A Journalist's Descent Into the Russian Mafia State
By Luke Harding
(Palgrave MacMillan, Hardcover, 9780230341746, 304pp.)
Publication Date: May 22, 2012
List Price: $28.00*
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In 2007 Luke Harding arrived in Moscow to take up a new job as a correspondent for the British newspaper, The Guardian. Within months, mysterious agents from Russia's Federal Security Service --the successor to the KGB--had broken into his apartment. He found himself tailed by men in leather jackets, bugged, and even summoned to the KGB's notorious prison, Lefortovo. The break-in was the beginning of an extraordinary psychological war against the journalist and his family. Windows left open in his children’s bedroom, secret police agents tailing Harding on the street, and customs agents harassing the family as they left and entered the country became the norm. The campaign of persecution burst into the open in 2011 when the Kremlin expelled Harding from Moscow--the first western reporter to be deported from Russia since the days of the Cold War. Expelled is a brilliant and haunting account of the insidious methods used by a resurgent Kremlin against its so-called "enemies"--human rights workers, western diplomats, journalists and opposition activists. It includes illuminating diplomatic cables which describe Russia as a "virtual mafia state". Harding gives a personal and compelling portrait of Russia that--in its bid to remain a superpower--is descending into a corrupt police state.