Putin's Russia Life in a Failing Democracy

Anna Politkovskaya

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288 Pages


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In October 2006, Anna Politkovskaya was killed while working on an expose of Chechnya's Russian-backed leader. 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. More recently, she turned her steely gaze on the multiple threats to Russian stability, among them Vladimir Putin himself, focusing on the multiple threats his regime poses to Russian stability and on the state of terror that in the end cost Politkovskaya her life. With a new foreword by Anne Applebaum, Putin's Russia—never published in 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 Vladimir Putin, for stifling civil liberties as he pushes the country back to a Soviet-style dictatorship, and the West, for its failure to rein in the Russian leader.

Sounding an urgent alarm, Putin's Russia is a portrayal of a country in crisis and the testament of a great and intrepid reporter.


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Putin's Russia
MY COUNTRY'S ARMY AND ITS MOTHERSThe army in Russia is a closed system no different from a prison. Like anywhere else, people don't get into the army or into prison unless the authorities want them there. Unlike other places, once you are in, you live the life of a slave. Armies everywhere try to keep what they do quiet, and perhaps this is why we talk about generals as if they belonged to an international tribe whose personality is the same all over the world, irrespective of which president or state they serve.There are, however, further peculiarities specific to the Russian
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  • Anna Politkovskaya

  • Anna Politkovskaya (1958–2000) was a special correspondent for Novaya Gazeta. She was honored by Amnesty International and Index on Censorship, and received Russia's prestigious Golden Pen Award for her coverage of the war in Chechnya, as well as the 2005 Civil Courage Prize.