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Putin's Russia

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Putin's Russia

Brookings Institution Press,

15 min read
10 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

Can Vladimir Putin bring stability, democratic institutions and world status to Russia even if he is still an autocrat?

Editorial Rating



  • Innovative


Author Lilia Shevtsova gives an authoritative, if undramatic and less than perfectly organized, account of the rise of Vladimir Putin. Boris Yeltsin chose the anonymous, quiet former KGB colonel for one of the world's most powerful jobs, in part because of his loyalty. Putin's clear-eyed pragmatism and his visceral support of George W. Bush's war on terrorism have given Russia otherwise unattainable international significance. Now, will Putin use his power to reform Russia's political institutions and strengthen its framework of democratic governance? This quite readable book goes beyond the headlines and indicates that Russia is still a land of intrigue and mystery, where the only certainty is that there is none. Under that circumstance, Shevtsova has done an admirable job of framing how Russia reached its current state and what historical choices now confront it. The future of Russia is far from set. getAbstract very highly recommends this book to those who seek a deeper understanding of one of America's staunchest allies in the war on terror.


Russia's Role Today Is in One Man's Hands

Russia today has an important role in almost every sphere of international foreign affairs. From Islamic fundamentalism to the war on terror, world security, nuclear materials, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, energy distribution and counterbalancing China, Russia has put itself squarely in the middle of things. Will the Russia-U.S. alliance against terrorism continue? Given that Russia has yet to break through and deconstruct the allure of personified power by fully establishing independent political institutions and the overall rule of law, the answer most likely depends on the leadership of Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin.

In many ways, Putin is where the rivers of yesterday and the streams of tomorrow converge. He is a symbol of both continuity and change. Some Russians see Putin as a link with the past of Boris Yeltsin, while others consider him a sharp departure. In some ways, Putin is clearly different. In his late 40s, he is remarkably young for a Russian leader. He does not play the monarch and, instead, prefers to be viewed as a pragmatic leader and manager. He achieved order within his country and initiated...

About the Author

A senior associate in the Carnegie Endowment's Russian and Eurasian Program, Lilia Shevtsova divides her time between the organization's offices in Moscow and Washington, D.C. Shevtsova is one of Russia's top political analysts and the author of six books. Her journalistic endeavors have won numerous awards, and she serves as a regular commentator for major, global television and radio networks.

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