In 2007 Luke Harding arrived in Moscow to take up a new job as a correspondent for the British newspaper, The Guardian. Within months, mysterious agents from Russia's Federal Security Service --the successor to the KGB--had broken into his apartment. He found himself tailed by men in leather jackets, bugged, and even summoned to the KGB's notorious prison, Lefortovo. The break-in was the beginning of an extraordinary psychological war against the journalist and his family. Windows left open in his children's bedroom, secret police agents tailing Harding on the street, and customs agents harassing the family as they left and entered the country became the norm. The campaign of persecution burst into the open in 2011 when the Kremlin expelled Harding from Moscow--the first western reporter to be deported from Russia since the days of the Cold War. Expelled is a brilliant and haunting account of the insidious methods used by a resurgent Kremlin against its so-called "enemies"--human rights workers, western diplomats, journalists and opposition activists. It includes illuminating diplomatic cables which describe Russia as a "virtual mafia state". Harding gives a personal and compelling portrait of Russia that--in its bid to remain a superpower--is descending into a corrupt police state.
This terrifying, bold expos opens with the 2007 break-in at Harding s Moscow apartment , starting the brutal state campaign to deport him from increasingly repressive Russia. Harding, foreign correspondent for the British newspaper the Guardian, knows his place is bugged, his every move tailed, and all his contacts closely watched by the Russian Federal Security Service, or FBS, successor to the KGB, as he tries to monitor the national mood under the authoritarian rule of Vladimir Putin. Digging in areas where foreigners rarely dare to probe, the correspondent stirs the Kremlin s ire when he penetrates Putin s regime with its select hierarchy, secrecy, intimidation of rivals, and a multibillion-dollar fortune to maintain its power. He has a ringside seat at the bloody Russia-Georgia war, talks to a few Kremlin foes and political rivals, and gets an invite to Lefortovo, the legendary KGB prison, for questioning. Following his stories of WikiLeaks Russian revelations, Harding is deemed an enemy of the state and the FSB harassment accelerates full-tilt. Absorbing, defiant, and essential, Harding systematically picks at the festering economic and political wounds inflicted by the repressive and corrupt Russian state on its people before his deportation to England.