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Putin’s People: A Times Book of the Year 2021 Paperback – 15 April 2021
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THE SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER
A Times and Sunday Times Book of the Year 2020
A Daily Telegraph Book of the Year 2020
‘The Putin book that we’ve been waiting for’ Oliver Bullough, author of Moneyland
‘Books about modern Russia abound … Belton has surpassed them all. Her much-awaited book is the best and most important on modern Russia’ The Times
A chilling and revelatory expose of the KGB’s renaissance, Putin’s rise to power, and how Russian black cash is subverting the world.
In Putin’s People, former Moscow correspondent and investigative journalist Catherine Belton reveals the untold story of how Vladimir Putin and his entourage of KGB men seized power in Russia and built a new league of oligarchs.
Through exclusive interviews with key inside players, Belton tells how Putin’s people conducted their relentless seizure of private companies, took over the economy, siphoned billions, blurred the lines between organised crime and political powers, shut down opponents, and then used their riches and power to extend influence in the West.
In a story that ranges from Moscow to London, Switzerland and Trump’s America, Putin’s People is a gripping and terrifying account of how hopes for the new Russia went astray, with stark consequences for its inhabitants and, increasingly, the world.
‘A fearless, fascinating account … Reads at times like a John le Carré novel … A groundbreaking and meticulously researched anatomy of the Putin regime, Belton’s book shines a light on the pernicious threats Russian money and influence now pose to the west’ Guardian
Frequently bought together
‘This is the most remarkable account so far of Putin’s rise … Groundbreaking … several hair-raising revelations … Relentless and convincing. There are gobsmacking moments … This is a superb book’
‘A fearless, fascinating account … Reads at times like a John le Carré novel… A groundbreaking and meticulously researched anatomy of the Putin regime, Belton’s book shines a light on the pernicious threats Russian money and influence now pose to the west’
‘Modern Russia in full, horrifying technicolour … this riveting, immaculately researched book is arguably the best single volume written about Putin, the people around him and perhaps even about contemporary Russia itself in the past three decades’
PETER FRANKOPAN, FINANCIAL TIMES
‘Books about modern Russia abound … Belton has surpassed them all. Her much-awaited book is the best and most important on modern Russia. It benefits from a meticulous compilation of open sources, but also from the accounts of disillusioned Kremlin insiders, former business cronies and some remarkably candid people still high up in the system. The result is hair-raising.’
‘An outstanding exposé of Putin and his criminal pals … [A] long-awaited, must read book’
‘Arguably the biggest story of the 21st century so far. In forensically unravelling it, journalist Catherine Belton has done a great service, producing a book that western experts on modern Russia acknowledge as vital to our understanding of the Putin phenomenon’
DAILY MAIL, BOOK OF THE WEEK
‘A serious, absolutely timely warning. No book has documented the Russian president’s leadership so indefatigably and compellingly’
‘Meticulously researched and superbly written; terrifying in its scope and utterly convincing in its argument … The Putin book that we've been waiting for’
‘An extraordinarily important book’
A Times Book of the Year 2021
- Publisher : William Collins (15 April 2021)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 640 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0007578814
- ISBN-13 : 978-0007578818
- Item Weight : 470 g
- Dimensions : 12.9 x 4.1 x 19.8 cm
- Country of Origin : USA
- Best Sellers Rank: #7,653 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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The KGB used to funnel funds all over the world to spread its influence from funding wars to bribing officials to become spies. When the USSR collapsed and that structure fell apart, the USA took full advantage and spread its power as the only superpower left via NATO as the Warsaw Pact vanished. The Russians being a very proud nation and losing their pre-eminence on the world stage were desperate for a strong leader and along comes Putin. (Is there a parallel i ask myself with Germany in the 30s). A major point she makes in the book is that when Gorby ended the Cold War the West let their guard down. She makes it very clear that it is now in Cold War Mark 2 under Putin and that Russia is winning. Putin aims to destroy the West's alliances and that Russia becomes a superpower again. She explains that Trump had a lot of contacts with Russia from 2001 and when he won the Presidency the Russian Parliament was delighted. They were proven correct as most of Trump's foreign policy ties in perfectly with Putin's aims.
When Putin came to power there was a royal battle with the oligarchs to become top dogs. The richest oligarch at that time was Khodorkovsky. Putin used him as a scapegoat by stitching him up via the legal system which was controlled by him. K. got 10 years in jail and the ECHR stated, "that the court violated K's human rights". This was letting the oligarchs know who was in charge and do what i say or finish up in jail. There is a lot of evidence that Abramovich is in his back pocket. He was told to buy Chelsea FC to enter the UK. This he did amongst many other things rather than have his empire taken off him by the state ie. Putin as happened to K. The author provides plenty of evidence showing that the oligarchs do as he tells them. Lots of money that they have is now used to fund and finance activities that was done previously by the Communist State Party. Thus the FSB now carries on the work that the KGB used to do. Russian oligarchs move into Chelsea, London and Brighton Beach, USA. The whole purpose is to destroy by being the enemy within. Reading the book, J Biden comes out of it very well due to his knowledge of how Putin operates. Putin operates through his people so has PLAUSIBLE DENIABILITY, ie. you can't touch me. She shows that a lot of the Dirty Money is funneled into London and some of it to the Conservative Party. ie. illegal money mostly.
Another main point in the book is that Russia is now a criminal state. The murders carried out all over the world from Litvinenko in London to the slaughter of Chechens in the war that Russia carried out there. The legal system is totally under the control of Putin and the oligarchs too. Criminal gangs are used by Putin for what he sees are the benefit of the nation. He has broken and altered the constitution so that he keeps in power for as long as he wants. A lot of circumstantial evidence that Trump was financed by Dirty Russian money via Deutsche bank which suggests that he is compromised by Putin. In other words, Putin has so much power over Trump that he has to abide by what he wants. As Pelosi said " when it comes to you Donald, everything leads to Putin". The things he does certainly make it seem so. M Cohen and F Sater (Joe Pesci in the future film) were big friends for decades and the go-between for Trump and Putin. Putin uses and discards his people when he no longer needs them such as Sergei Pugachev and B Berezovsky, as does Trump eg. M Cohen and J Sessions.
Excellent read, very detailed, very brave. Hopefully Americans will read this book, ( those that are left after Trump's pathetic Covid-19 policy) and realize that the USA can't take another 4 years of Trump. If they want a leader who believes in Putin more than their Intelligence Agencies, then they need to get rid of them and reduce their taxes.
If you want to know about how a Moscow Organised Crime Gang has links both to Trump and Boris Johnson and more importantly why, then this book will explain it all.
Too often, in recent times ,it’s been easy to get lost in a list of complex companies, foreign names and supposedly detailed plots surrounding Russia. But, in reality, just follow the money and bids for power. This book, written by a former Financial Times Moscow Correspondent will help you do this.
Read this book, it will open your eyes to what has been going on.
There is not a single honourable character (excepting the occasional brave journalist and, more rarely, lawyer). There are just constantly shifting sands of allegiance between self interested criminals, who fight each other for gold and power. Some victors, some losers, but we all know who the real victims are.
Profoundly depressing, even disturbing, but Ms Belton has done the world a great service with this magnificent expose. I just hope she doesn't suffer from nightmares.