JRL NEWSWATCH: “The roots of Putin’s power over Russia; Four new books examine the leader’s hold over the vast nation through the lens of history” – Financial Times/ John Lloyd

File Photo of Kremlin Tower, St. Basil's, Red Square at Night

“… Putin is a gambler. Russia’s population is shrinking, its real-terms wages and gross national income per head are tumbling, it has failed to create successful industries and services and is blighted by entrenched corruption – and yet its president behaves like a poker player with a royal flush. … form[ing] a close relationship with [China’s] President Xi Jinping … increas[ing] Russia’s military presence in the Middle East, especially … Syria. … seiz[ing] … Ukrain[‘es] … Crimea [region], and … sponsoring … separatist militias in Ukraine’s Donbass region … And … in place of the detested Hillary Clinton as … U.S. president, he gets … Trump …. Making sense of all this is no easy task. … [and is the focus of new books ….] Dmitri Trenin, formerly a career Red Army officer, now heads the Carnegie Moscow Centre [and has written a new book entitled Russia] …. Anders Aslund[, former Swedish diplomat turned U.S.-based think-tanker,] … [has written] Russia’s Crony Capitalism …. Angela Stent [has written] Putin’s World  …. Mark Smith … contemporary European historian at Oxford … [has written] The Russia Anxiety ….”

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