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Putin's Russia: Life in a Failing Democracy Paperback – January 9, 2007
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Top Customer Reviews
Working for one of the last liberal Moscow newspapers, "Novaya Gazeta", Politkovskaya committed herself to writing the truth about the war in Chechnya (which she openly and vehemently opposed), and the blatantly corrupt Russsian government.
In her third book, "Putin's Russia...", Politkovskaya exposes the instability of today's Russia due to the above mentioned corruption that infiltrates everything from business to politics to the military and to the court systems. Bribes are simply accepted as a way of life by bureaucrats and ordinary citizens alike. Although corruption and other forms of political and governmental "ugliness" exist in all countries, none exist to the extent witnessed in today's Russia. And for all of this Politkovskaya blames one man, Vladimir Putin (though she also places some blame on the western countries that have "bought into" the mask of democracy Putin wears during public appearances). Politkovskaya however, seeing through the guise, accurately defines Putin as a throwback from the past, as a ruthless, Soviet-style dictator.
All of Politkovskaya's "accusations" are supported by incontrovertible facts and examples. If nothing else, she was thorough in her research. She had no hidden agenda or score to settle in writing this or any of her books - she merely wanted to truth to be told.
Sadly, for telling the truth Anna Politkovskaya paid the ultimate price.Read more ›
If you are a Western reader trying to understand the roots of this conflict, Politkovskaya's books are probably a wrong choice. For that you have to read some history books addressing Russian history of the last 200 - 300 years. Start with Richard Pipes or something similar. Her books are reports of what's going on there now. As such they are great examples of what the REAL journalism should be. They also serve as a good source on what's really going on in Russia today. They would make a good foundation for a War Crimes Tribunal for both Russian and Chechen sides (or are they really just the same Gang), which hopefully will take place some day.
Finally, as others pointed out here the Publisher Weekly reviewer frankly does not know what he is talking about. He probably thinks Kim Jon Il is a legitimate ruler because 98% of North Koreans "vote" for him, too.
Well, Politkovskaya doesn't all together stick with this decree, but touches upon Putin's "policies" by way of presenting his lack of policy in helping his people.
There are many events detailed in this book: soldiers being beaten and tormented by their commanding officers. Family members trying to find out the truth about their loved one's death, or murder. Corruption plaguing the Russian judicial system. Yury Budanov's kidnapping of a young Chechen girl, her rape and murder trial. Examples of friends the author has known and how their lives (good and bad) have been affected by the changes in the wake of the New Russia. The gangster life being rife throughout Russia, given in the example of Pavel Anatolievich Fedulev. The storming of the Dubrovka Theater in Moscow during the "Nord-Ost" musical by Chechen terrorists wishing to end the war, and how the government unleashed an unknown gas that ended up killing 200 hostages. The waging of "Antiterrorist Operation Whirlwind" that caused the Chechen people living in Russia to be harassed, framed, and forced to sign confessions that they plotted the attack; many were sent to prison or lost their jobs. According to Politkovskaya it was "Putin's belief that an entire people must shoulder collective responsibility for the crimes committed by a few" pg 224. The hostage situation in the town of Beslan on the day of "Lineyka," the celebration of the beginning of school when many families were at the school.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Reading this book you would think every problem in Russia has suddenly happened because of Putin. The author wants to portray modern Russia as an Evil Empire in a new Cold War. Read morePublished 24 days ago by Amazon Customer
A must read; especially with the international terrorism being promoted by fascist ruSSia. The true threat to humanity is not ISIS, but the criminal mentally-ill KGB thug in... Read morePublished 6 months ago by Dirk Smith
Analysis adequate, not great. Discussed what he did but no real substantive assessmentPublished 7 months ago by Joyce M. Kelly
I got this book for a research project I am doing, Anna Politkovskaya was a great journalist. If anyone is into Putin's Russia and the Chechen War, this is a great book to use a... Read morePublished 8 months ago by Maria Flores
It is a brutally appalling account of the Russia that the government doesn't want the outside world to see.Published 10 months ago by ny
Anna P., since murdered, was one of the few brave journalists in Russia who chose to report on curruption, wars, and sad state of the political system in Russian post-Soviet era. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Laura J. Lien
What caught my eye is that nearly every review describes Politkovskaya in present tense. She was assassinated in 2006, probably for her outspoken believes, and the case was never... Read morePublished 15 months ago by Olya Laska
One of a number of books that detail some of the tactics Putin used to assume and hold power. I give it four stars because the writer's obvious distaste for Putin permeates every... Read morePublished 17 months ago by Matthew J. Brennan