by Alexander Litvinenko, Yuri Felshinsky April 2, 2007
Blowing Up Russia contains the allegations of ex-spy Alexander Litvinenko against his former spymasters in Moscow which led to his being murdered in London in November 2006. In the book he and historian Yuri Felshtinsky detail how since 1999 the Russian secret service has been hatching a plot to return to the terror that was the hallmark of the KGB. Vividly written and based on Litvinenko’s 20 years of insider knowledge of Russian spy campaigns, Blowing Up Russia describes how the successor of the KGB fabricated terrorist attacks and launched a war. Writing about Litvinenko, the surviving co-author recounts how the banning of the book in Russia led to three earlier deaths.
‘A book that should contain a very serious health warning on the cover.’ Andrew Marr, Sunday AM ‘Tightly argued.’ Sunday Times Best Current Affairs Book ‘Frightening.’ Sunday Telegraph ‘Disturbing reading.’ Mail on Sunday ‘One of the severest attacks on the present Russian leadership in print.’ Tribune ‘Rich in political intrigue.’ Good Book Guide ‘Pull-no-punches expose.’ Independent ‘Iconic.’ Sunday Business Post (Ireland) ‘Was Litvinenko murdered because of this book?’ Irish Independent ‘For clues as to who wanted Alexander Litvinenko dead, you need look no farther than – Blowing up Russia.’ Oleg Gordievsky The Times ‘Blowing up Russia demands our attention.’ Nicholas Shakespeare Daily Telegraph ‘A vivid condemnation of the Putin regime as has yet been written.’ Sunday Times ‘A spy shocker.’ Western Morning News ‘Crucially important.’ Robert Service, Professor of Russian History Oxford University –This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
About the Author
Yuri Felshinsky studied history at the Moscow State Pedagogical Institute. In 1978 he immigrated to the US and studied history at Brandeis University and Rutgers, where he received his Ph.D. He was the first citizen of a foreign state to be awarded a doctoral degree in Russia.
His previous books include: “Towards a History of Isolation ” (London 1988; Moscow 1991);”The Failure of World Revolution” (London 1991; Moscow 1992); “Big Bosses” (Moscow 1999).
Alexander Litvinenko served in the Russian military for more than 20 years achieving the ranks of Lieutenant-Colonel. In 1988 he served in the counterintelligence agencies of the Soviet KGB and from 1991 in the Central Staff of the MB-FSK-FSB, specializing in counter-terrorist activities and organized crime.
He worked in the most secret areas of the KGB, the Department for the Analysis of Criminal Organizations, as a senior operational officer and deputy head of the Seventh Section.
In 1988, at a Moscow press conference, he publicly criticized the leadership of the FSB and disclosed a number if illegal orders which he had received. In 1999 he was arrested on trumped-up charges and imprisoned. After winning his case, he was arrested again and charged with added crimes against the state.
He escaped from Russia, and was granted political asylum in May 2001 by Great Britian where he lived until he was poisoned in November 2006.
The Resurrection of the KGB
By Joanneva12a on July 26, 2004
BOOM! – In late 2003 nearly 4,500 copies of this book were seized and confiscated by the Russian Secret Service (FSB) as they tried to make their way from Latvia printing presses into Moscow. And no wonder. This book focuses on how elements of the old Soviet regime sought to steer Russia away from the liberal reforms since the fall of the old USSR. The multiple apartment bombings which ripped across the country in 1999, killing hundreds, were more than suspicious. The ‘terrorists’ were condemned and the tragedies quickly used as an excuse to drag Russia into a second wretched war with Chechnya which continues to this day. The book’s spotlight on the attempted bombing in Ryazan leaves little doubt as to who the enemy really was.
The book’s translation from Russian into English is superb, but the sheer volume of facts and information combined with the never-ending plethora of Russian names makes for a challenging read if you are up to it. The book however is an excellent primer into the “nomenklatura” mindset of corruption, coercion, and intimidation, and should be studied and kept as a grim reminder of what is possible when criminal elements in the state pursue their own political agendas – and how far they will go when the ends justifies the means in the political game of hardball.
