Spies without Cloaks: The KGB's Successors

Princeton University Press
1
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This book offers a compelling and comprehensive account of what happened to the KGB when the Soviet Union collapsed and the world's most powerful and dangerous secret police organization was uncloaked. As Amy Knight shows, the KGB was renamed and reorganized several times after it was officially disbanded in December 1991--but it was not reformed. Knight's rich and lively narrative begins with the aborted August 1991 coup, led by KGB hard-liners, and takes us through the summer of 1995, when the Russian parliamentary elections were looming on the horizon. The failed coup attempt was a setback for the KGB because it led to demands from Russian democrats for a complete overhaul of the security services. As a result, the KGB's leaders were fired, its staff reduced, and its functions dispersed among several agencies. Even the elite foreign intelligence service was subjected to budget cuts. But President Yeltsin was reluctant to press on with reforms of the security services, because he needed their support in his struggle against mounting political opposition. Indeed, by the spring of 1995, the security services had regained much of what they had lost in the wake of the August coup. Some observers were even saying that they had acquired more power and influence than the old KGB.

This story told by one of the foremost experts on the Soviet/Russian security services and enriched by face-to-face interviews with security professionals in Moscow, is crucial to understanding Russian politics in transition. It will fascinate scholars, policymakers, and general readers interested in the fate of the KGB.

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About the author

Amy Knight is Senior Research Analyst at the Library of Congress and Professorial Lecturer in Russian History and Politics at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, Washington, D.C. She is the author of The KGB: Police and Politics in the Soviet Union and Beria: Stalin's First Lieutenant (Princeton).
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Additional Information

Publisher
Princeton University Press
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Published on
Dec 22, 1997
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Pages
332
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ISBN
9781400821877
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Language
English
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Genres
History / Russia & the Former Soviet Union
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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Amy Knight
Ever since Vladimir Putin came to power in Russia, his critics have turned up dead on a regular basis. According to Amy Knight, this is no coincidence. In Orders to Kill, the KGB scholar ties dozens of victims together to expose a campaign of political murder during Putin’s reign that even includes terrorist attacks such as the Boston Marathon Bombing.

Russia is no stranger to political murder, from the tsars to the Soviets to the Putin regime, during which many journalists, activists and political opponents have been killed. Kremlin defenders like to say, “There is no proof,” however convenient these deaths have been for Putin, and, unsurprisingly, because he controls all investigations, Putin is never seen holding a smoking gun,. But Amy Knight offers mountains of circumstantial evidence that point to Kremlin involvement.

Called “the West’s foremost scholar” of the KGB by The New York Times, Knight traces Putin’s journey from the Federal Security Service (FSB) in the late 1990s to his subsequent rise to absolute power as the Kremlin’s leader today, detailing the many bodies that paved the way. She offers new information about the most famous victims, such as Alexander Litvinenko, the former FSB officer who was poisoned while living in London, and the statesman Boris Nemtsov, who was murdered outside the Kremlin in 2015, and she puts faces on many others who are less well-known in the West or forgotten. She shows that terrorist attacks in Russia, as well as the Boston Marathon bombing in the U.S., are part of the same campaign. And she explores what these murders mean for Putin’s future, for Russia and for the West, where in America Donald Trump has claimed, “Nobody has proven that he's killed anyone....He's always denied it....It has not been proven that he's killed reporters."

Orders to Kill is a story long hidden in plain sight with huge ramifications.

Bill Browder
New York Times bestseller

THE BOOK THAT EXPLAINS WHY RUSSIANS WANTED TO MEET WITH THE TRUMP CAMPAIGN

“Part John Grisham-like thriller, part business and political memoir.” —The New York Times

“[Red Notice] 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” (Fortune).

This is a story about an accidental activist. Bill Browder started out his adult life as the Wall Street maverick whose instincts led him to Russia just after the breakup of the Soviet Union, where he made his fortune.

Along the way he exposed corruption, and when he did, he barely escaped with his life. His Russian lawyer Sergei Magnitsky wasn’t so lucky: he ended up in jail, where he was tortured to death. That changed Browder forever. He saw the murderous heart of the Putin regime and has spent the last half decade on a campaign to expose it. Because of that, he became Putin’s number one enemy, especially after Browder succeeded in having a law passed in the United States—The Magnitsky Act—that punishes a list of Russians implicated in the lawyer’s murder. Putin famously retaliated with a law that bans Americans from adopting Russian orphans.

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, and also the story of how, without intending to, he found meaning in his life.
Amy Knight
Ever since Vladimir Putin came to power in Russia, his critics have turned up dead on a regular basis. According to Amy Knight, this is no coincidence. In Orders to Kill, the KGB scholar ties dozens of victims together to expose a campaign of political murder during Putin’s reign that even includes terrorist attacks such as the Boston Marathon Bombing.

Russia is no stranger to political murder, from the tsars to the Soviets to the Putin regime, during which many journalists, activists and political opponents have been killed. Kremlin defenders like to say, “There is no proof,” however convenient these deaths have been for Putin, and, unsurprisingly, because he controls all investigations, Putin is never seen holding a smoking gun,. But Amy Knight offers mountains of circumstantial evidence that point to Kremlin involvement.

Called “the West’s foremost scholar” of the KGB by The New York Times, Knight traces Putin’s journey from the Federal Security Service (FSB) in the late 1990s to his subsequent rise to absolute power as the Kremlin’s leader today, detailing the many bodies that paved the way. She offers new information about the most famous victims, such as Alexander Litvinenko, the former FSB officer who was poisoned while living in London, and the statesman Boris Nemtsov, who was murdered outside the Kremlin in 2015, and she puts faces on many others who are less well-known in the West or forgotten. She shows that terrorist attacks in Russia, as well as the Boston Marathon bombing in the U.S., are part of the same campaign. And she explores what these murders mean for Putin’s future, for Russia and for the West, where in America Donald Trump has claimed, “Nobody has proven that he's killed anyone....He's always denied it....It has not been proven that he's killed reporters."

Orders to Kill is a story long hidden in plain sight with huge ramifications.

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