All the Kremlin’s Men: Inside the Court of Vladimir Putin. Zygar Mikhail. New York: Public Affairs, 2016, 400.


The former editor of the Russian independent media outlet Dozhd, Mikhail Zygar, explores various dimensions of Russia’s internal politics. His gripping narrative provides an insight into how Putin is running the house. Based on his interviews with the influential players in the Kremlin, Zygar masterly depicts the crossing networks of legitimate and political power used by shifting loyalties, strategies and motivations.

In sharp contrast to the traditional approach which depicts a powerful Putin, Zygar’s book sheds more light on the power play of the business tycoons, former spies and nationalist hardliners who have antagonistic agendas and interests vis-a-vis president of Russia. Contradicting the prevailing narratives about Putin’s power, Zygar maintains that most of the power we tend to ascribe to Putin does not lie in his hands only and that the Putin that is generally imagined does not exist. However, the author of this book writes that, despite all political manoeuvring, Putin manages to get an upper hand in all the political affairs.

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