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Book Review
Last Updated: 11/05/2003
Putin Reigns
Marina Bakhnova

Lilia Shevtsova, Putin's Russia, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, 2003, pp.305


Lilia Shevtsova, who happily combines skills of a political analyst and a storyteller, is at home at Siberian oilrigs, in a stretch limousine prowling Moscow streets with very rich people discussing million-dollar deals at the back seat, the Kremlin corridors of power, in a turbulent and unruly (albeit, a very manageable) State Duma. Her insight, experience and integrity makes her analysis of the modern Russia, Putin’s Russia, for that matter,- a breathtaking story of an “unexpected” and dramatic appearance of a former  KGB officer and a political maverick on the top of the Russian Olympus of power.

 

However, the Russian political life is everything these days but for still life. Since the day of the October Socialist Revolution in 1917, late summer and, particularly autumn, have become the time of dramatic, if not pivotal changes in the life of this country. The fall of 2003 is not an exception, either. Putin’s  “new course “ aimed at cutting off all ties with the Family (Eltzin’s chaperons left for Putin as an asked for dowry) by launching relentless process of re-distribution of the Soviet property privatized in the early 90-s, by declaring war on “untouchable” oligarchs and surrounding himself with his “chekist” colleagues from St. Petersburg is a valid proof to this.

 

Once upon a time the word “perestroika” was a symbol of new Russia. Will it be substituted by a new political jargon word-“siloviki”- occurring even more often in international media nowadays, is the matter of the nearest future.

Lilia Shevtsova’s readers are looking forward to her brilliant analysis of these “times of change”. There is still a hope that this time this Chinese curse will be beneficial for Russia.

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