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January 15, 2014

Human rights and journalism groups speak out about my expulsion

I’d like to take a moment to thank all those who’ve expressed support for me in the past few days, and in particular the Russian human rights organization Memorial, which sent this letter to Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. Here’s the original (which you’ll have to click to enlarge properly.) My English translation follows. Memorial Letter

Ministry of Foreign Affairs,
Russian Federation Smolenskaya-Sennaya Square 32/34
S.V. Lavrov

Respected Sergei Viktorovich!

We have learned about the ban on entry into Russia for five years imposed on the American journalist, David Satter. This has provoked a sharp reaction from society – in Russia and abroad. David Satter has written about Russia for many years. The ban on travel for him to Russia in essence amounts to a ban for him on the practice of his profession – he is, after all, obliged to check and recheck information.

If Satter ceases to write about Russia, this will be bad not only for him but for our country. There are not many foreign correspondents whose writing is as competent and balanced.

We believe that the decision on the ban on entry is absolutely inconsistent with the minor and apparently unintentional administrative violation of which he is accused (several days lateness in filing for a visa.) We hope that you will find the means to correct this situation.

With Respect,

Arseny Roginsky

Chairman of the Directorate
International Society
“Memorial”

Update: I’m also gratified by the support of groups such as the Committee to Protect Journalists, which said my expulsion was “a menacing omen for the thousands of foreign journalists due to attend” the Olympic Games in Sochi. The president of the International Federation of Journalists Jim Boumelha said my expulsion undermines Russia’s “commitment to freedom of expression and basic human rights,” while his counterpart at the European Federation of Journalists, Mogens Blicher, said: ”Satter has done nothing wrong, but it seems that the Russian government has taken this opportunity to rid themselves of a journalist who dares to question their methods and reveal the truth about wrongdoings.” Reporters Without Borders has also issued a supportive statement, saying the group was “shocked by the disproportion between Satter’s alleged offence and the punishment … Like other foreign reporters who have been expelled in recent years, Satter is known for being very critical of the Putin regime. This just reinforces the impression that this ban is linked to his activities as a journalist.”

January 14, 2014

There are a number of points that need to be made in reference to the statement of the Russian Foreign Ministry regarding the decision to refuse me a visa and bar me from the country for five years.

1.      During the entire period of the discussion of my visa, I have complied completely with all instructions from the Russian Foreign Ministry regarding registration and application for a new journalist’s visa.

2.      I arrived in Moscow on September 7, 2013 to work as an adviser for Radio Liberty. At the time, I had a business visa which allowed me to remain in the country for 90 days out of each 180. Shortly after receiving accreditation, I made preparations to convert my business visa which expired on January 14, 2014 to a journalist’s visa which provided for permanent residency.

3.      On November 18, 2013, the visa bureau in Prague which services the Russian Embassy refused to accept the letter of invitation from the Russian Foreign Ministry on the grounds that it was improperly prepared. On November 19, the Russian Consulate in Prague accepted the letter but a day was lost reducing my ability to complete business in Prague. The period of the invitation ended on November 21, 2013. The Russian Foreign Ministry advised me that if I arrived in Russia on November 21, the last day of the invitation, which provided the basis for a one time  entry visa, a new invitation would be given to me on November 22 which could on that day be presented to the Russian Immigration Service that would in turn issue the needed journalist’s visa. Under these circumstances, there would be no gap in time and the bureaucratic requirements would be satisfied.

4.      On November 22, the Foreign Ministry said that my invitation was not ready. They assured me that this was not a problem and that my visa had been approved. On Monday, it was still not ready. On Tuesday, the invitation was issued but the immigration service did not accept it on the grounds that I had overstayed my visa. The delay was created by the deliberate actions of the Foreign Ministry which did not deliver my invitation on November 22.

