Based on an unprecedented series of interviews with Vladimir Putin’s inner circle, this book presents a radically different view of power and politics in Russia. The image of Putin as a strongman is dissolved. In its place is a weary figurehead buffeted—if not controlled—by the men who at once advise and deceive him.
Of the many accounts written about the Russian president, Mikhail Zygar’s insider’s guide to his court is one of the most compelling. Zygar, a prominent journalist, has clearly earned the confidence of many ... Yet, while emphasising the court’s dependency on Putin, Zygar’s conclusion is more nuanced. Putin became what he is because those around him saw it as the simplest path for their own enrichment and job security.
... fascinating ... takes us deep into the secret world of the courtiers whose task is to shape Mr. Putin’s access to information so that he makes the 'right' decision ... the book, which reflects the breadth and depth of his sources inside Mr. Putin’s inner circle, was an immediate sensation when it was first published in Russia.
Refreshingly, Mr Zygar chooses to focus not on the president himself, but on the courtiers who have shaped and shepherded him...he pulls back the curtain on several key figures whom Western readers may not know ... The stream of court intrigue gives All the Kremlin’s Men the juicy allure of a Russian thriller. But structuring the book around members of Mr Putin’s entourage leads to some confusing chronological leaps ... More troubling is Mr Zygar’s reliance on hearsay and anonymous sources, a flaw he readily owns up to and tries to parlay into insight.