In The Age of Assassins, Yuri Felshtinsky presents a seminal account of the large-scale corruption that followed when, in 2000, Vladimir Putin became the second Russian secret-service officer ever to lead Russia. Based on five years of meticulous research, Felshtinsky tells the explosive story how a ruthless secret corporation of up to 300 top spies claimed the largest country in the world. How did Vladimir Putin amass a fortune larger than oligarchs such as Roman Abramovich? For whom was dictator Pinochet a guiding example? What will Russia be like after Putin? Why was Dmitri Medvedev, the legal architect of secret joint-ventures between Putin s St Petersburg department and convicted criminals, earmarked to become the next President of Russia? Why did the popular spitting-image puppet show Kukly ( Dolls ) have to disappear from Russian TV? The answers lie with the Russian secret service like the Gestapo and Waffen SS a merciless instrument of oppresssion that aims to control, subjugate, destroy and kill. Instituted by Lenin in 1917, its treacherous character proved indestructible after communism. Broken up by Yeltsin into smaller parts, its full powers were revived by Vladimir Putin during the eight years of his Presidency.