The Unlikely Rise of Vladimir Putin

Thursday, March 07, 2013

Moscow-based journalist Masha Gessen talks about how Vladimir Putin, a low-level KGB operative, ascended to the Russian presidency. She argues that Mr. Putin has destroyed years of progress and made his country a threat to its own people and to the world. The Man without a Face: The Unlikely Rise of Vladimir Putin tells how he was handpicked as a successor to Boris Yeltsin, and how his popularity soared even as he seized control of media, sent political rivals and critics into exile or to the grave, and dismantled the country's fragile electoral system, concentrating power in the hands of his cronies.


Masha Gessen

Comments [15]


Tony from Canarsie, you wrote: "Many extreme right American web sites run stories, usually involving antisemitic and other loopy global conspiracy theories..."

I guess this guy didn't get your memo (At 2:02 in the video):

"The climate conference in Copenhagen is another step towards the global management of our planet."

Mar. 07 2013 11:34 PM
Leo from Queens

jgarbuz, you are the just poster child for humanity

Mar. 07 2013 02:23 PM
jgarbuz from Queens

To Leo

Many wives abuse their husbands and get them taken away by police only to dispossess him of his home and children. Grow up. Real life is not like your liberal lens.

Mar. 07 2013 12:59 PM
HeShe from NYC

Remember the time when George w Bush said he looked into his eyes and saw his soul.

Mar. 07 2013 12:43 PM
Jeannie from Little Falls

I'm not sure if I missed this, but I haven't heard any mention of the fact that Masha Gessen was just appointed as Director of the Moscow Office of Radio Liberty a few months ago. So she, too, is indirectly employed by the US. I'm honestly not suggesting any impropriety or anything, but it just struck me as a relevant fact, given the general conversation.

Mar. 07 2013 12:42 PM
gene from nyc

Wow. Comparing this interview with the Sandra Day O'Connor one is the very definition of courage vs. cowardice.

Mar. 07 2013 12:42 PM

Hey, censors, where is my message about the linguistic conspiracy?

Mar. 07 2013 12:41 PM

@ fuva

Except that she had left before...

Mar. 07 2013 12:31 PM
Sheldon from Brooklyn

The English need their tea, the Russians need their Czars - from Ivan, Stalin to Putin. Sadly, it seems to be their nature.

Mar. 07 2013 12:31 PM
Tony from Canarsie

Many extreme right American web sites run stories, usually involving antisemitic and other loopy global conspiracy theories, which originate from pro-Putin Russian websites. What's up with that, a disinformation campaign or just disinterest in the truth?

Mar. 07 2013 12:29 PM
Leo from queens

jgarbuz: Your argument is synonymous with the arguments made against battered wives: “ The man is not a criminal, he is a good provider and if the woman didn’t like the abusive relationship she would leave him”.
Just because Russians have been ruled by despots and criminals for hundreds of years doesn’t mean that most people like it or can do anything about it.

Mar. 07 2013 12:26 PM
fuva from harlemworld

"...This is my home. I'm not leaving; HE (Putin) should leave..."
Right on, Masha. God bless.

Mar. 07 2013 12:23 PM
Leo from queens

This psychopath is running a criminal enterprise – Not sure why the US and Europe give this mob boss any credibility. We should be actively working with decent Russians in their struggle for a semi-democratic or at least less corrupt society.

Mar. 07 2013 12:23 PM
Yoyo from NYC

wasn't Putin responsible for poisoning a Russian spy? the guy who died from radio-active poisoning in UK.

Mar. 07 2013 12:13 PM
jgarbuz from Queens

Putin may be a threat to some of his own people, but I don't know why he should be considered a threat to the world. He's not peddling a revolutionary theory, like Communism or Jihadism, but seems to be the kind of strong man that many Russians seem to like, due to their nearly 1000 year history of having strong men as their leaders. Russia today is a rudimentary democracy, and if things are far from perfect, so was the United States even 60 years ago. While we should push democracy everywhere, including in our own country, we have to accept the fact that road to democracy is long and bumpy.

Mar. 07 2013 12:05 PM

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