Fragile Empire: How Russia Fell in and out of Love with Vladimir Putin
Yale University Press (Inbooks), $36.95 hb, 352 pp, 9780300181210
On 18 July 2013the Russian opposition figure Alexei Navalny was sentenced to a five-year jail term on corruption charges. Navalny, in a speech to the court castigating the dispensation which has emerged in Russia since Vladimir Putin first became president in 2000, attacked a ‘system of power in which 83 percent of the country’s wealth is in the hands of half of one percent of the population’. Widely held to be the result of political persecution by the Kremlin, Navalny’s conviction was condemned inside and outside Russia.