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  • Summary

  • On New Year's Eve 1999, a young Vladimir Putin appeared on Russian TV screens "” awkward, self-conscious... and the new President. Two decades later, Putin is still in power, standing self-assured and at ease on the world stage. How did a once little known KGB bureaucrat become one of the most dominant figures of twenty first century politics?

    In this gripping narrative history, Misha Glenny, journalist and best-selling author of McMafia, tells the story of an unexpected and swift rise to power "” one full of political intrigue, backroom deals, courtroom battles and war.

    Insider Kremlin accounts and well-known journalists reveal how Putin was first chosen by Yeltsin and the Oligarchy and how he then went head to head with Russia's richest man. After Putin had consolidated power he needed to stay in power. The second half of the series tells the story of how he took over the media, Crimea and increased the powers of the KGB. Finally, Misha considers what Putin might do next.

    Produced by Dasha Lisitsina, Executive Producer Russell Finch.
    A Somethin' Else production for Audible Originals.

    This is an Audible Original Podcast. Free for members. You can download all7 episodes to your Library now.

    ©2019 Audible, Ltd. (P)2019 Audible, Ltd.
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Episodes
  • Aug 19 2019

    The seeds of Putin's rise to power lie in a slightly unusual place: 1990s Moscow where, after 70 years of communism, "gangster capitalism" arrived.

    Here we tell the story of how a young graduate student at The Institute of Controlled Sciences became one of the richest men in Russia and the Kremlin's Power Broke - Boris Berezovsky.

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    27 mins
  • Aug 19 2019

    In 1998, a big financial crash hit Moscow. President Yeltsin’s popularity plummeted. Boris Berezovsky and Yeltsin’s family started the search for a successor. Why did they choose Putin and how did they mould Putin into a President the nation could get behind?

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    25 mins
  • Aug 19 2019

    As soon as Putin became President, he started eliminating his immediate rivals. First, Putin went after the very man who helped anoint him - Boris Berezovsky. Along the way, he seized control of the TV stations.

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    24 mins

What listeners say about Putin: Prisoner of Power

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    5 out of 5 stars

Fascinating political insight.

Presents a strong political argument why Putin remains in power today. Controlling TV broadcasts has allowed him to spread disinformation and confusion and appointing his own Oligarchs to facilitate being unopposed. I highly recommend this audio show. It is both gripping and disturbing at the same time.

10 people found this helpful

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  • 14-10-19

Typical BBC type propaganda

Half thruths twisted lies wont make a good peice of journalism. I'm not a Russian. Not a Putin supporter too. But prejudice and opinionated propaganda can't help to create public opinion nowadays you should remember.

22 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Through Putin, understand every world leader

I haven't been following Russian news very much, so this has been a fascinating story. The journalism had an obvious Western bias, for example interviewing protesters extensively but not interviewing any Putin supporter at all. Typical Western propaganda. But most of the facts about Putin's actions seem accurate.
As you listen, you have to use your own judgement and remember this is not just a tyrant, but a highly intelligent political strategist. The tactics he uses for power are being mirrored by Trump, Xi, and so forth.
I'm inspired to wonder if having a strong leader in power for a long time is actually a good thing for the people, as opposed to the other option which is puppet leaders controlled by the oligarchy.

14 people found this helpful

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OK except the music

it's ok, covers a lot in a short amount of time. But the unnecessary music drags on too long and becomes annoying. Also it would be better if it was one download. That way it could effortlessly move from episode to the next.

6 people found this helpful

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Blatant anti Putin propaganda at the ends sours it

