Wow, what a book! If you follow the media you would have heard many stories and opinions about Putin, Russia and the tight reign he has had over his country over the last two decades. Who really is the man that rules his country like the Stalin of old? Myers takes you on a journey beginning with Putin’s parents, moving on to Vladimir himself and his journey through school, aspirations of working for the KGB and to then to actually working there (and the FSB) before angling towards government responsibilities. Myers also sheds an interesting light the young Putin we don’t really know, a person at the time in Leningrad that was not corrupt and truly believed in his state. How he has evolved and changed into who he is today is a fascinating journey that is described in detail throughout the book. The future of Russia and its relations with the rest of the world will be something we will be watching closely in the future and after reading this book I’m even more interested in how Putin will retain his power. Like all people at the top, they have to come down at some point.
Three key takeaways from the book:
1. How Yeltsin orchestrated and timed his resignation so that acting-president Putin would be in the best position to become President in the next election
2. Putin’s obsession with the Sochi Olympics. In his mind this Olympics was about putting Russia back on the international stage as a country of power, wealth and prosperity even though the amount spent far exceeded the original (and revised budgets)
3. Although there isn’t enough evidence to 100% prove this, there has been so many deaths, assignations and/or accidents that have occurred during the rule of Putin. His hold of the media and his government is an incredible feet given the modern age of free speech and the Internet.