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Publisher's Summary

On New Year’s Eve 1999, a young Vladimir Putin appeared on Russian TV screens — awkward, self-conscious... and the new President. Two decades later, Putin is still in power, standing self-assured and at ease on the world stage. How did a once little known KGB bureaucrat become one of the most dominant figures of twenty first century politics?

In this gripping narrative history, Misha Glenny, journalist and best-selling author of McMafia, tells the story of an unexpected and swift rise to power — one full of political intrigue, backroom deals, courtroom battles and war.

Insider Kremlin accounts and well-known journalists reveal how Putin was first chosen by Yeltsin and the Oligarchy and how he then went head to head with Russia’s richest man. After Putin had consolidated power he needed to stay in power. The second half of the series tells the story of how he took over the media, Crimea and increased the powers of the KGB. Finally, Misha considers what Putin might do next.

Produced by Dasha Lisitsina, Executive Producer Russell Finch.
A Somethin’ Else production for Audible Originals.

This is an Audible Original Podcast. Free for members. You can download all 7 episodes to your Library now. 

©2019 Audible, Ltd. (P)2019 Audible, Ltd.

What the critics say

"A polished, rigorous and sober account." (Esquire)

"A vivid portrait of a gauche ex-KGB civil servant who was transformed into a feared autocrat and one of the most powerful men in the world." (Financial Times)

"Glenny is a serious man, and this is serious stuff, told well." (The Observer)

What listeners say about Putin: Prisoner of Power

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Opinion of former soviet citizen

Too shallow.Too many details omitted. Like Londongrad. History of Ukraine. History of Crimea. How it become part of Ukraine.? How Eltzin got into Kremlin?

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Never thought I wanted to know

It was so interesting to listen to this background info on Putin. I suspected something is not clean, but to this extend was beyond my imagination. Really well done. I doubt I would have ever taken the time to read on it.

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Meh

I am not a Putin supporter, yet I couldn't help thinking that I was listening to anti-Putin propaganda. I was hoping for a more detailed description of his policies. I heard nothing that I did not already know. If you have been reading the news regularly you can skip this one !

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  • 2021-01-18

good reporting

interesting and important story. worth the listen for sure. very easy time commitment needed

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Pick and choose your history

it's unfortunate that this only focuses on a few key events. lots of gaps here

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Delivery is great but leaves room for “where the evidence?”

Delivery is great, voice acting, music work, interesting stories, but bringing a bunch of people that are specialists that end up commentating or throwing accusations without backing it up with clear evidence just leaves a bit of a biased taste in the ears.

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Great listen for the geopolitically curious

I knew very little about Putin and his reign, and this was a great introduction. The people participating in the show are extremely well chosen and bring an excellent bit of variety in the episodes. This is fairly brief and doesn't go into great detail about any of the events, but paints a fairly precise and very little biased view on the situation. Would recommend!

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Decent History

Could have been done on 4 episodes but still worth a listen. MSM approved. No peeks behind the wizards curtain.

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A good overview.

Informative and enjoyable except for the overuse of short musical interludes which just feel like a filler.

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Excellent podcast

Excellent concise history and a bit scary for future prospects, especially the Trump - Putin interactions.