Author: Anna Politkovskaya
Translator: Arch Tait
Original language: Russian
Published by: Harvill Secker
A devastating appraisal of the policies of Russia’s head of state by that country’s leading radical journalist
Internationally admired for her fearless reporting especially on the Chechen wars before her murder, award-winning journalist Anna Politkovskaya turned her steely gaze on the man who, until very recently, was a darling of the western media. A former KGB spy, Vladimir Putin was named President of Russia in 2000. From the moment he entered the public arena, he marketed himself as an open, enlightened leader eager to engage with the West. Unlike many European and American journalists and politicians, Politkovskaya never trusted Putin’s image. From her privileged vantage point at the heart of Russian current affairs, she set out to dismantle both Putin the man and Putin the brand name, arguing that he is a power-hungry product of his own history and so unable to prevent himself from stifling civil liberties at every turn.
Here Politkovskaya tells the story of Putin’s iron grip on Russian life from the point of view of individual citizens whose situations have been shaped by his unique brand of tyranny. Mafia dealings, scandals in the provinces, military and judiciary corruption, the decline of the intelligentsia, the tragic mishandling of the Moscow theatre siege – all are subject to Politkovskaya’s pitiless but invariably humane scrutiny.
'A hero among hacks'
'If you haven't done so yet, read Politkovskaya's books'
Writers in Translation supported a series of events to mark the book’s publication. Anna Politkovskaya was in conversation with Jonathan Steele, Misha Glenny and also spoke at the Writers in Translation launch party.