Khodorkovsky Remembers Yuri Schmidt

January 12, 2013

Dear friends!

We have lost a wonderful person, someone who has helped me all these heavy years – the lawyer Yuri Markovich Schmidt. He was a very good and courageous person, who for many decades (starting in “deep” Soviet times) defended those who had fallen afoul of our authorities.

This kind of work is never easy, it can be dangerous, and it’s not very lucrative. But then, you never have to make any compromises with your conscience.

Yuri Markovich supported me greatly – not only as a lawyer, but also as a human being, someone who himself had been through much in his life and who knew people of the kind one can look up to as role models. I am never going to forget the long talks he and I had.

Despite being gravely ill, Yuri Markovich still found the strength to carry out his duty as a defender to the very last. One can only imagine how difficult it must have been for him to travel to Segezha and to Moscow, but travel he did, and he continued to work, because he could not do otherwise.

I hope that I will be able to manifest the same kind of courage when my time comes. At least I have an example to follow in my life.

May Yuri Markovich always live on in our memory!

My deep condolences to his family and friends.

Mikhail Khodorkovsky