JRL NEWSWATCH: “How Putin pushed aside the oligarchs and made Russia his own” – Washington Post/ Anders Åslund

Vladimir Putin file photo with VOA logo; screen shot from video still

“Anders Åslund is a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council. His latest book is ‘Russia’s Crony Capitalism: The Path From Market Economy to Kleptocracy.‘”

“In her deeply researched new book, Catherine Belton tells a dark tale of … Putin’s rise to power and … 20 years as [Russian] leader …. ‘Putin’s People: How the KGB Took Back Russia and Then Took On the West‘[] … remind[s] [us] … how far we’ve come from … the late 1980s and early 1990s, when Western writers depicted a Russia full of hope and hints of freedom. We’ve also progressed far from … exhilarating but scary portrayals of … immensely rich [late 1990s] oligarchs … flock[ing] around … Yeltsin and his family. …  Hers is a story about Putin, … KGB colleagues, businessmen and mobsters pieced together though [many relevant] interviews …. Belton’s access to prominent personalities is impressive, perhaps unmatched, … [yet they] also steer the [story’s] direction …. The main takeaway [–] … the KGB and organized crime have operated symbiotically for a long time and … their overt Russian nationalism is nothing but a veneer. ….”Stylized Artist's Depiction of Shadowy Figures in Dark Coats and Dark Hats, One Carrying a Briefcase

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