In his timely new book, Mikhail Shishkin, argues that Russia is not a ''riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma'': we just don''t know enough about it. So what is the real story behind Putin''s autocratic regime and its invasion of Ukraine?
In My Russia: War or Peace? Shishkin traces the roots of Russia''s problems, from the ''Kievan Rus'' via the Grand Duchy of Moscow, empire, revolution and Cold War, to the now thirty-year-old Russian Federation. He explores the uneasy relationship between state and citizens, explains Russian attitudes to people''s rights and democracy, and proposes that there are really two Russian peoples: the disillusioned and disaffected, who suffer from ''slave mentality'', and those who embrace ''European'' values and try to stand up to oppression.
Both deeply personal and taking a broader historical view, My Russia is a passionate, eye-opening account of a state entangled in a complex and bloody past, as well as a love letter to a conflicted country. Will Russia continue its vicious circle of upheaval and autocracy, or will its people find a way out of history - and how can we help?
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