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In 1991, Vladimir Yakunin, a Soviet diplomat and KGB officer, returned from his posting in New York to a country that no longer existed.
The state that he had served for all his adult life had been dissolved, the values he knew abandoned. Millions of his compatriots suffered as their savings disappeared and their previously secure existences were threatened by an unholy combination of criminality, corruption and chaos. Others thrived amid the opportunities offered in the new polity, and a battle began over the direction the fledgling state should take.
While something resembling stability was won in the early 2000s, today Russia's future remains unresolved; its governing class divided.
The Treacherous Path is Yakunin's account of his own experiences on the front line of Russia's implosion and eventual resurgence, and of a career - as an intelligence officer, a government minister and for ten years the CEO of Russia's largest company - that has taken him from the furthest corners of this incomprehensibly vast and complex nation to the Kremlin's corridors.
Tackling topics as diverse as terrorism, government intrigue and the reality of doing business in Russia, and offering unparalleled insights into the post-Soviet mindset, this is the first time that a figure with Yakunin's background has talked so openly and frankly about his country.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9781785903014
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Vladimir Yakunin was born in 1948 and trained as a rocket engineer at the Leningrad Mechanical Institute. In 1985, he moved to New York, where he served in the Soviet Diplomatic Mission to the United Nations. He combined this with his work as an intelligence officer in the KGB's First Directorate. After the end of the Soviet Union, Vladimir Yakunin worked as part of the President's administrative apparatus and then as a deputy minister in the Transport and Railway ministries. In 2005, he was appointed CEO of Russian Railways, a state-owned company responsible for over 85,000 kilometres of track and more than a million workers. He held this position until 2015, when he stepped down. Vladimir Yakunin has been awarded the Legion d'Honneur and major state honours from seven European countries. In 2014, he was placed on the US Treasury Department's sanctions list. Today he combines his role as chairman of the Dialogue of Civilizations, an NGO dedicated to promoting intercultural dialogue, with his post as chair of political science at Lomonosov Moscow State University and visiting professorships at Peking University and Stockholm School of Economics.
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