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Vladimir Putin has had a major domestic and international impact since being elected Russian President in March 2000 and yet remarkably little is known about the man in the West. This book, written by one of the UK's leading scholars of Russian politics, is the first major study of the man and his politics. Richard Sakwa's discussion provides the biographical and political context to explain Putin's astonishing rise from anonymous KGB apparatchik to leader of one of the world's most important and significant countries.
The book explains Putin's personal and intellectual development and his ability to effect social and political change. His attempts to reform the endemic corruption of the Russian state and to reshape its political system and national identity are explored alongside his economic, social, cultural, regional and foreign policies. The author also examines the close personal relationships that Putin has forged with other world leaders such as President George W. Bush, Prime Minister Tony Blair and German Chancellor, Gerhard Schroeder.
Drawing on both Russian and English-language sources, and providing comprehensive coverage of Putin's speeches, interviews and policy documents, this is the definitive study of the Russian leader.