The New Cold War: Revolutions, Rigged Elections and Pipeline Politics in the Former Soviet Union

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When the Berlin Wall fell in 1989 and the Soviet Union collapsed two years later, liberal democracy was supposed to fill the void left by Soviet Communism. Poland and Czechoslovakia made the best of reforms, but the citizens of the "Evil Empire" itself saw little of the promised freedom, and more of the same old despots and corruption. Recently, a second wave of reforms — Serbia in 2000, Georgia in 2003, and Ukraine in 2004, as well as Kyrgyzstan's regime change in 2005 — have proven almost as monumental as those...

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Overview

When the Berlin Wall fell in 1989 and the Soviet Union collapsed two years later, liberal democracy was supposed to fill the void left by Soviet Communism. Poland and Czechoslovakia made the best of reforms, but the citizens of the "Evil Empire" itself saw little of the promised freedom, and more of the same old despots and corruption. Recently, a second wave of reforms — Serbia in 2000, Georgia in 2003, and Ukraine in 2004, as well as Kyrgyzstan's regime change in 2005 — have proven almost as monumental as those in Berlin and Moscow. The people of the Eastern bloc, aided in no small part by Western money and advice, are again rising up and demanding an end to autocracy. And once more, the Kremlin is battling the White House every step of the way. Mark MacKinnon spent these years working in Moscow, and his view of the story and access to those involved remains unparalleled. With The New Cold War, he reveals the links between these democratic revolutions — and George Soros, the idealistic American billionaire behind them — in a major investigation into the forces that are quietly reshaping the post-Soviet world.

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Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
From the Globe and Mail's former Moscow bureau chief, a vivid, fact-crammed report on how the Kremlin's efforts to rein in the 14 former Soviet republics has led to Cold War-like conflict with the United States. Chief players in the ongoing drama are former KGB agent Vladimir Putin, Russia's enormously popular president since 2000, who is bent on restoring the former Soviet empire; American philanthropist George Soros, whose money and "Open Society" approach have aided democratic forces in Ukraine, Georgia, Belarus and other formerly communist nations; and the U.S., which applauds Putin's help in its "War on Terror" even as it fosters anti-Putin unrest in the republics to keep Caspian Sea oil and gas flowing to the West. Bringing us into street protests and government machinations in Moscow, Kiev and elsewhere, MacKinnon details the headline-making revolts that removed the despotic Milosevic, Shevardnadze and Kuchma, bringing U.S.-friendly leaders and a new freedom to Serbia, Georgia and Ukraine respectively. Putin has imposed his quasi-authoritarian, managed democracy by using Russia's immense natural gas and other resources to control the ex-Soviet republics, writes the author. At the same time, the Russian president deals ruthlessly with Chechen terrorists and with Russian "oligarchs" whose new-made fortunes under privatization sometimes breed dissidence. (For example, Mikhail Khodorkovsky, Russia's wealthiest man, was convicted of fraud and sent to a Siberian prison camp in 2005.) Putin's popularity rests on having restored stability to the former Soviet bloc after the chaotic freedom of the 1990s. For the U.S., his years in power have had mixed outcomes: Russia is "more hostile" tothe West than at any time since 1991, declares MacKinnon, but a growing string of friendly neighboring regimes now protects U.S. energy interests and provides investment markets. Close-to-the-bone reporting that led the Kremlin to designate the author as a hostile journalist. Agent: John Pearce/Westwood Creative Artists
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780786720835
  • Publisher: Basic Books
  • Publication date: 10/4/2007
  • Pages: 313
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Mark MacKinnon was the Moscow bureau chief for the Globe and Mail from 2002 to 2005, and in addition to Eastern Europe covered the wars in Afghanistan, Chechnya and Iraq. A two-time winner of the National Newspaper Award, Canada’s top reporting prize, his latest posting is in the Middle East.

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Table of Contents


Dramatis Personae     xi
Prologue     1
The Puppet Masters     6
Project Democracy     20
Proxy Fight: The Fall of Milosevic     35
The Revolution-Makers     59
Liberal Imperialism     74
A Caucasian Knot     94
The Rose Revolution     116
The End of Politics     131
A Chestnut of an Idea     152
Spiked Oranges and Felt Boots     164
Orange Kiev, Blue Little Russia     184
Unmanageable Democracy     203
The New Great Game     220
Where Roses Don't Grow     234
The Kremlin Strikes Back     247
Afterglow     264
Acknowledgments     279
Source Notes     281
Index     293
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