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From Russia with Blood

The Kremlin's Ruthless Assassination Program and Vladimir Putin's Secret War on the West
Narrated by: Marisa Calin
Length: 10 hrs and 37 mins
Categories: History, World
5 out of 5 stars (138 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The untold story of how Russia refined the art and science of targeted assassination abroad - while Western spies watched in horror as their governments failed to guard against the threat 

They thought they had found a safe haven in the green hills of England. They were wrong. One by one, the Russian oligarchs, dissidents, and gangsters who fled to Britain after Vladimir Putin came to power dropped dead in strange or suspicious circumstances. One by one, their British lawyers and fixers met similarly grisly ends. Yet, one by one, the British authorities shut down every investigation-and carried on courting the Kremlin. 

The spies in the riverside headquarters of MI6 looked on with horror as the scope of the Kremlin's global killing campaign became all too clear. And, across the Atlantic, American intelligence officials watched with mounting alarm as the bodies piled up, concerned that the tide of death could spread to the United States. Those fears intensified when a one-time Kremlin henchman was found bludgeoned to death in a Washington, DC penthouse. But it wasn't until Putin's assassins unleashed a deadly chemical weapon on the streets of Britain, endangering hundreds of members of the public in a failed attempt to slay the double agent Sergei Skripal, that Western governments were finally forced to admit that the killing had spun out of control. 

Unflinchingly documenting the growing web of death on British and American soil, Heidi Blake bravely exposes the Kremlin's assassination campaign as part of Putin's ruthless pursuit of global dominance-and reveals why Western governments have failed to stop the bloodshed. The unforgettable story that emerges whisks us from London's high-end night clubs to Miami's million-dollar hideouts, ultimately rendering a bone-chilling portrait of money, betrayal, and murder, written with the pace and propulsive power of a thriller. 

Based on a vast trove of unpublished documents, bags of discarded police evidence, and interviews with hundreds of insiders, this heart-stopping international investigation uncovers one of the most important - and terrifying - geopolitical stories of our time.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio.

©2019 Heidi Blake (P)2019 Mulholland Books

Critic Reviews

"I could not put it down. It is a compelling read from start to finish and a brilliant piece of investigative journalism. This is state sponsored murder on an industrial scale, and it took brave journalists to piece together the jigsaw and tell the world. The detail in the book is extraordinary, the individual events thrilling. This book is a must read." (Chris Phillips, former head of the British government's National Counter Terrorism Security Office)

"The story of the corruption spreading from the Kremlin to the streets of Britain. Heidi's account reads like a novel, many of the stories are so extraordinary, the tragedy is that this is fact not fiction. This book is essential reading for anyone trying to understand the real threats facing our country today." (Tom Tugendhtat MP, chair of the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee)

"From Russia with Blood brings to life the audacity with which Putin has carried out his new form of warfare in the very capitals of the west. The research and conclusions are solid - and the story is scary." (General Philip Breedlove, former NATO commander)

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  • Overall
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great narration. Chilling and gripping story.

The narrator did a fabulous job with the array of Russian and Ukrainian names and terms throughout the book, and gave a certain necessary levity to a story filled with grave acts.

The book itself is incredibly fascinating — well-investigated and well-written with so many perfect, at times comical, character details to help you distinguish between the various individuals involved. It provides valuable context for today’s geopolitical climate that I’ve been missing up to now.

4 people found this helpful

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Sobering account of the Russia/Putin threat

This book should be required reading/listening by ALL of us living in democratic societies. These events span the years leading to recent news worthy events but adds context, while illuminating complicity on the part of western governments who until recently, preferred to keep us in the dark. It paints a horrifying picture of greed, corruption, tyranny, murder and manipulation.
This book exposes the naivety of western leaders to the dangers of Russia/Putin.... it's a well researched and written wake up call!

4 people found this helpful

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Enthralling

This book was fascinating and really well written. I devoured it. The audiobook was also well done.

4 people found this helpful

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Putin & Polonium; Oligarchs & FSB Assassins; Oh My

From Russia with Blood ranks alongside "Red Notice" and "New Tsar" as one of the very best books about Putin’s Russia that’s available on Audible. The information provided about the FSB's targeted assassination program is limited and incomplete, naturally, but it’s nevertheless easily the most fulsome discussion of this chilling phenomenon that I have come across in any open-source work of nonfiction. The book also delights through rigorous and riveting treatment of Boris Berezovsky, the quintessential O.G. of Russian Oligarchs, his complex relationship with Putin, and the circumstances of his exile in the UK. Other oligarchs - Roman Abramovich, Mikhail Khodorkovsky – make appearances, but the book is primarily concerned with Berezovsky, and the circle of exiles in his Russian and U.K. orbits, including Badri Patarkatsishvili and Alexander Litvinenko.

More broadly, the book does a great job of showing how and why the U.K. became a refuge for many oligarchs and exiles during the 2000s. It also does a reasonably good job of explaining the broad strokes of how the oligarchs made (stole) fortunes in the 1990s, in cahoots with the security services, Russian mafia, and Yeltsin-era politicians.

Other highlights include: (1) a detailed analysis of the Moscow Apartment bombings in 1999, Moscow theater hostage crisis of 2002, and Beslan school siege of 2004; (2) a revealing window into the relationship between British MI-6 and the U.S. intelligence community; (3) a great recounting of how Berezovsky and other oligarchs, while ensconced at Davos with others of the Global elite, organized a Western style campaign to reelect Boris Yeltsin in 1996, and; (4) a scathing assessment of certain Western leaders, such as British PM Tony Blair, and the intellectual gymnastics they engaged in during the 2000’s in order to avoid acknowledging or confronting the realities of Putin’s activities – the degree to which these Western leaders repeatedly saw what they wanted to see, as opposed to what the evidence suggested.

The author does a nice job of distinguishing the characters and making it easy to envision them in your mind’s eye – introducing them and their personalities and reputations at a manageable pace, and making the narrative relatively easy to follow. The narrator does a great job with the accents, and even if they are not perfect they help differentiate character and help the narrative flow smoothly.

I listened to the book at every opportunity and straight through over the course of 4-5 days. It is well-worth the credit for any reader, and a must-have for anyone interested in the subject matter.

1 person found this helpful

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criminals

well worth the read history on the fly is hard but worth the effort , these dots are ripe for connecting

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Make Russia Great Again

Other reliable sources such as Public Broadcasting System's Front Line have reported on Putin's hatred of America (Putin's Revenge). He holds the United States responsibile for the break up of the Soviet Union, and his loss of an empire. The pattern of Russian foreign assassinations is know to the security services of the United States and Great Britain, although the killings did not receive a great deal of press coverage until the horrible radiation poisoning of Alexander Litvenenko, in London. A few years ago another Russian ex-pat was poisoned with a chemical weapon in Salisbury, England, This book recounts 12 other targeted killings in Britain and one in the United States.

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Wow. Read it.

Detailed, shocking, scary. Well-read, also, with appropriate level of drama, never overdone. I was blown away and have recommended to friends.

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Murder, Russian Style

Scary. Well-researched and detailed history of a string of shocking political enemy murders at the hands of post-Soviet Russia's secret agents. Written by a true storyteller and very well narrated, this book is essential to understanding just a how far Vladimir Putin's Russia will go.

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Couldn't put it down.

Narrator was excellent, story line was intriguing, from the first line to the last. I couldn't put it down.

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Wow. Great read.

It appears some of our government institutions are, especially in hindsight, demonstrably and purposefully blind. This book paints an unnerving (pun intended) picture of multiple cover-ups at the highest levels. It’s a bummer to realize in a few years the author will have enough material to write a sequel.