Vladimir Vyrypaev about Khodorkovsky case. Part 1

Vladimir Vyrypaev about Khodorkovsky case. Part 1


Vyrypaev Vladimir, a former Deputy Director General Samaraneftegaz stock-company, Samaraneftegaz Veterans Committee, a Chairman of the Board: My sensations from the personal contact with Khodorkovsky are extensive. His extraordinary self-restraint impressed me personally as a manager deeply. It was simply an amazing restraint. He used to be very even-tempered person; no ticklish problem could provoke him. And one could see his desire, his ability to convince people, many people who didn’t understand this and that up to negative reaction; but he was persistently trying to convince everyone regardless of his time. His merit was that he was meeting people constantly. He came to our region to meet workers; and his idea was to meet them in the absence of managers of any level Initial conversation, primary information about what was bad what was good – that was important for his assessing the situation, for understanding it and further correcting. So that there was no even tacit pressure on the working men. He joined workers for lunch without any hesitation with desire to know what their food was and should be done to make this food better.. It was so unusual, maybe even for the first time those people who were under psychological pressure because time itself was a tense; and people not understanding situation and perceiving it very aggressively became excited very easily due to any reason or no reason at all. The passions calmed down when he explained everything in details: what is what, and what were the plans, the programs for the future, and what these plans would bring to every person, and to the company, and the team as a whole. Well, of course, we were deeply impressed by technologies Yukos used. In fact literally right from the very first months we had new information technologies, e-mail. It was very convenient, of course, very quick and effective. It happened in those years, didn’t it? Yes, it happened in those years, yes. In fact, it was for the first time such technologies were used in our country; all these faxes, travelling with documents, different sorts of paper, they literally choked us. But such flexible, advanced production management system implying day-to-day contact with all programs’ management was certainly better, and safer. Creation of so called Yukos classes for senior pupils was also very interesting. We were amazed at the fact that Yukos has bought a building and has founded lycée for children of those who were killed in local wars, in fact for the ex-servicemen orphans. That was, of course, the highest humanitarian action, frankly saying; and now I think about all those children who have lost it. It’s a shame really. That is because there is a rising generation problem; it exists today but we can see in our country no one who is ready to solve it radically, thoughtfully, and morally. There are only declarations and talks, and nothing more. Here we are. Well, as about the manufacturing process we did understand each other without any problem. Initially, the fact that most people joint the company happened to be not producers, but economists and financiers, of course, called our attention. And they approached a production process in terms of pure economics, finance, i.e., ‘we need economic efficiency and nothing more’. Professionals – are professionals and, naturally, Yukos was reinforced with professional people, as it is always easier: professional would easily understand all the nuances, details and other professional too. As a result, well… before Yukos appearance we extracted 6 million 750 thousand, and were profoundly concerned of this disastrous decline. With Yukos we’ve increased production almost twice as much and reached 12 and a half million to 2003. Such a jerk, of course, has inspired everyone as it meant an entirely different, favorable level of tax allocation to regional budget, and money for social programs. I would even say, that sometimes, recalling Yukos activities we joke that with Yukos we lived under communism, frankly speaking, yes. Today, of course, everything is more complicated, more difficult. Management technology in Rosneft, in my opinion, is something from the Middle Ages, frankly speaking. Meeting people as such does not exist anymore. In the past Khodorkovsky used to come for holidays and bring Russian pop-singers or philharmonic music; the congratulations to the Khodorkovsky himself on somebody from the company top-managers wished people a happy New Year in theaters… They came to meet with veterans, to present them with gifts, to say kind words to those people who created this industrial base. They liked it very much, because it was a kind of appreciation their entire life highly… Today no one bothers to do it. This is bad, of course, very bad. Well, in general, we, of course, believe it was a positive period in our history. Here we are. Next year we’ll celebrate 75 years of Samara oil, and almost a decade, 8 years with Yukos was such a positive moment in our history, frankly speaking. What do you think why all this has happened to Yukos and Mr. Khodorkovsky personally in your opinion? Well, if to look at it objectively… Well, it is very difficult for me to judge as our horizon is not wide enough to hold the scales even, isn’t it? But to most people’s understanding, after all this was not an economic action, but a political one. Here we are. And as about the mechanisms and springs of this political action, I dare not say, however… I understand only that it is political one. I do understand this. Probably Michal Borisych has underestimated something somewhere in this the kind of situation, though, in general, it was strange, because he produced an impression of very advanced, very intelligent and very talented person. And where did he underestimate – I have no idea, but should say it’s a pity…

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