Putin's Labyrinth: Spies, Murder, and the Dark Heart of the New Russia

Putin's Labyrinth: Spies, Murder, and the Dark Heart of the New Russia


the hot Russia is marching in an alarming course. Emboldened by means of escalating oil wealth and newfound prominence as an international energy, Russia, lower than the management of Vladimir Putin, has veered again towards the authoritarian roots planted in Imperial/Czarist instances and firmly verified in the course of the Soviet period. although Russia has a brand new president, Dmitri Medvedev, Putin continues to be up to speed, rendering the democratic reforms of the post-Soviet order inappropriate. Now, in Putin’s Labyrinth, acclaimed journalist Steve LeVine, who lived in and mentioned from the previous Soviet Union for greater than a decade, presents a penetrating account of recent Russia less than the repressive rule of an omnipotent autocrat. LeVine portrays the expansion of a “culture of death”–from specific assassinations of the state’s enemies to the Kremlin’s indifference whilst blameless hostages are slaughtered.

Drawing on new interviews with eyewitnesses and the households of sufferers, LeVine records the bloodshed that has stained Putin’s phrases as president. one of the incidents chronicled in those pages: The 2002 terrorist takeover of a crowded Moscow theater–which resulted in the govt. gassing the development, and the deaths of greater than 100 terrified hostages–seen the following from new angles, in the course of the riveting phrases of these who survived; and the homicide of brave investigative reporter Anna Politkovskaya, shot within the elevator of her condo development on Putin’s birthday, purportedly as a malicious “gift” for the president from supporters. ultimately, a surprising tale that made foreign headlines–the 2006 demise of defector Alexander Litvinenko in London–is dramatized as by no means sooner than. LeVine strains the stairs of this KGB-spy-turned-dissident on his solution to being poisoned with polonium-210, a radioactive isotope. And in doing so, LeVine is granted an extraordinary sequence of interviews with a KGB defector who was once approximately killed in unusually related situations fifty years previous. via LeVine’s exhaustive study, we come to understand the sufferers as actual humans, not only names briefly information debts of ways they died.

Putin’s Labyrinth is greater than an immensely readable exposé. it's hugely own, with the flavour of a memoir. it's a considerate publication that examines the complicated query of ways Russians be capable to negotiate their manner round the ever-present risk of violence. It calculates the emotional toll that this deadly maze is exacting on traditional humans, while they take pleasure in a dramatically heightened way of life. such a lot ominously, it assesses the reopening of hostilities with the West, and the forces which are riding this significant new war of words.

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