Putin's Russia: Life in a Failing Democracy by Anna Politkovskaya (2005)

This book is a sad memento to Anna Politkovskaya, who was gunned down in Moscow in 2006. Occasionally paid and in some cases semi-starving military personnel handling atomic warheads, strategic submarines and the like? Army conscripts getting into unfortunate accidents? Corruption at all levels of government and society? Judges bought and still reappointed for further terms? You just watch all these unfold in this book. One of the chapters is a cautionary tale to any investors dabbling in securities investments in "developing" markets, detailing the "redistribution" (or to be more exact stealing) of government wealth into private hands in one of the provinces, and the coldblooded aggression and violence surrounding those events. The whole book paints a really bleak picture of the current political and economical climate of Russia.

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