5.      The Foreign Ministry in their statement state that I overstayed my visa after November 21. The invitation which I received on November 26 was dated November 22 (see facsimile copy of the document below). In other words, it is consistent with what I was told – that I could arrive in Moscow on the 21st and pick up the invitation letter on the 22nd. The reason why the invitation was picked up on the 26th was because there was a delay created by the Foreign Ministry. This was followed by a weekend and then one day of further delay.

6.      On the advice of the Foreign Ministry, I took steps to rectify the situation that they had created. I went to court, paid a fine for overstaying my visa and left the country. The Foreign Ministry advised me to start the visa application process again and I went to Kiev.

7.      On December 12 in Kiev, I was notified that the visa had been approved and that I would be receiving a number shortly. On December 16, I was told again that the visa was approved. On December 23, I was given a number for the Foreign Ministry invitation – 3032073 – and a number for the telex – 87897/837.

8.      On December 24, I went to the Russian Embassy in Kiev with the number of my invitation and the number of the telex from the Foreign Ministry. The Consul in the Russian Embassy said that he had the number of the invitation but no invitation. I asked him if this had ever happened before. He said no. He made two more attempts to locate the invitation without success. I called the Foreign Ministry and spoke to Lev Lvovich (whose last name I don’t know.) He said that the visa was ready and I should go back to the embassy on the following day and speak to a senior diplomat, Alexei Gruby.

9.      On December 25, I called Gruby to arrange a meeting. He told me that he had a statement to read to me. It said: “The competent organs have decided that your presence on the territory of the Russian Federation is undesirable. Your application for entry into Russia is denied.”

10.  On December 26, the U.S. Embassy issued a note of protest and the fact of the visa denial was confirmed. Attempts for three weeks to learn the reason for the refusal were unsuccessful. The Foreign Ministry stated that “according to Russian law, the reasons for refusals are not divulged.”

11.  On January 14, 2013, the Foreign Ministry, ignoring its earlier claim about the demands of Russian law, issued a statement saying that I was banned from Russia for five years because I had overstayed my visa by five days. They did not mention that they were responsible for not providing the promised invitation that would have made it possible to obtain a visa on November 22 and, in that way, avoid any violation. There is also no mention of the fact that a number was issued on December 23, a month after the incident by the Foreign Ministry for a new invitation to be taken to the Russian Embassy in Kiev.

12.  The real reason for my refusal was the one given by Alexei Gruby in Kiev. I was expelled from the country at the demand of the security services. This is an ominous precedent for all journalists and for freedom of speech in Russia.

The invitation:

Foreign Ministry Invitation for David Satter authorizing a one year journalist's visa and dated November 22.

Foreign Ministry Invitation for David Satter authorizing a one year journalist’s visa and dated November 22.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I can be reached through the contact information above, or via email.
My address is “satter [dot] david [at] gmail [dot] com”

December 24, 2013

My film, “Age of Delirium,” was shown tonight in the Maiden (Independence Square) in Kiev. The film has now been translated into Ukrainian. An appreciative audience watched the film sitting on hard benches or standing in -4°C cold. A new Russian language edition of the book Age of Delirium, on which the film is based, will be released in late February by the Algoritm Publishing House, a subsidiary of EKSMO.

October 13, 2013

The next scheduled screening of my film, “Age of Delirium” is in Budapest, Hungary on October 24 at 6 pm at the Puskin Cinema, 1053 Budapest Kossuth Lajos utca 18. To register: info@danubeinstitute.hu

I have moved to Moscow and will be living here for the near future to advise the Russian Service of Radio Liberty and work on a new book about Russia under Putin. I have been an admirer of Radio Liberty and its unique role in Russia ever since arriving in Moscow in 1976 as the correspondent of the Financial Times of London.

