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The Treacherous Path: An Insider's Account of Modern Russia Hardcover – 12 Apr 2018
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"Vladimir Yakunin, a former Putin insider and loyalist, has broken the Kremlin code of silence and gives an incomparable lowdown on life and politics at the top." -- --Robert Service, Emeritus Professor of Russian History, St Antony s College, Oxford
"It is not often one gets a deep insight from a Kremlin insider who has remained independent of the Kremlin. Yakunin has been a KGB man, a Russian Minister and boss of Russian Railways. He has been a colleague of Putin but is a candid one. He is well worth reading." -- -- Malcolm Rifkind, Foreign Secretary 1992 1997
"A vivid and sharp account of a major page of Russian history, aiming at building bridges between cultures." -- Dominique de Villepin, Prime Minister of France 2005 2007
"Having worked with Vladimir Yakunin at the UIC, I deeply appreciate this honest and important testimony of his long career in business and politics. The Treacherous Path is also a transmission of shared human values; the clear and open vision of an Honnête Homme a railwayman hitching his wagon to a star." -- --JP Loubinoux, executive director of the UIC (International Union of Railways)
About the Author
Vladimir Yakunin was trained as a rocket engineer at the Leningrad Mechanical Institute, later moving to New York, where he served as a diplomat and an intelligence officer for the KGB. After the fall of the Soviet Union, he became a minister in the Transport and Railway ministries and was later appointed CEO of Russian Railways, a state-owned company responsible for over 85,000 kilometres of track and more than a million workers. Today he combines his role as chairman of the Dialogue of Civilizations, an NGO dedicated to promoting intercultural dialogue, with his post as chair of political science at Lomonosov Moscow State University.
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Putin is not a Lenin or a Stalin but he uses similar techniques as his organisation of the 2014 Winter Olympics demonstrates. Yakunin is a former intelligence officer, a patriot and proud of the KGB's /FSB's record after the collapse of the USSR. He has a huge fortune madewhile in office. Sadly and revealingly he is unconcerned about corruption. This results in a depressing picture of the country. Despite being sacked Yakunin is a Putin loyalist.
For some ten years he was Putin's minister of railways. He has amazingly breached the KGB code of silence. Putin has been president for 18 years already. He is politically dominant. He underwent the same training for the KGB as did the author. He expects his colleague to keep their mouths shut, or else. Yakunin describes the training and boasts about its efficiency and effectiveness. Mood swings during conversations are deliberate ploys to unsettle an opponent, as Tony Blair discovered.
Putin once in office put people like Yakunin and other ex KGB officers into high office to investigate corrupt oligarchs who controlled the country's oil, gas and aluminium. Unlike some others, Yakunin despises those who advocate free markets. Putin plays off the two factions against each other. He has always been involved in economic debates.
This is a book that rejects any kind of criticism of Putin or his regime. It lacks depth and one suspects it was only published not as said to reveal the Putin regime but to endorse it . There are several far more insightful and honest accounts available. This one is very dubious.
What is clear from the many accounts including journals is that Putin is a very nasty individual in charge of a ruthless regime that uses the FSB to silence opponents. Putin cannot abide anyone who reveals the depths of corruption and deviousness in Russia today. He used his mafia and the Vory to do his dirty work then claims it had nothing to do with Russia.
Incidentally, it wasn't 'ghosted' as one reviewer has suggested.