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A searing portrait of a country in disarray and of the man at its helm, from the bravest of Russian journalists (The New York Times)
Hailed as a lone voice crying out in a moral wilderness (New Statesman), Anna Politkovskaya made her name with her fearless reporting on the war in Chechnya. Now she turns her steely gaze on the multiple threats to Russian stability, among them Vladimir Putin himself.
Rich with characters and poignant accounts, Putins Russia depicts a far-reaching state of decay. Politkovskaya describes an army in which soldiers die from malnutrition, parents must pay bribes to recover their dead sons bodies, and conscripts are even hired out as slaves. She exposes rampant corruption in business, government, and the judiciary, where everything from store permits to bus routes to court appointments is for sale. And she offers a scathing condemnation of the ongoing war in Chechnya, where kidnappings, extra-judicial killings, rape, and torture are begetting terrorism rather than fighting it. Finally, Politkovskaya denounces both Putin, for stifling civil liberties as he pushes the country back to a Soviet-style dictatorship, and the West, for its unqualified embrace of the Russian leader.
Sounding an urgent alarm, Putins Russia is a gripping portrayal of a country in crisis and the testament of a great and intrepid reporter.