My congratulations to the staff of the Radio Liberty Russian Service for its excellent coverage of the 20th anniversary of the abolition of the Russian parliament in October, 1993.  Here is the link to my contribution. In Russian, unfortunately no translation at the moment. http://www.svoboda.org/content/article/25124710.html

October 1, 2013

I have a long piece on “Russia’s Anti-American Foreign Policy” on the editorial page of The Wall Street Journal, September 22, 2013

The following essay for the Foreign Policy Research Institute’s E-Notes is my answer to Putin’s op ed piece in The New York Times. http://www.fpri.org/articles/2013/10/curse-russian-exceptionalism

June 15, 2013

I am very pleased to announce that my film, “Age of Delirium” has won the Van Gogh Grand Jury Prize of the Amsterdam International Film Festival. The film was chosen out of hundreds of submissions from over 20 countries. It is based on my book: “Age of Delirium: the Decline and Fall of the Soviet Union.” My thanks to all of those who sent their congratulations and best wishes.

A long excerpt from my book “It Was a Long Time Ago and It Never Happened Anyway: Russia and the Communist Past” has been published in the June issue of the monthly magazine, “Sovershenno Sekretno” (“Top Secret”).

My article on the serious questions raised by Russian behavior in the matter of the Boston Marathon bombings suspect has evoked a wide response.

“Age of Delirium” will be screened in Berlin on July 10, at 6 pm at the Bundesstiftung zur Aufarbeitung der SED Diktatur, (Federal Foundation for the Reappraisal of the East German Dictatorship), Kronenstrasse 5, 10117 Berlin. The screening will be followed by a discussion in which I will be joined by Professor Jorg Baberowski, a historian at Humboldt University and German expert on Eastern Europe.

March 1, 2013

“It Was a Long Time Ago and It Never Happened Anyway: Russia and the Communist Past” is now out in paperback. The British historian Andrew Roberts wrote: “David Satter has written a classic of its kind, investigating the psychological reactions that modern Russians feel towards the crimes of their Communist forbears.” (The American Spectator) Andrew Gardner said the book was “a meticulous, sweeping and wrenching history of Russia’s burial of Soviet crimes. It is also a sensitive, compelling and convincing exploration of the importance of memory.” (The European Voice) Jedd Beaudoin wrote, “David Satter delivers one of the most harrowing stories of all time.” (PopMatters).

  • Age Of Delirium

    age_of_delirium_hardcover

    For 20 years David Satter riveted readers of The Wall Street Journal, Reader’s Digest, and other publications with his powerful and intimate reporting of events in the Soviet Union. In a book that totally demolishes any lingering notions that there was anything progressive or humane about the U.S.S.R., the former foreign correspondent offers a devastating picture of a disaster waiting to happen.

    Where to buy it

    On Amazon: http://amzn.to/1014Bm4

    Reviews

    “Spellbinding… gives one a visceral feel for what it was like to be trapped by the communist system.” –Jack Matlock, The Washington Post

    “Brilliant.” –The Economist

    “The brilliance of this book lies in its eccentricity and in the author’s profound knowledge of and sympathy for the suffering of the Russian people under communism. Satter takes the point of view of the forgotten people, the ones the system just chewed up and spat out like so much roughage. He went everywhere, interviewed in out of the way places, found stories that only the artist knows are there, the stories that lie beneath the rough exterior. This is the finest or one of the finest, psychological portraits of Russia in the 1970’s and 1980’s.” –Virginia Quarterly Review

    “I had almost given up hope that any American could depict the true face of Russia and Soviet rule. In David Satter’s Age of Delirium, the word has received a chronicle of the calvary of the Russian people under communism that will last for generations.” –Vladimir Voinovich, author of The Life and Extraordinary Adventures of Private Ivan Chonkin

    “Every page of [David Satter’s] splendid and eloquent and impassioned book reflects an extraordinarily acute understanding of the Soviet system. Mr. Satter did not approach his subject as some journalists are wont to do – as anthropologists who suspend moral judgements and focus on examining exotic specimens with clinical dispassion.  Quite the contrary, Mr. Satter understands that to indulge in cold neutrality would be to fail to comprehend the Bolshevik project to remake humanity.” –Jacob Heilbrun, The Washington Times