Although the book is a study in extremism, there are still some associations to be made on a lesser level. Propaganda, intimidation, and internal investigations which never seem to come to fruition are just a few that come to mind. Despite the collapse of the USSR, Vladamir Putin, has placed many of his former KGB colleagues in positions of authority alongside him.Read more ›
Strenuously denounces the war in Chechnya
By Midwest Book Review on November 6, 2002
Alexander Litvinenko is a 20-year veteran of the Russian military, achieving the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel and serving in the KGB Department for the Analysis of Criminal Organizations, only to be arrested for disclosing a number of illegal orders he’d received and imprisoned. He escaped from Russia and received political asylum in Britain in May 2001. Yuri Felshtinsky studied history at the Moscow State Pedagogical Institute and immigrated to America in 1978 where he obtained a doctorate in history from Rutgers. Felshtinsky is a recognized expert on Soviet Affairs and the other of several books on Russian history and politics. In Blowing Up Russia: Terror From Within, Litvinenko and Felshtinsky collaborate to reveal a scathing accusation of the Russian special services, holding them responsible for acts of terror, kidnappings, contract killings, and efforts to steer Russia back to being a dictatorship. Blowing Up Russia also strenuously denounces the war in Chechnya for its deleterious toll on human life and freedom. A sobering, persuasively charged account, Blowing Up Russia is an essential text for Soviet Studies academic reference collections, and should be mandatory reading for anyone having political, cultural, or economic dealings with present-day Russia.
Important Subject, Nearly Convincing Facts, Very Poorly Written
By David M. Dougherty VINE VOICE on February 22, 2009
This work covers an important subject — namely the seizure of power in the Russia by the old KGB that is leading Russia back into an oligarchical tyranny. Democracy has been failing and it is only a matter of time (say in the next 10 years) that Russia will once again be a state likely to threaten world security. That is the main theme of this book, and the “how” is that the KGB puts up strawmen such as the Chechen terrorism to create a demand for a strong, central and non-democratic government to provide security (through power) to the Russian people.
[The downside to the book is that…the narrative skips around, going back and forth with dates, and the great number of players blithly thrown in almost indiscriminately makes for incomprehensible reading. The author is also guilty of a great amount of repetition.
But the most troubling aspect to this work is that it contains absolutely no sources or references. The author promises to make them available to such agencies as will impartially investigate the subject matter of this book, but with no such agency likely to come forward in the next decade, proof of the authors’ contentions will probably not be forthcoming for some time, if ever.]
The title comes from the FBS’s using of bombings (blowing up Russia) to terrorize the Russian population so that the role of the FBS becomes increasingly important. The authors fairly conclusively present evidence that these terrorist actions have been perpetrated by the FBS itself instead of by the Chechens and other disaffected minorities. In this respect, there is much to learn here, and the steadily increasing power of the Russian Security Service, the FBS, the replacement to the old KGB, is something that should cause concern to the US and everyone in the West. Astoundingly, the American media seems blind, deaf and dumb in respect to this development.
There is absolutely no substitute for self-government – none.
By R. A. Barricklow VINE VOICE on October 17, 2009
[Format: Kindle Edition]
The point both Yuri & Alexander make in their fine investigative journalism, is that Putin had deliberately destroyed the intial shoots of self-government in Russia, and, he now exercises a transparent form of arbitrary rule known as “bespredel”, without limits.
This book tells of how Russia’s promise of self-government was lost.
It is a cautionary tale for all governments and their people; for not only do all goverments lie, they all have secret services, and it was the secret services of Russia, by a masterstroke of brilliance, -matched only by brute force, that Putin was crowned President through ANY [and every] means necessary.
I read this primarily to discover Russia’s sercret service’s modus operandi in its operations to this end and to discern any simularties that the U.S. secret services are using, -where they were alike and where they were different.
