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3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Communism was a dead loss for Russia, today is even worse, 10 Nov. 2009
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This review is from: Putin's Russia (Paperback)
Anna Politovskaya was an important observer of the Russian society and a formidable investigative journalist; otherwise she wouldn't have been killed.
Her analysis of Putin's Russia is not less than devastating.

Russia
Since the end of the Soviet era, the author sees three different historical changes in Russia.
The first one is the introduction of a market economy and the fall of the Soviet ideology. The second one is the debt default of the Russian State, which wiped out all personal savings. The third one is the actual hybrid system of a free market, controlled politically by a new nomenklatura, economically by oligarchs (owners of former State monopolies) and socially by organized crime syndicates with their hit-men (murdering in the interest of `their' (all the former groups) State).
Its population is brainwashed by propaganda. Political and social apathy is rampant.

Government
More than six thousand members of the KGB/FSB followed in the footsteps of Putin in order to occupy the highest offices and key governmental positions.
The judiciary is subordinate to the executive branch. As the author states, `lawlessness is more powerful than the law.'
`Democratic' elections are a pantomime.
Moreover, the political-psychiatry-to-order system has returned (search for social justice is seen as a symptom of mental illness). But, as in the Soviet era, those in power remain highly sensitive to criticism from abroad.

Army
Soldiers are deserting in droves, fleeing a violent environment created by their superiors. Alcoholism is endemic. Officers even `sell' new recruits as cheap labour (working only for food). Those, who are staying, are living on survival wages (if paid).
But more importantly, the Navy with its nuclear submarines is breaking down.

Putin
Putin is a product of Russia's murkiest intelligence services. But, he is and continues to be supported by the West.

Why did Anna Politovskaya attack head-on dangerous forces wielding nearly dictatorial powers? To be free, to live in freedom and not to be a simple cog as people were in the former Soviet system.

This courageous book should be an example for all true journalists.
It is a must read for all Russian scholars and for all those who want to understand the world we live in.
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Review Details

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Reviewer

Luc REYNAERT
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   

Location: Beernem, Belgium

Top Reviewer Ranking: 667