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9 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Informed analysis of Putin's Russia spoiled by pro-EU bias, 30 May 2014
This review is from: The New Cold War: Putin's Threat to Russia and the West (Paperback)
This revised edition of The New Cold War, which was originally published in 2008, includes a new Foreword and Afterword added by the author in which he reconsiders his assessment of Russia in the light of recent events in Ukraine. While some of the facts and figures he quotes here are definitely beginning to show their age, if you're after a well-written, easy to read and clear analysis of the state of modern Russia, a geopolitical giant that is increasingly re-shaping the world we live in, then you'll enjoy this book as much as I did.

Covering the situation in Russia in short order, Lucas begins with an explanation of how the KGB seized control of the country through their placeman Vladimir Putin and considers who are the winners and who are the losers under his regime. He then looks at the crushing of political dissent within Russia and the Kremlin's use of intimidation and propaganda to control society and analyses the ideology behind the regime. Next he explains how Russia is using its enormous wealth and natural resources, combined with its rapidly modernizing military, to project its power into Eastern Europe and across the wider continent and the threat that this poses to Western hegemony. He ends by considering how the West might neutralise, or at least contain, Russia's growing power.

On its own terms, as an assessment of the state of Putin's Russia circa 2008, this is an interesting, informative, fair and balanced read and I'd have no hesitation recommending it to anyone who wants to learn more about this increasingly powerful country. However, it is when Lucas strays into the 'here and now' that he spoils what otherwise would have been a five star book. Unfortunately, he lets his fervent pro-EU, pro-globalisation bias cloud his judgement and open him up to charges of hypocrisy. He seems unable or unwilling to see that many of the criticisms he levels at Putin's Russia could now, just as easily, be levelled at his beloved EU which is itself anti-democratic and increasingly authoritarian.

While Lucas is at his best when analyzing the state of modern Russia and explaining the fascinating ideology of "sovereign democracy" that lies behind it, he is at his worst when acting as a propagandist for the EU and the forces of globalisation. Indeed, when it comes to recent events in Ukraine, he seems incapable of even acknowledging that the EU-backed putsch, during which Western politicians were on the streets of Kiev openly and actively supporting a mob whose aim was to remove a legitimate president, was not only wrong but also a blatant act of provocation towards Russia. It is also not to his credit that Lucas is one of the main proponents in the Western media of the misleading, dangerous and just plain stupid 'Putin-is-the-new-Hitler' hysteria. Thankfully, that kind of nonsense seems to have had little impact outside of the EU and US, in fact quite the opposite.

Only last week it was announced in the press that Russia's Gazprom had signed a $400bn deal to supply gas to China for 30 years, while the Russian petroleum giant, Rosneft, signed a $270bn contract to supply oil. It was also announced that there is over $3 trillion of investment in Russia from the Asia-Pacific region pending and a new $77bn 'Power of Siberia' pipeline, which will be the world's biggest construction project, has just been given the go-ahead These deals have been described as "a black moment for Europe which will change the geo-strategic balance in the world". It seems that outside the fantasy world of EUtopia [a place Russia now considers economically, spiritually and morally bankrupt] the rest of the world seems to be moving Russia's way.
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Initial post: 31 Mar 2015 19:59:49 BDT
There is absolutely no basis for saying that the Maidan Revolution in Ukraine was an "EU putch". There is no documented evidence that the CIA, the EU, or any other Western organisation had anything to do with the overthrow of the "legitimate" government of Yanukovych, who was widely held to be a crook. Ten EU Ambassadors met with protesters at a meeting in St. Michael's Square, but that was about it. Ed Lucas's analysis that the uprising was an internally-motivated one, based on a hatred of Yanukovych's corrupt, anti-EU government, is based on facts.
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Lance Grundy
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