‘A good recap of the past few years of Russian political dramas.’
I’m Going to Ruin Their Lives
Inside Putin's War on Russia's OppositionMarc Bennetts
In 2012, on the eve of Vladimir Putin’s inauguration for a controversial third term as president, mass protests ended in violent clashes between demonstrators and the police. ‘They ruined my big day, now I’m going to ruin their lives,’ Putin was alleged to have said. Now Boris Nemtsov is dead, other key opposition leaders are either in prison or under house arrest and the Kremlin is using the situation in Ukraine to further its domestic aims, encouraging the rise of violent pro-Putin groups and labelling protesters ‘national traitors’.
Journalist and long-time Moscow resident Marc Bennetts examines how Putin and his shadowy advisers crushed Russia’s brave new protest movement. Featuring rare interviews with everyone from Nemtsov and other protest leaders to Kremlin insiders, Bennetts provides an unprecedented insight into the realities of politics on the ground. The result is a brilliant portrayal of the battle for Russia’s soul – one which continues to this day.
‘Dark, compelling, and illuminating. Bennetts meets priests, lawmakers, spin-doctors, ordinary Russians, left-wing agitators, and riot cops in this vivid first-hand portrait.’
‘Strongly written, well-researched and timely… it should be read now.’
‘A compelling account of how a disparate set of political groups came together to create the largest anti-government protests Russia has seen in living memory.’
‘A lively, sardonic account of Putin’s reign and those opposed to it’
'This book gives a fascinating peek at the shifting political landscape in one of the world’s most opaque nations.'
'Bennetts' entertaining book Kicking the Kremlin could hardly have come at a better time… Bennetts is well-placed to write the book. The huge variety of his interviews, through which he elicits a pleasing selection of anecdotes, as well as accusations of being a foreign spy, show his familiarity with the country and its people.'
'An engagingly grim, frequently absurdist portrait of Vladimir Putin and the popular protests against him.'
'Colourful and authoritative. The best account of Russia's protest movement and Putin's ferocious crackdown.'
'Vivid and insightful. Bennetts captures a transitional moment in Russian history. Years from now, when researchers are seeking to explain the second Putin era, they would do well to use this reportage.'
'Bennetts has done an excellent job of drawing together the scattered beads of a sobering story.'