How the KGB Took Back Russia and then Took on the West
THE SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER
‘An outstanding exposé of Putin and his criminal pals … [A] long-awaited, must read book’ SUNDAY TIMES
‘Books about modern Russia abound … Belton has surpassed them all. Her much-awaited book is the best and most important on modern Russia’ THE TIMES
A chilling and revelatory expose of the KGB’s renaissance, Putin’s rise to power, and how Russian black cash is subverting the world.
In Putin’s People, former Moscow correspondent and investigative journalist Catherine Belton reveals the untold story of how Vladimir Putin and his entourage of KGB men seized power in Russia and built a new league of oligarchs.
Through exclusive interviews with key inside players, Belton tells how Putin’s people conducted their relentless seizure of private companies, took over the economy, siphoned billions, blurred the lines between organised crime and political powers, shut down opponents, and then used their riches and power to extend influence in the West.
In a story that ranges from Moscow to London, Switzerland and Trump’s America, Putin’s People is a gripping and terrifying account of how hopes for the new Russia went astray, with stark consequences for its inhabitants and, increasingly, the world.
‘A fearless, fascinating account … Reads at times like a John le Carré novel … A groundbreaking and meticulously researched anatomy of the Putin regime, Belton’s book shines a light on the pernicious threats Russian money and influence now pose to the west’ Guardian
About the author
Catherine Belton is the former long-serving Moscow Correspondent for the Financial Times. She has previously reported on Russia for Moscow Times and Business Week. In 2008, she was shortlisted for Business Journalist of the year at the British Press Awards. She lives in London.
The Soviet secret police reconstituted itself as the corrupt masters of post-communist Russia according to Belton's sprawling debut expos . A former Moscow correspondent for the Financial Times, Belton styles Putin's presidency as an assault on the new class of oligarchs who had privatized Russia's state-owned companies in the 1990s and foolishly supported his Machiavellian rise. Using bogus criminal prosecutions, Putin and his former KGB comrades stripped the oligarchs of their oil companies, banks, and media corporations; exiled or imprisoned them; and occasionally murdered people who got in the way. Putin's cronies then looted the businesses they appropriated to enrich themselves or fund Russia's military adventures in the Ukraine and subversion of foreign elections. Drawing on extensive interviews with Kremlin insiders and dispossessed oligarchs such as Sergei Pugachev and Mikhail Khodorkovsky, Belton paints a richly detailed portrait of the Putin regime's tangled conspiracies and thefts. Sometimes her more explosive claims charges that Russia's FSB police agency was behind Chechen terrorist attacks, for instance cite dubious sources and insinuate more than they prove. Still, Belton gives a lucid, page-turning account of the sinister mix of authoritarian state power and gangster lawlessness that rules Russia.
Superb exposé of Putin’s evil regime
A compelling account of power and corruption
A meticulously researched and compelling account of Vladimir Putin's rise to power. It details the corruption and power relationships between senior officials, oligarchs and the security apparatus, which robed the Russian people of the post-soviet promise of a modern democratic state. It helps to explain why, in the 21st century, Russian’s are still struggling for democratic rights, independent media and civil liberties.