Russia's Dead End

A Kremlin Insider's Testimony from Gorbachev to Putin

Andrei A Kovalev

An insider's account of Soviet and Russian politics from Gorbachev's democratizing reforms in the 1980s to the current authoritarian Russia of Putin.
Publication date:
August 2017
Publisher :
Potomac Books, Inc.
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ISBN : 9781612348933

Dimensions : 230 X 150 mm
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Regular Price: £26.50

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• Only book that presents a comprehensive overview and insider's authoritative analysis of late Soviet and Russian politics over the past thirty years from the time Mikhail Gorbachev took power in the Kremlin to the present. Kovalev explores the Russian people and their leaders through a variety of different perspectives,  including socio-economic, psycho-political, and religious wellsprings. This book not only analyzes the current parlous state of Russian politics and society, but also illuminates the path forward to a more just and democratic future. Andrei Kovalev comes from an elite line of Moscow diplomats, and has worked in nine Soviet and Russian agencies, including in Gorbachev's personal office and as executor of top Foreign Minstry assignments.

Elite-level Soviet politics, privileged access to state secrets, knowledge about machinations inside the Kremlin—such is the environment in which Andreï A. Kovalev lived and worked. In this memoir of his time as a successful diplomat serving in various key capacities and as a member of Mikhail Gorbachev's staff, Kovalev reveals hard truths about his country as only a perceptive witness can do. In Russia's Dead End Kovalev shares his intimate knowledge of political activities behind the scenes at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Kremlin before and after the dissolution of the USSR in December 1991, including the Russia of Vladimir Putin. Kovalev analyzes Soviet efforts to comply with international human-rights obligations, the machinations of the KGB, and the link between corrupt oligarchs and state officials. He documents the fall of the USSR, the post-Soviet explosion of state terrorism and propaganda, and offers a nuanced historical explanation of the roots of Russia's contemporary crisis under Vladimir Putin. This insider's memoir provides a penetrating analysis of late-Soviet and post-Soviet Russian politics that is pungent, pointed, witty, and accessible. It assesses the current dangerous status of Russian politics and society while illuminating the path to a more just and democratic future.


Andrei Kovalev says things that no outsider could … [This is a] sizzling memoir … [an] unsparing account of Soviet collapse, and of the hardliners' revenge that followed.
The Economist