Putin’s Rise to Power and the Creation of a KGB-Run State

Putin's People: How the KGB Took Back Russia and Then Took on the West, by Catherine Belton You in the West, you think you’re playing chess with us. But you’re never going to win, because we’re not following any rules. Vladimir Putin seemingly came out of the shadows to run Russia and he's managed to... Continue Reading →

“Ghost Stories” and the New Russian Illegals

Russians Among Us, by Gordon Corera (Amazon / Book Depository) In July 2010, on the tarmac of the Vienna International Airport, the biggest spy swap since the Cold War took place. Ten Russian undercover agents who had been living in the US, some representing a new era in espionage by using their own names instead... Continue Reading →

The Wild, Wonderful World of Couchsurfing in Russia

Book review: Behind Putin's Curtain, by Stephan Orth (Amazon / Book Depository) Hamburg-based journalist Stephan Orth has written several books about his global couchsurfing adventures in unconventional locales. Orth brings a certain cheerful openness and humorous curiosity to his adventuring, and of the touristic method of couchsurfing, he mentions that it offers "the mutual gift... Continue Reading →

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