The Treacherous Path: An Insider's Account of Modern Russia
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In 1991, Vladimir Yakunin, a Soviet diplomat and KGB officer, returned from his posting in New York to a country that no longer existed.
The state that he had served for all his adult life had been dissolved, the values he knew abandoned. Millions of his compatriots suffered as their savings disappeared and their previously secure existences were threatened by an unholy combination of criminality, corruption and chaos. Others thrived amid the opportunities offered in the new polity, and a battle began over the direction the fledgling state should take.
While something resembling stability was won in the early 2000s, today Russia’s future remains unresolved; its governing class divided.
The Treacherous Path is Yakunin’s account of his own experiences on the front line of Russia’s implosion and eventual resurgence, and of a career – as an intelligence officer, a government minister and for ten years the CEO of Russia’s largest company – that has taken him from the furthest corners of this incomprehensibly vast and complex nation to the Kremlin’s corridors.
Tackling topics as diverse as terrorism, government intrigue and the reality of doing business in Russia, and offering unparalleled insights into the post-Soviet mindset, this is the first time that a figure with Yakunin’s background has talked so openly and frankly about his country.
‘A vivid and sharp account of a major page of Russian history, aiming at building bridges between cultures.’
—Dominique de Villepin, Prime Minister of France 2005–2007
‘It is not often one gets a deep insight from a Kremlin insider who has remained independent of the Kremlin. Yakunin has been a KGB man, a Russian Minister and boss of Russian Railways. He has been a colleague of Putin but is a candid one. He is well worth reading.’
—Malcolm Rifkind, Foreign Secretary 1992–1997