Thursday, April 14, 2005

We've had Yuli Dubov's new book - The Lesser Evil - for a couple months now, but somehow I've decided to start reading it only today. Dubov's previous book, Bolshaya Payka (The Big Cut, or The Big Ration), is a prequel to The Lesser Evil - and I found it very interesting and very informative, even though it's not a literary masterpiece or something...

Here's more on the new book, from the Guardian's Nick Paton Walsh:

The life of the political exile has taken on bold new nuances in Putin's Russia, as billionaire Yuli Dubov can testify. A former associate of London resident and billionaire Putin critic Boris Berezovsky, he now has political asylum in Britain and has added to the genre of Putin-era dissent literature with his latest novel, The Lesser Evil. Part social treatise, part crime novel, part political pamphlet, it addresses the rise of a former KGB officer, Feodor Feodorovich Rogov, through the mysterious bombing of Moscow's international trade centre and the influence of a conglomerate known as "Infokar". It's a series of barely disguised references to Berezovsky's accusations, denied of course, that Putin engineered apartment bombings in Moscow to justify sending troops into Chechnya, a move that won the former KGB spy an election and led to Berezovsky fleeing the country. Safe to say that Putin is not the "lesser evil" Dubov is referring to, rather his nemesis Berezovsky. The politics of the Russian court remain as transparent and subtle as ever.

In the introduction, Dubov credits Alik (Aleksandr) Goldfarb with providing him with the idea for this new novel. He's also grateful to Yuri Felshtinskiy, among others, for his help in "gathering the factual material."

Both Goldfarb and Felshtinskiy - Boris Berezovsky's people - are now in Kyiv, sharing parts of what they have and know of Melnychenko's recordings...

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