Russia under Vladimir Putin has proved a prickly partnerfor the West, a far cry from the democratic ally many hoped for when the Soviet Union collapsed. Abroad, he has used Russia's energy might as a foreign policy weapon, while at home he has cracked down on opponents, adamant that only he has the right vision for his country's future. Former BBC correspondent Angus Roxburgh charts the dramatic fight for Russia'sfuture under Vladimir Putin - how the former KGB man changed from reformer to autocrat, how he sought the West's respect but earned its fear, how he cracked down on his rivals at home and burnished a flamboyant personality cult, one day saving snow leopards or horse-back riding bare chested, the net tongue-lashing Western audiences. Drawing on dozens of exclusive interviews in Russia, where he worked for a time as a Kemlin insider advising Putin on press relations, as well as in the US and Europe, Roxburgh also argues that the West threw away chances to bring Russia in from the cold, by failing to understand its fears and aspirations following the collapse of communism.
Angus Roxburgh is a respected British foreign correspondent and Russia specialist. He was the Sunday Times Moscow correspondent in the mid-1980s and the BBC's Moscow correspondent during the Yeltsin years.
‘[A]lively and absorbing study.... [Roxburgh] is especially well placed to tell the story of how the west’s early enthusiasm for Putin turned sour.’
Luke Harding, Guardian
‘[Written] with admirable even-handedness and insight...The Strongman is not only political history; it is informed by the author’s close acquaintance with many of the prime players... Every chapter of this book is worth reading.’
Mary Dejevsky, Independent
‘We need an insider to give us some insight into what has really been going on since 1999, when Putin went from unknown to acting president. It is fortunate then that we have Angus Roxburgh... fair, nuanced and well written...His account of the complete mutual incomprehension between his employers, Ketchum, and the Russians they worked with is fascinating.’
Oliver Bullough, Sunday Telegraph
‘The considerable value of this book lies in [Roxburgh’s] painstaking and empathetic effort to understand how Mr. Putin came to power, why many Russians still support him today, and how the West’s approach to Russia has helped to shape his rule.’
Paul Starobin, Wall Street Journal
‘A sober assessment of Putin years, illuminated by Angus Roxburgh’s first-hand experience and long acquaintance with Russia’
Bridget Kendall, BBC diplomatic correspondent
‘Using his personal experiences and material from new interviews with key figures, Angus Roxburgh lifts the lid on a decade of murky Kremlin politics.’
Martin Sixsmith, author of Russia: A 1,000-Year Chronicle of the Wild East
'Angus Roxburgh, former BBC Moscow correspondent and one-time PR adviser to the Kremlin, brings a wealth of political detail, experience and insight to this vigorous analysis of Vladimir Putin.'
Publisher: I.B.Tauris & Co Ltd.Paperback
Publication Date: 28 Feb 2013
Number of Pages: 368
Illustrations: 34 in 16pp bw platesHardback
Publication Date: 15 Dec 2011
Number of Pages: 288