The Art of the Impossible – Volumes 1-3
This three volume edition of articles, interviews, statements and letters, is written by well known Russian politician and businessman Boris Berezovsky, who lives presently in exile in London. The collection is a brilliant reflection of the current political struggle between the past and the present Russia, between new wave reformist Boris Berezovsky and the authoritarian Russian president Vladimir Putin. Each volume comes with an index, and should be very useful to anyone who is interested in contemporary Russia.
The second volume includes documented materials, statements and interviews describing the whole story of the conflict between Alexander Litvinenko and FSB (Russian Security Service) for the period of 1998-2005.
From the Inside Flap
I am a businessman who turned to politics, an entrepreneur, and a communications executive. But in Russia and in the West, I have been called an oligarch, someone who wielded unknown power in the Yeltsin years and who does not believe in democracy. This was an unfair portrayal, but I never felt seriously compelled to refute it until recently.
The current situation in Russia has made it necessary for me to tell the world of concerns I have for the future of democracy there…
I had hoped that Mr. Putin would preserve the fundamental accomplishment of the Yeltsin era–the national commitment to democracy–while correcting some of the mistakes from that time. But his performance in the year he has been in power–he was elected in March but has been running the country since August 1999, when Boris Yeltsin named him as his successor–has been a disheartening disappointment. Not only did Mr. Putin not start solving these pressing problems, but he initiated the dismantling of some revolutionary achievements of the Yeltsin era.
He has formally (so far only formally) destroyed the basis of the democratic federation by replacing elected representatives in the upper chamber of the Russian parliament with appointees. Moreover, he abrogated for himself the power to dismiss regional governors elected by the people. In doing so, the new president concentrated all the country’s political power in his hands.
Most recently, he has taken steps to subordinate the mass media and has begun using law enforcement agencies to put pressure on both independent businesses and political opponents…
Mr. Putin continues to insist on a military solution to the ethnic conflict in Chechnya, a path leading nowhere. The fear of the authorities’ unchecked power has begun to find its way back into the everyday lives of ordinary Russians.
By and large, Mr. Putin is gradually heading toward authoritarian rule. For ages, the supreme leader of Russia–be it a czar, general secretary or president–wielded practically unlimited power…
Vol. 1: 634 pages
Vol. 2: 818 pages
Vol. 3: 790 pages
Compiled & edited by Yuri Felshtinsky.