The Gorbachev-Putin continuum

The Invention of Russia, The Journey from Gorbachev’s Freedom to Putin’s War Arkady Ostrovsky Atlantic Books, £20

The World Today
Published 25 September 2015 Updated 11 December 2020 3 minute READ

Mary Dejevsky

Columnist, The Independent

The dissolution of the Soviet Union, which completed the collapse of communism across Europe, was one of the defining events of the 20th century – on a par with the First and Second World Wars, the Bolshevik Revolution and the Great Depression. So it is perhaps surprising that it has not already given rise to shelves full of books, reporting, analysing and drawing conclusions from what happened.

There were ‘instant’ books at the time – notably David Remnick’s Lenin’s Tomb – and there have been thematic studies and biographies of the main players since, but The Invention of Russia by Arkady Ostrovsky is one of the few to consider the 30 years from Gorbachev’s glasnost and perestroika to Putin’s third presidential term as a continuum.

Subscribe to read all issues

Articles from the current issue are free to read by all, the archive is exclusive to magazine subscribers and our members. Subscribe or become a member to view articles from the archive.