    “What distinguishes Age of Delirium is the author’s strong moral sense. Mr. Satter shows in engrossing detail how what he calls the ‘delusionary ideology’ of communism, by denying both moral values and reality, afflicted Soviet citizens with a mental and spiritual schizophrenia that inevitably led to the system’s corruption and ultimate collapse.” –Richard Pipes author of The Russian Revolution

    “Satter deserves our gratitude … He is an astute observer of people, with an eye for essential detail and for human behavior in a universe wholly different from his own experience in America.” –Walter Laqueur, The Wall Street Journal

    “Riveting … Satter provides an astonishingly intimate look at the unraveling of the Soviet system on a personal as well as a political level.” –Publisher’s Weekly

    “David Satter brings to his writing both extraordinary observational and descriptive powers and a passionate commitment to telling the truth about one of the most monstrous regimes the world has known. This commitment is born of his long experience in Russia, and his closeness to a large number of people in the former Soviet Union whose stories and experiences are so vividly chronicled in this book important reading for anyone interested in one of the central moral phenomena of our time.” –Francis Fukuyama, author of The End of History

    “Satter weaves a marvelous and accurate tapestry from characters who lived through the long history of Soviet communism and who confronted its absurdities.” –Vincent J. Scholdolski, Chicago Tribune

    “A well written and very vivid account of the events leading to the Soviet collapse, somewhat in the style of John Reed’s Ten Days… A large part of the book consists of the true life stories of ordinary Soviet people, thus providing a good background to the climactic events of 1989-91. These stories are especially good and illustrative, preparing the reader not only for the Soviet regime’s collapse but also for the inevitable chaos and lawlessness afterwards.” –Vladimir Bukovsky, author of To Build a Castle

    “In the long run, Satter argues, communism was destined to fail by reason of its materialistic interpretation of mankind. Devoid of any spiritual or transcendent element, it was brute social engineering … Time and again, Satter stresses that the party had done nothing less than manipulate reality to conform to its ideology. Reality itself had thus become a fake on the lines of the Potemkin village.” –David Pryce-Jones, Times Literary Supplement

    “… a gripping history of the collapse of Communist Russia that reads like a Dostoevsky novel.” –Conservative Book Club

    “Impressive and moving… Satter’s book seeks to portray a Soviet life beyond that of the dissident and the Muscovite intelligent. It has the journalistic strengths of authenticity and evocative descriptions of people and events and it is powered by a commitment to human dignity.”–Dominic Lieven, The National Interest

    “Satter is both a journalist and an academic scholar… This background provides a key to the importance of Delirium: It is filled with astute reporting and also non-reportorial conclusions. Time after time, Satter draws a meaningful generalized point from individual situations. When he writes that the Soviet ideology ‘imparted a sense of purpose,’… the facts in the book solidly support his conclusions.” –Robert A. Lincoln, Richmond Times Dispatch

    “Compelling… the most horrific and banal aspects of the former Soviet Union are painfully resurrected… What made the Soviet Union viable, indeed what made it tolerable and even beloved, was its ability successfully to create, market and enforce a false but consoling, and sometimes, pleasant reality. It could survive and propagate itself because ‘human beings were inculcated with a false consciousness.’ This believable ‘alternative to the agnosticism of twentieth century modernity’ could not be defeated by Western policies but only from within, by a crisis in the belief it had created. When the regime finally announced it no longer believed its own lies, it was doomed: Gorbachev’s policy of ‘glasnost could not but destroy the Soviet system.” –Max J. Okenfuss, St. Louis Post-Dispatch

    “Moving and thoughtful…” –Library Journal

    “Impressive and harrowing…” –Kirkus Reviews

    “This book lays bare the evil behind the ‘Evil Empire’ – and demonstrates persuasively, notably with compelling stories from the lives of ordinary people, why we were obliged to resist it.” –Caspar W. Weinberger, former Secretary of Defense

