This audiobook offers the first systematic analysis of Putin's two wars, placing the Second Chechen War and the War with Georgia of 2008 in their broader historical contexts. Drawing on extensive original Russian sources, Marcel H. Van Herpen analyzes in detail how Putin's wars were prepared and conducted and why they led to allegations of war crimes and genocide. He shows how the conflicts functioned to consolidate and legitimate Putin's regime and explores how they were connected to a third, hidden, "internal war" waged by the Kremlin against the opposition. The author convincingly argues that the Kremlin - relying on the secret services, the Orthodox Church, the Kremlin youth "Nashi", and the rehabilitated Cossacks - is preparing for an imperial revival, most recently in the form of a "Eurasian Union."
An essential book for understanding the dynamics of Putin's regime, this study digs deep into the Kremlin's secret long-term strategies. Clearly argued, it makes a compelling case that Putin's regime emulates an established Russian paradigm in which empire building and despotic rule are mutually reinforcing. As the first comprehensive exploration of the historical antecedents and political continuity of the Kremlin's contemporary policies, Van Herpen's work will make a valuable contribution to the literature on post-Soviet Russia, and his arguments will stimulate vigorous debate.
©2014 Rowman & Littlefield (P)2014 Audible Inc.
The book is very good. I learned a lot about Chechen war and Georgian war. The only trouble is that the book ends at the end of 2013. This is like listening to a book "Hitler's Wars" which ends in 1940. I hope the author will write a new revision of this book, unfortunately now, at the beginning of 2015 there is a lot of new materiel to cover.
Overall, Julian Elfer is doing pretty good job. However, when it comes to pronouncing Russian terms or names, I (a native Russian speaker) had very hard time trying to understand what is he saying. I would suggest to spend a couple hours with a teacher or a native Russian speaker and try to improve the pronunciation.
"Informative, let down by bad writing and narration"
Yes, it's informative about Putin's motivations and the likely future developments of the region. Includes enough historical background, going back to Tsarist Russia and through the Soviet era, without overwhelming the focus on current events.
The book is let down by the writing and the narration. The author loves long convoluted sentences and showing off his vocabulary. This is aggravated by the overuse of foreign-language expressions. I expected to hear plenty of Russian phrases, but the author throws in French, Latin, German, Italian, even Dutch. For example phrases like "droit de regard" are repeated over and over without explanation; this is not common parlance in the English speaking world, so why not write it in English? Another example: the author refers to the Nazi SA as "Braunhemd"... why not simply "Brownshirts", a word that everybody knows?
As a result of this writing, the narrator is constantly twisting his mouth trying to achieve perfect pronunciation of French, German and Russian phrases, sometimes in the same sentence. He does a reasonable job most of the time, but it's very hard to listen to.
Unfortunately the narrator's pronunciation of Russian names and phrases is weakest. If he at least used the standard anglicized pronunciations of names that we typically hear on TV news, we might at least know whom he was talking about.
Somebody who has studied Russian.
Published in January 2014 it discusses a scenario for Ukraine that seems so accurate an account of events (as at January 2015) I thought it was a new release! A fascinating book that in the latter half shows patterns of actions that give insight to the current situation and provide a baseline against which to assess new events.
Reads like a playbook for current events and includes a warning of what may be to come. A wake up call for those in the west.
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