preparing for a merger with state-controlled gas group Gazprom –buys Baikal, thus acquiring Yuganskneftegas.The unit is effectively renationalised.
12 JANUARY, 2005
Mikhail Khodorkovsky hands over controlling stake in Yukos parent firm Menatep to fellow shareholder Leonid Nevslin, by now resident in Israel. (Yukos now consists of just Kuibyshevnefteorgsintez (oil refinery) and cash profits )
14 FEBRUARY, 2005
Yukos sues Rosneft, Baikal, and Gazpromand one of its units, claiming damages of $20bn for their alleged role in the Yuganskneftegas sale.(Remember they paid 300 million and now claim 20 billion dollars )
15 MARCH, 2005
Rosneft sues Yukos over an $11bn back tax bill allegedly owed by Yuganskneftegas.
25 MARCH, 2005
Ex-Yukos security chief Alexei Pichugin convicted of murder and attempted murder.
19 APRIL, 2005
Russian court freezes more of Yukos’ assets as its own former unit Yuganskneftegas accuses it of having paid below-market prices for its oil and demands $6bn in compensation.
31 MAY, 2005
After 12 days of summing up the trial, the judges find Mikhail Khodorkovsky and Platon Lebedev guilty of six charges including tax evasion and sentence them to nine years in prison each.
1 AUGUST, 2006
Troubled Russian oil firm Yukos has been declared bankrupt by a court in Moscow
, clearing the way for the firm to be liquidated.The decision ends a three-year court battle for survival, after Yukos was hit with a huge back tax bill.
17 AUGUST, 2006
Russian prosecutors have launched a criminal investigation into former bosses of bankrupt oil company Yukos, accusing them of asset-stripping.Ex-chief executive Steven Theede and three others are said to have switched $10bn in assets outside Russia beyond the reach of liquidation proceedings.The four have denied wrongdoing, one of them accusing Russian authorities of a “vendetta” against ex-Yukos personnel.Yukos has broken into two, one arm managing foreign assets outside Russia.
20 SEPTEMBER, 2011
The European Court of Human Rights has ruled in a case between the oil company Yukos and the Russian government – but not come down clearly on either side.It dismissed claims that Russia had abused the law to destroy the firm, but found its legal rights were violated.However, the court said the Russian authorities had carried out “legitimate actions… to counter the company’s tax evasion”.The authorities had begun pursuing Yukos in 2002, accusing it of creating shell companies to hide revenue from the tax authorities.
20 DECEMBER, 2013
On 19 December 2013, President Vladimir Putin said he intended to pardon Khodorkovsky in the near future.He did so on the following day, stating that Khodorkovsky’s mother was ill and Khodorkovsky had asked for clemency. Khodorkovsky was released from prison on the same day he was pardoned, and immediately left for Berlin, Germany.