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Uus külm sõda : Kremli…

Uus külm sõda : Kremli sünge vari Venemaa ja… (edition 2008)

by Edward Lucas, Marek Laane (TÕlkija), Reet Sepp (Toimetaja), Sarah Morris (Kujundaja)

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136588,280 (3.79)2
Title:Uus külm sõda : Kremli sünge vari Venemaa ja Lääne vahel
Authors:Edward Lucas
Other authors:Marek Laane (TÕlkija), Reet Sepp (Toimetaja), Sarah Morris (Kujundaja)
Info:Tallinn : Varrak, 2008
Collections:Read but unowned

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The New Cold War: Putin's Russia and the Threat to the West by Edward Lucas



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If you want a very detailed account of what has been happening economically and politically in Russia since Putin came to power (and Lucas sees Putin as still in control, though he is no longer president), then this book should work for you.

Among the areas Lucas covers:
1. the decline in freedom since Yeltsin - which apparently the people in Russia are willing to put up with because there is also less chaos and more economic security
2. although he does not think that Russia will try to regain the whole of its lost empire, or that it is militarily a threat to the west, he talks about bullying tactics against some of the smaller nations, particularly those like Estonia and Georgia, who seem to be moving in the direction of democracy (Estonia more firmly than Georgia).
3. Increased oil wealth, and control of a lot of oil resources has given Russia a lot of leverage.

For me the book became tedious very quickly, because, as I said, it is mostly a listing of all the numerous ways that Russia is acting like a thug of a country. He doesn't really get into why he thinks Russia has gone in that direction, other than a desire for stability. And he doesn't say anything about any counter trends. I don't know what biases, if any, he brings to the analysis. His very brief discussion at the end about how the west ought to react seemed reasonable enough. He doesn't advocate shutting off western contact or investment, since isolation can lead to paranoid behavior and corruption. However, he points to behavior like cutting off oil supplies to the Ukraine, and suggests that if Russia is to be part of the European economic community it should have to play by the rules of that community, and not have companies that are supposedly private, but then operate as a branch of the government and not deliver on it's contracts.

As I read more and more I kept thinking, "you have to be the change you want in the world." This was particularly true when reading a section about how Russia uses the excuse that it has only done things that the west has also done. Lucas argues that though the west does these things, there are also protests that are allowed to occur, and he talks about the guilt in German over the holocaust, while, according to him, there is little guilt over the things that were done in the Soviet Union to ethnic minorities, political dissidents, etc. That feels very lame to me, knowing that, guilt or not, the U.S. has been very involved with interference with the political structures of other countries for a very long time.

His point is well made, that Russian school children are being taught to regret the breakup of the Soviet Union, rather than about what can be improved now. I don't know if there is truly a hardening in Russia towards totalitarianism or whether it was simply naive to expect instant democracy and western style freedom in a country that went from the czar to a repressive communist regime. This book didn't give me any more basis to decide that than I had before I read it. ( )
  solla | May 15, 2009 |
This book (packed with names, facts and the opinions of the writer) offers an analysis of some aspects of contemporary Russian politics and their influence on international politics and economics. Although it is written by a journalist is not easy to read as it is very dense. The book seems to be well researched and the writer offers many sources which can be followed up. ( )
  alalba | Apr 30, 2009 |
Yesterday, the 27th of January I've attended the Round Table "Russia and the West. New cold war?" held at ISPI on the occasion of the italian release of the book by Edward Lucas "The New Cold War: Putin's Russia and the Threat to the West", published by "Università Bocconi Editore".

Attended as speakers: Aldo Ferrari, from ISPI and Ca' Foscari University of Venice, the author Edward Lucas from The Economist and the ambassador Sergio Romano from Corriere della Sera.
Intolerance of dissent, open hostility towards the closest more democratic countries and a selective use of energy in order to divide the West are making Russia a danger, according to Edward Lucas.
Putin's Russia has been on a collision course with the West, but Europe and America seem to have not realised that. Under the label of "sovereign democracy" is developing an authoritarian system, the bearer of an antidemocratic and anti western ideology, not free from imperialist temptations, as demonstrated by the attack on Georgia in August 2008 and the trial of strength with the ' Ukraine for gas supplies. The murders of Anna Politkovskaya and Aleksandr Litvinenko, relevant due to the echo that they had in the West more than for their singularity, rather demonstrate the determination of the Russian regime not to tolerate dissent.
Much of the developement of these delicate relashionship will greatly depend on the President Barack Obama and the US orientation....

  maxreader | Feb 5, 2009 |
Harsh, but accurate. ( )
  ValSmith | Aug 17, 2008 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0230606121, Hardcover)

In late 1999 when Vladimir Putin was named Prime Minister, Russia was a budding democracy. Multiple parties campaigned for seats in the Duma, the nation’s parliament. The media criticized the government freely. Eight years later as Putin completes his second term as president of Russia and announces his bid for prime minister, the country is under a repressive regime. Human rights abuses are widespread. The Kremlin is openly hostile to the West. Yet the United States and Europe have been slow to confront the new reality, in effect, helping Russia win what experts are now calling the New Cold War.

Edward Lucas, former Moscow Bureau Chief for The Economist, offers a harrowing portrait from inside Russia as well as a sobering political assessment of what the New Cold War will mean for the world. In this big, hard hitting and urgently needed book, he shows how

* Russia is pursuing global energy markets
* Neighboring nations are being coerced back into the former Soviet orbit
* Journalists and dissidents are being silenced
* Foreign investments and private enterprises are routinely defrauded
* Putin is laying the groundwork for controlling industry and planning his new role as prime minister

Drawing on new and hitherto reported material, The New Cold War brilliantly anticipates what is in store for the new Russia and what the world should be doing.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:11:20 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Presents an assessment of the Putin era, which has turned back many of the deomcratic gains of the previous years in Russia and has established an autocratic government determined to regain miltary strength and prestige and exploit the Western preoccupation with the Middle East.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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