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Vladimir Putin’s return to the Russian presidency amid mass protests in 2012 ushered in a ruthless crackdown on dissent. They ruined my big day, now I’m going to ruin their lives,’ Putin was alleged to have threatened after demonstrators clashed with police on the eve of his inauguration for a controversial third term. Now Boris Nemtsov is dead, other key opposition leaders are either in prison or under house arrest and the Kremlin is using the war in Ukraine to further its domestic aims, encouraging the rise of violent pro-Putin groups and labeling protesters national traitors’.
Journalist and long-time Moscow resident Marc Bennetts examines how Russia’s political opposition went from the heights of 2011’s brave new protest movement to the disparate, broken-down force that it is today. Featuring rare interviews with everyone from Nemtsov and other protest leaders to Kremlin insiders, Bennetts provides an unprecedented insight into the realities of Russia’s political arena. The result is a brilliant portrayal of the battle for Russia’s soul, one which continues to this day.
Marc Bennetts is a Moscow-based British journalist whose work has appeared in Newsweek, The Times, and Esquire, as well as other UK and US publications. He has also reported from Iran, North Korea and Ukraine.