As everything is secret…you’re sometimes left with the tip of an iceberg or an event horizon.
In “Blowing Up Russia” Yuri’s event horizon was the terrorist apartment bombings, their “9/11”. As he got deeper into it he found an inside job done by the FSB, Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation. He teamed up with Alexander, who was murdered by Putin, to literally bury his information.
Yuri finially managed to publish this information (this book, of course was immediately banned in Russia).
Yuri proves, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that it was an inside job, and goes much deeper. How deep?
Peter Dale Scott coined the political, “Deep State”, where a shadow government actually is pulling the essential strings of policy that REALLY matter in government.
This is the territory that Yuri & Alexander uncover in this book. One can draw simularities with our 9/11 to Russia’s apartments bombing/all the way to an inside job. Also striking is the criminal infiltration of the secret services, to where there is no question of its criminal DNA/right down to the very bones of the services existence. It’s in your face criminality, not unlike our U.S. banksters of today.
A very informative, cautionary tale, from which numerous conclusions could be made by many readers. A wide audience is deserved.
Both Jefferson and Madison agreed fervantly on two principles: An educated public was necessary for the survival of the country AND that the powers of government belong ultimately to the people who are governed.
HIGHLY RECOMMENDED !!!
P.S. Max Weber memorably remarked that the decisive means for politics is violence. He also added, that the world is governed by demons, and he who lets himself in for…”power and force as a means”, contracts with diabolical powers, and for his actions it is NOT true that good can follow from only good and evil from only evil, but that the opposite is true. Anyone who fails to see this, is, indeed, a political infant.
P.P.S. In: Guilt By Association, by Jeff Gates, the author offers another scenario. Was it the Ashkenazim Crime syndicate (Russain branch run by Boris Berezovsky) profiled in chapter 5 of the book, that had the means, motive and opportunity to murder Litvinenko in London?
Two days after Khodorkovsky lieutenant Leonid Nevzlin arrived in Newark airport on Christmas Eve 2006, Russian Prosecutor General Yury Chaika issued a press release identifying Nevzlin as a murder suspect in the Litvinenko poisoning and seeking his extradition. Litvinenko met with Nevzlin in Israel just weeks before his death.
You really have to read this one, if you want to understand Russia today
ByGudmundur Ron December 5, 2014
If you want to understand what is going on in Russia in 2014/15, you have to read this book. If you are doing any kind of business with Russia or planning to visit… read. The book was written with the blood of one of the writers. Alexander Litvinenko gave his life, so that the wold can know what is really going on in Russia.
The title of the book could also have been “Russia: The Evil Empire”
My conclusion: One of the most important books written on Russian politics in a long time.
Red Notice: A True Story of High Finance, Murder, and One Man’s Fight for Justice
Hardcover – February 3, 2015
A real-life political thriller about an American financier in the Wild East of Russia, the murder of his principled young tax attorney, and his dangerous mission to expose the Kremlin’s corruption.
Bill Browder’s journey started on the South Side of Chicago and moved through Stanford Business School to the dog-eat-dog world of hedge fund investing in the 1990s. It continued in Moscow, where Browder made his fortune heading the largest investment fund in Russia after the Soviet Union’s collapse. But when he exposed the corrupt oligarchs who were robbing the companies in which he was investing, Vladimir Putin turned on him and, in 2005, had him expelled from Russia.
In 2007, a group of law enforcement officers raided Browder’s offices in Moscow and stole $230 million of taxes that his fund’s companies had paid to the Russian government. Browder’s attorney Sergei Magnitsky investigated the incident and uncovered a sprawling criminal enterprise. A month after Sergei testified against the officials involved, he was arrested and thrown into pre-trial detention, where he was tortured for a year. On November 16, 2009, he was led to an isolation chamber, handcuffed to a bedrail, and beaten to death by eight guards in full riot gear.
Browder glimpsed the heart of darkness, and it transformed his life: he embarked on an unrelenting quest for justice in Sergei’s name, exposing the towering cover-up that leads right up to Putin. A financial caper, a crime thriller, and a political crusade, Red Notice is the story of one man taking on overpowering odds to change the world.
