Five for the shelf

Recent/upcoming releases I’m actually looking forward to reading. Just in case you’re interested as well.

Россия и мир в XXI веке by Dmitri Trenin

2014 год внезапно и резко изменил положение России в мире. Восток Украины стал зоной вооруженного конфликта. Отношения РФ с Западом напоминают холодную войну. Москва еще более активно разворачивается в сторону Китая. Так и не состоявшуюся “Большую Европу от Лиссабона до Владивостока” сменяет “Большая Азия” от Шанхая до Петербурга.
Каковы новые ориентиры российской внешней политики? Меняется ли международная идентичность страны? Что означает защита суверенитета в условиях глобализации? Как обеспечить безопасность страны и какие угрозы реальны, а какие надуманны? Можно ли проводить модернизацию экономики, оставаясь во враждебных отношениях с развитой частью мира? Эти и другие вопросы поднимает в своей книге известный российский международник Дмитрий Тренин.

Книга адресована тем, кто стремится разобраться в сложных вопросах внешней политики и нуждается в объективном взгляде на вещи.

Россия Путина by Ivan Blot

Данная книга – пример непредвзятого взгляда на современную Россию. В своей книге Иван Бло, многие годы изучающий Россию, уделяет внимание самым разным аспектам жизни страны – историческому развитию, внутренней и внешней политике, экономике, демографии, армии и обороне, церкви и духовности. Он является убежденным сторонником тесного стратегического сотрудничества Парижа и Москвы.
Этот анализ неразрывно связан с деятельностью Владимира Путина, лидера современной России. Именно через достижения и результаты работы президента России автору удалось в наиболее полной мере раскрыть и объяснить суть многих происходящих в стране процессов и явлений.
Книга Ивана Бло вышла в свет в Париже в декабре 2015 года. Издание вызвало читательский интерес и попало в лидеры продаж книготорговых сетей и магазинов. Менее чем за месяц первый тираж был распродан.

Russia: What Everyone Needs to Know by Timothy Colton

Today’s Russia, also known as the Russian Federation, is often viewed as less powerful than the Soviet Union of the past. When stacked against other major nations in the present, however, the new Russia is a formidable if flawed player.

Russia: What Everyone Needs to Know® provides fundamental information about the origins, evolution, and current affairs of the Russian state and society. The story begins with Russia’s geographic endowment, proceeds through its experiences as a kingdom and empire, and continues through the USSR’s three-quarters of a century, and finally the shocking breakup of that regime a generation ago. Chapters on the failed attempt to reform Communism under Mikhail Gorbachev, the halting steps toward democratization under Boris Yeltsin, and the entrenchment of central controls under Vladimir Putin bring the reader into the contemporary scene and to headline-grabbing events such as Russia’s annexation of the Crimean Peninsula from Ukraine and its military intervention in Syria. Drawing on trends within Russia and on ratings and rankings compiled by international organizations, Colton discusses the challenges facing the country–ranging from economic recession to demographic stress, political stagnation, and overextension in foreign policy–and to the realistic options for coping with them.

The book shows that, although Russia is not imprisoned by its history, it is heavily influenced by it. Colton illustrates Russia’s greatest strength and, ironically, its greatest weakness: the ability of its people to adapt themselves to difficult circumstances beyond their immediate control. Russia, as Putin has asserted, will not soon be a second edition of the United States or Britain. But, Colton shows, there are ways in which it could become a better version of itself.

The Modern Russian Army 1992-2016 by Mark Galeotti

Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russia’s army has undergone a turbulent transformation: from the scattered leftovers of the old Soviet military, through a period of shocking decay and demoralization, to the disciplined force and sophisticated “hybrid war” doctrine that enabled Vladimir Putin to seize Crimea virtually overnight in 2014.

Using rare photographs and full-color images of the army in action, profiles of army leaders and defense ministers, as well as orders of battle and details of equipment and dress, this is a vivid account of the army’s troubled history and of its current character, capabilities and status.

Written by an internationally respected author with remarkable access to Russian-language sources and veterans, this study is essential reading for anyone wishing to understand the growing power of Russia’s military.

English translation of Зулейха открывает глаза by Guzel Yakhina (2017?)




  1. ” Можно ли проводить модернизацию экономики, оставаясь во враждебных отношениях с развитой частью мира?”

    USSR’s example shows that – yes, you can.

    As for Galeotti – he is not a military man himself, neither is he a military expert. Just because he knows a thing or two about Russian criminal scene and security services doesn’t make him an “expert” on all things Russian. According to his own words, these days he gets most of his info from “Russian media – press and net resources”. He wasn’t in Russia in person since… early 2010s? I also doubt that he, of all the people, now has access to any “insiders” in Russian military, whether acting or retired. So, I guess, his book will be just a translation of easily availible info about Russian army, that no one bothered to look up previously in the West (mainly due to the language barrier).

    Liked by 1 person

    • Wait a minute – wasn’t Galeotti the same guy who was telling us all that Putin’s ‘hybrid war’ was a myth and that we shouldn’t spread that narrative because it ‘gives more power to Putin than he deserves’? And now ‘hybrid war’ is in the description of the upcoming book he authors.


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