Kicking the Kremlin
Russia's New Dissidents and the Battle to Topple PutinMarc Bennetts
A high-octane account of the politics and subterfuge of modern-day Russia
As 2011 came to a close, in what was a watershed moment, 100,000 took to Moscow’s freezing streets to protest the election victory of United Russia – Vladimir Putin’s party – amid widespread allegations of corruption and vote-rigging. A few months later, Pussy Riot hit headlines around the world when they were arrested following their anti-Putin demonstration in a Russian Orthodox cathedral. The vicious battle for Russia’s soul continues to this day.
In the first book to take the reader straight to the beating heart of the opposition movement, journalist and long-time Moscow resident Marc Bennetts introduces a new generation of Russian dissidents, united by their hatred of Putin and his bid to silence all political adversaries. We meet a bustling cast of urban youth working to expose the injustices of the regime and a disjointed bunch of dissenters – from ‘It Girl’ hipsters to 21st-century socialists. Featuring rare interviews with everyone from Pussy Riot and top protest leaders to Kremlin insiders, Bennetts’ compelling narrative is an astonishing journey through Russia’s new protest movements.
‘Strongly written, well-researched and timely… Kicking the Kremlin should be read now.’
'This book gives a fascinating peek at the shifting political landscape in one of the world’s most opaque nations.'
'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. Bennetts doesn’t attempt any grand theologising nor does he impose his own politics on the account – which in this case is welcome.'
'A lively, sardonic account of Putin’s reign and those opposed to it'
'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.'
'Dark, compelling, and illuminating. Bennetts meets priests, lawmakers, spin-doctors, ordinary Russians, left-wing agitators, and riot cops in this vivid first-hand portrait.'
'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.'