Is Russia A Democracy?

The essence of a democracy is the right of individuals to express their views and to participate in the political arena without concern they will be subject to punishment for opposing the official government. Mikhail Khodorkovsky was a famous and wealthy man who came to the conclusion he had to enter the political arena and pursue the quest to establish a democratic society in his beloved Russia. However, then President Putin was frightened that someone had financial resources to run in an election that might result in gaining victory. Since Putin ran Russia and controlled the judiciary, he had charges brought against his opponent and not only sent him to jail but took over his corporation.

President Dimitry Medvedev, a former lawyer, has promised to end corruption in the Russian judiciary. His real test case is the new trial of Khodorkovsky which shortly will begin in Moscow. If the former business leader is again convicted it sends a message that Russia does not have an independent judiciary. What will Medvedev do?