I am by no means pro Russian, for I do live in Europe and wish for it to prosper. But I search factual unbiased history books, as I do like forming my own opinions on matters. Therefore I found the final chapters to be very frustrating to get through as the interviewer openly scoffs at Putin and unloads empty fatalistic views in the final 30 or so minutes. Even fears of pro Russian Crimea people are depicted as propaganda driven absurdities. Why is that? Is it because the western powers are a no threat to Russia. Russia does not need it's only marine base in the western hemisphere (Crimea)? Western forces like the CIA and lobbygroups are alike to Pure Angelic beings who would not harm Russian interests? Who do not try propaganda (like this book) or cause autonomous governments to fall (arab spring etc)? Or bomb a huge Afghan provincial hospital manned by doctors without borders, who send out their location everyday and also even during the bombing of said hospital by American forces? Or realocate oil from oilfields in Syria to Saudi Arabia by arming rebel forces? Criticism is good in a story but please let facts and events make up the story. Not empty dark fatalistic cynicism. (Oh hes stuck in the Kremlin, hes surrounded, come to a halt, no friends to trust anymore etc.) I am aware of the constant chess game at play on a global scale, but please people are not fools. (Or so I hope) The first part of the audiobook was Excellent by the way. Great voices and music. Just a pity the end was a bit tainted by the obvious agenda at play here.

5 people found this helpful

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Compelling

I still can remember some of the storyes related here, living in a country influenced by russian authoritarians can not be forgotten even as a child.

10 people found this helpful

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The politics of power

Unturnoffable. An excellent analysis of the former Soviet Union's descent into the abyss; the rise of the oligarchs; then Putin's rise from securocrat obscurity. An often heart-breaking journey through the tragedies of the Kursk submarine disaster; the Beslan school massacre; and the Ukraine. Just a pity that the Litvinenko and the Salisbury novichok poisonings were not covered. The great people of Russia - that beautiful, bitter, wormwood country - deserved better than this. Misha Glenny and team deserve an award for this work.

9 people found this helpful

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An interesting but biased story

First of all three hours is quite a short time to overview the last twenty years of Russian history.
Secondly, opinions are biased, all interviews are from people opposite to Putin. To put things straight, some important details are missed, like that Khodorkovsky wasn't an innocent billionaire, he and his companions were sentenced for serious crimes like contract kills and fiscal frauds. Nothing has been said about the improvements for ordinary people compared to USSR and 90s.
Otherwise, it was a good documentary on key persons in Russian politics.

20 people found this helpful

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Opinionated

Interesting subject scattered liberally with opinion. Disappointing as could have been so much better .

3 people found this helpful

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BIASED!

Typical biased Western writer,poor and delusional narrative,without PUTIN the west would have destroyed and likely continue to plunder the resources of the weak States,but for the Red Army and USSR systematically dissolved by the west ,Hitler could have matched through!

3 people found this helpful

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  • Steve G.
  • 19-10-20

trash the music

interesting and informative. Well written and narrator does a good job. But the music is completely superfluous and distracting.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 23-11-20

the Musik was trash

honestly loved the information but the Musik made this unkomfortable to listen to but overall I like it

1 person found this helpful

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  • TIG
  • 05-05-22

excellent story well told and produced

highly recommend this! excellent story well told and produced. hoping to see more stories / documentaries from Misha and his team.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 13-04-22

Great!

The podcast is good and would like to share this to my friends!!! And would like to know more

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 28-02-22

Excelente!!!

Este contenido debe estar disponible en sitios como Crimea. Y enrendí lo entrenada que está la bravura de los Ucranianos.

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  • CZ
  • 28-02-22

Understand how Putin started invading Ukraine

Very insightful into Putin's dictatorship and how the Ukraine invasion started. Nice narratives and interviews. Hope this podcast will continue, now the war is at its heat. And more serious games must be played by the West with this dictator.

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  • Virginia T.
  • 16-01-22

got love ya some Putin. ha

narrator was great.
learned lots
hope I find like this I pray thanks for all yals work

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Derek (Drock)
  • 15-12-21

The last episode

just like the other review I agree it is incredibly biased at the end. I enjoyed almost every single episode besides the end because there is definitely Twisted information and a huge bias.

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  • B. Blackford
  • 30-08-21

Disappointing

The podcast attempts to tell the story of Putin’s rise to power and career in 7 short episodes. While it does hit some highlights (or should I say lowlights?), you feel they are trying to fill up time of in even this short production.

A humdrum, lightweight analysis.

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  • Matthew Brown
  • 14-08-21

Fascinating history

Well-researched and wonderfully presented analysis of a fascinating and critically important historical drama. I loved the music, too!