Monday, March 21, 2022

Putin's People, by Catherine Belton

This extraordinary, meticulously researched book is an essential read just now. Belton charts the rise and rise of Vladimir Putin from his early days in the KGB to the present day (or 2020, when the book was published), to show where everything going on at the moment came from. There's a lot to take in: the scale of the kleptocracy, the astonishing sums of cash involved, the huge number of people caught up in it.

There's a lot on Russian links to Donald Trump, going back many decades, and lots on Putin's long-standing interest in Ukraine. There's lots on Russian support for Brexit and the corrosive effect of "black money" in London. What a lot of damage has been done; the horror of it all is exhausting.

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