In 1991, with the end of the Soviet Union there was a general feeling of euphoria around the world. So how did Russia become so violently expansionary and dangerously nationalistic? The Russian state today is seen not as providing central services but as a source of injustice and corruption. Putin has offered war as an alternative to modernity and has promoted himself as a Ôgatherer of Russian lands and restorer of the Russian Empire.' In fact he is likely to go down in history as its gravedigger.
WINNER OF THE ORWELL PRIZE WINNER OF THE CORNELIUS RYAN AWARD FINALIST FOR THE LIONEL GELBER PRIZE FINANCIAL TIMES BOOK OF THE YEAR "Fast-paced and excellently written...much needed, dispassionate and eminently readable." --New York Times "Filled with sparkling prose and deep analysis." -The Wall Street Journal The breakup of the Soviet Union was a time of optimism around the world, but Russia today is actively involved in subversive information warfare, manipulating the media to destabilize its enemies. How did a country that embraced freedom and market reform 25 years ago end up as an autocratic police state bent once again on confrontation with America? A winner of the Orwell Prize, The Invention of Russia reaches back to the darkest days of the cold war to tell the story of Russia's stealthy and largely unchronicled counter revolution. A highly regarded Moscow correspondent for the Economist, Arkady Ostrovsky comes to this story both as a participant and a foreign correspondent. His knowledge of many of the key players allows him to explain the phenomenon of Valdimir Putin - his rise and astonishing longevity, his use of hybrid warfare and the alarming crescendo of his military interventions. One of Putin's first acts was to reverse Gorbachev's decision to end media censorship and Ostrovsky argues that the Russian media has done more to shape the fate of the country than its politicians. Putin pioneered a new form of demagogic populism --oblivious to facts and aggressively nationalistic - that has now been embraced by Donald Trump.