Modern history

Kremlin Winter: Russia and the Second Coming of Vladimir Putin

Kremlin Winter: Russia and the Second Coming of Vladimir Putin

Vladimir Putin has dominated Russian politics since Boris Yeltsin relinquished the presidency in his favour in May 2000. He served two terms as president, before himself relinquishing the post to his prime minister, Dimitri Medvedev, only to return to presidential power for a third time in 2012.

Putin’s rule, whether as president or prime minister, has been marked by a steady increase in domestic repression and international assertiveness. Despite this, there have been signs of liberal growth and Putin – and Russia – now faces a far from certain future.

In Kremlin Winter, Robert Service, acclaimed biographer of Lenin, Stalin and Trotsky and one of our finest historians of modern Russia, brings his deep understanding of that country to bear on the man who leads it. He reveals a premier who cannot take his supremacy for granted, yet is determined to impose his will not only on his closest associates but on society at large. It is a riveting insight into power politics as Russia faces a blizzard of difficulties both at home and abroad.



Chapter 1. Father to the Nation: The Putin Cult

Chapter 2. Imagining Russia: A Vision for the Russians

Chapter 3. Tsars, Commissars and After: The New Official Past

Chapter 4. Years of Hurt: Picturing National Humiliation

Chapter 5. Long Live Russia! Achievements and Prospects


Chapter 6. Behind the Facade: Putin as Leader

Chapter 7. Loyalty and Discipline: The Kremlin Team

Chapter 8. Life at the Top: No Embarrassment of Riches

Chapter 9. Economic Fist of State: Holding the ‘Oligarchs’ to Account

Chapter 10. Start and Stop Reforms: Perks for the Few, Costs for the Many


Chapter 11. Point of Decision: The Reaction to Revolution in Kyiv

Chapter 12. The Inseparable Peninsula: The Annexation of Crimea

Chapter 13. Transatlantic Obsession: Troubles with America

Chapter 14. Continental Disruptions: Russia’s Penetration of Europe


Chapter 15. Political Order: Parties, Elections, Parliaments

Chapter 16. Media Pressures: TV, Press and the Internet

Chapter 17. Russian Soft Power: Global Charm Offensive

Chapter 18. Public Opinion: The Potential for Unrest


Chapter 19. Knocking Down Skittles: The Flooring of the Political Opposition

Chapter 20. Eternal Vigilance: The Unbroken Rise of the Security State

Chapter 21. Military Renewal: A Great Power Prepares

Chapter 22. Tranquillity of the Graveyard: Chechnya Under Kadyrov

Chapter 23. Imperial Instinct: Moscow and the ‘Near Abroad’


Chapter 24. Economic Shock: Western Sanctions and the Oil Price Tumble

Chapter 25. Trailing the Dragon: Russo-Chinese Relations

Chapter 26. Fighting Abroad: The Syrian Intervention

Chapter 27. Jostling and Embracing: The American Factor

Chapter 28. Choices: Russia and the West



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