“Reads like a classic thriller, with an everyman hero alone and in danger in a hostile foreign city . . . but it’s all true.” (Lee Child, bestselling author of the Jack Reacher series)
“The first half of Red Notice traces Browder’s improbable journey from prep-school washout through college, business school, and a series of consulting and Wall Street jobs before becoming Russia’s largest foreign investor….This book-within-a-book does for investing in Russia and the former Soviet Union what Liar’s Poker did for our understanding of Salomon Brothers, Wall Street, and the mortgage-backed securities business in the 1980s. Browder’s business saga meshes well with the story of corruption and murder in Vladimir Putin’s Russia, making Red Notice an early candidate for any list of the year’s best books.” (Norman Pearlstine Fortune)
“The story of Sergei Magnitsky’s life and death is a shocking true-life thriller, and Bill Browder was the man to write it.” (Tom Stoppard)
“In Red Notice, Bill Browder tells the harrowing and inspiring story of how his fight for justice in Russia made him an unlikely international human rights leader and Vladimir Putin’s number-one enemy. It is the book for anyone interested in understanding the culture of corruption and impunity in Putin’s Russia today, and Browder’s heroic example of how to fight back.” (Senator John McCain)
“This book reads like a thriller, but it’s a true, important, and inspiring real story. Bill Browder is an amazing moral crusader, and his book is a must-read for anyone who seeks to understand Russia, Putin, or the challenges of doing business in the world today.” (Walter Isaacson, author of Steve Jobs and The Innovators)
“A fascinating and unexpected story.” (Mitch Albom, author of Tuesdays with Morrie)
“Browder’s true story is a heart-in-your-throat page turner, and the only close-up look I know of what it’s like to take on Putin. It is also a moving account of a man who found his calling, and ended up winning in the end.” (Bryan Burrough, co-author of Barbarians at the Gate and author of Public Enemies and The Big Rich)
“A fascinating, heart-stopping account of how to take on Putin–and win. It’s exciting to read about Browder’s roller-coaster ride to wealth in Russia, and to learn how his compassion for Sergei Magnitsky, his murdered lawyer, inspired his memorable struggle against the venal apparatchiks of a corrupt state. This is the gripping–and absolutely true–story behind the Magnitsky Law, a signal advance in human rights.” (Geoffrey Robertson, human rights lawyer and author of Crimes Against Humanity: The Struggle For Global Justice)
“This indispensable look at the brutal realities of the Putin regime is of even greater relevance thanks to Bill Browder’s unique expertise and personal experience inside the belly of the beast.” (Garry Kasparov, Chess Grandmaster and author of How Life Imitates Chess)
“Bill Browder has become one of the most sincerely hated men in the Kremlin over the years–and that is something to be incredibly proud of. . . . This book shows the difference that one person can make when they refuse to back down, as told by a fellow soldier in the battle to hold Putin to account.” (Nadya Tolokonnikova and Masha Alekhina, members of Pussy Riot)
“Browder’s narrative lays out in vivid detail the often murky mechanisms of Russia’s kleptocratic economy, culminating in an engrossing account of what would surely be the heist of the century were it not so representative of business as usual. It’s also a chilling, sinister portrait of a society in which the rule of law has been destroyed by those sworn to enforce it. The result is an alternately harrowing and inspiring saga of appalling crime and undeserved punishment in the Wild East.” (Publishers Weekly (starred review))
“An almost unbelievable tale . . . well-paced, heartfelt . . . It may be that ‘Russian stories never have happy endings,’ but Browder’s account more than compensates by ferociously unmasking Putin’s thugocracy.” (Kirkus Reviews)
“[Browder’s] freewheeling, snappy book describes the meteoric rise, and disastrous fall, of a buccaneer capitalist who crossed the wrong people and paid a steep price. . . The high stakes make for a zesty tale.” (New York Times)