Putin's Virtual War (Hardback)
Russia’s Subversion and Conversion of America, Europe and the World Beyond
With his elfin poker face, receding short golden hair, diminutive but muscular body, and stiff clipped gait, Vladimir Putin is among the world’s most recognizable leaders. He has tightly ruled Russia since 31 December 1999, and will firmly assert power from the Kremlin for the foreseeable future. Many fear and loath him for his brutality, for ordering opponents imprisoned on trumped up charges and even murdered. Yet most Russians adore him for rebuilding the economy, state authority, and national pride.
What drives Putin? Much more than greed for money and power animates him. He is a zealous nationalist deadset to make Russia great again. He mourns the Soviet Union’s breakup as ‘the greatest political catastrophe of the twentieth century.’ Putin’s nostalgia is understandable. The Russian empire peaked in territory, population, military power, and prestige when it was called the Soviet Union.
Putin has mastered the art of power. Depending on what is at stake, that involves the deft wielding of appropriate or ‘smart’ ingredients of ‘hard’ physical power like armoured divisions, multinational corporations, and assassins, and ‘soft’ psychological power like diplomats, honey-traps, cyber-trolls, and fake news factories to defeat threats and seize opportunities. Russian hackers penetrated the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and Hillary Clinton’s campaign organization, extracted tens of thousands of potentially embarrassing emails, and posted them on WikiLeaks.
As the Kremlin’s latest ruler Putin, like most of his predecessors, is as realistic as he is ruthless. He knows the limits of Russian hard and soft power while constantly trying to expand them. He is doing whatever he can to advance Russian national interests as he interprets them. In Putin’s mind, Russia can rise only as far as the West can fall. And on multiple fronts he is methodically advancing to those ends. Putin’s Virtual War reveals just how and why he does so, and the dire consequences for America, Europe, and the world beyond.
Investigate's Putin's background and his rise to power, and considers Russia's subversive influence in current events, including Ukraine, the US presidential election and Brexit, and reveals how the internet is the new Cold War battlefield.Bookseller Buyers Guide
In respect of Putin and Trump it is likely there are probably not too many people who have not formed an opinion of their respective attributes and value to the world. Therefore, it is equally expected that any book that focuses on these two individuals is not likely to be neutral. In this case the author examines the bad behaviours exhibited by Putin in his quest for power and for good measure offers similar bad behaviours for Trump. Consequently, we are given one dimensional views which by and large portray both men as thoroughly bad, irredeemable chancers who are selfish pursuers of power. Of course, they may well be all of that but because the book is written to achieve a particular outcome it lacks the necessary nuances that must also be part of the story. The political necessity of internally controlling Russia given its endemic tendency to corruption and insecurity is not dealt with in the depth that the subject offered. Likewise, the matter of why Trump is supported at the ballot box by US voters is glossed over and instead we get essentially a Liberal academic work that stays firmly aligned to the Liberal/Democratic message. It is a shame because the subject needs more balance to achieve a better book. That said it is a compelling read.Michael McCarthy
Michael McCarthy. Battlefield Guide
The Cold War, with its air of mutual fear and distrust and the shadowy world of spies and secret agents, gave publishers the chance to produce countless stories of espionage, treachery and deception. What Nigel West has discovered is that the most egregious deceptions were in fact the stories themselves. In this remarkable investigation into the claims of many who portrayed themselves as key players in clandestine operations, the author has exposed a catalogue of misrepresentations and falsehoods. Did Greville Wynne really exfiltrate a GRU defector from Odessa? Was the frogman Buster Crabb abducted…By Nigel West
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