The so-called strongman

Guardian commentator Luke Harding, who was ousted by the Federal Security Service from Russia, comments on a book The Strongman on Vladimir Putin’s reign as Russian President and continuing ruler in the role of Prime Minister, as penned by Angus Roxburgh, former Moscow correspondent for The Sunday Times, when it was a real newspaper.

The account would appear to be a fascinating read, as Roxburgh subsequently worked as a PR advisor to the Kremlin in 2006, with the next-to-impossible remit of improving the regime’s image abroad, especially given subsequent events, such as the assassination of human rights proponent and journalist Anna Politkovskaya and the mysterious polonium poisoning of British citizen Alexander Litvinenko, and the evident pressurising of investors, with the state’s backing, connected in some way or other to Alfa Group (conflict at TNK-BP and the absurd and patently illegal Siberian court rulings against Telenor – the foreign investor in VimpelCom).

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