    “Satter was one of a unique few correspondents in the 1970s and 1980s who… sought out Soviet citizens in an effort to create a living document of their experiences.” –Todd Gutnick, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

    “A vivid, graceful writer and the Financial Times’ long time correspondent in Moscow, Satter exposes the sham the regime’s values had become, the drunken indifference of workers, and, in particular, the senseless, bureaucratized cruelty of the KGB.” –Foreign Affairs

    “One of the distinguishing aspects of Mr. Satter’s work is that he eloquently portrays Communism’s moral decay, showing it is that which eventually led to the Soviet Union’s downfall.” –Natalia Feduschak, Ukrainian Quarterly

    “Satter’s method is to look at events through the eyes of Russian individuals, high and low, whom he has interviewed… His is a remarkable example of the human element a skilled reporter can capture.” –Robert V. Daniels, The New Leader

    “David Satter has acquired an insight into the reality of Russia which sets him apart from the superficial and credulous travellers who are fooled by the innumerable methods that the Russians employ to deceive foreigners about their country. David Satter was never fooled. His penetrating insight is nourished by a serious knowledge of Russian history and an understanding of the mechanisms at the heart of communism. This theoretical knowledge saves him from illusions. It permits him to choose from the mass of facts those which were really significant and despite its impressionistic and very personal appeal, the tableau he paints is perfectly realistic.” –Alain Besancon, author of Les origines intellectuelles du Leninisme

  • Age Of Delirium

    age_of_delirium

    The first state in history to be based explicitly on atheism, the Soviet Union endowed itself with the attributes of God. This book shows through individual stories what it meant to construct an entire state on the basis of a false idea, how people were forced to act out this fictitious reality, and the tragic human cost of the Soviet attempt to remake reality by force.

    Where to buy it

    On Amazon: http://amzn.to/1014Bm4

    Reviews

    “Spellbinding… gives one a visceral feel for what it was like to be trapped by the communist system.” –Jack Matlock, The Washington Post

    “Brilliant.” –The Economist

    “The brilliance of this book lies in its eccentricity and in the author’s profound knowledge of and sympathy for the suffering of the Russian people under communism. Satter takes the point of view of the forgotten people, the ones the system just chewed up and spat out like so much roughage. He went everywhere, interviewed in out of the way places, found stories that only the artist knows are there, the stories that lie beneath the rough exterior. This is the finest or one of the finest, psychological portraits of Russia in the 1970’s and 1980’s.” –Virginia Quarterly Review

    “I had almost given up hope that any American could depict the true face of Russia and Soviet rule. In David Satter’s Age of Delirium, the word has received a chronicle of the calvary of the Russian people under communism that will last for generations.” –Vladimir Voinovich, author of The Life and Extraordinary Adventures of Private Ivan Chonkin

    “Every page of [David Satter’s] splendid and eloquent and impassioned book reflects an extraordinarily acute understanding of the Soviet system. Mr. Satter did not approach his subject as some journalists are wont to do – as anthropologists who suspend moral judgements and focus on examining exotic specimens with clinical dispassion.  Quite the contrary, Mr. Satter understands that to indulge in cold neutrality would be to fail to comprehend the Bolshevik project to remake humanity.” –Jacob Heilbrun, The Washington Times

    “What distinguishes Age of Delirium is the author’s strong moral sense. Mr. Satter shows in engrossing detail how what he calls the ‘delusionary ideology’ of communism, by denying both moral values and reality, afflicted Soviet citizens with a mental and spiritual schizophrenia that inevitably led to the system’s corruption and ultimate collapse.” –Richard Pipes author of The Russian Revolution

    “Satter deserves our gratitude … He is an astute observer of people, with an eye for essential detail and for human behavior in a universe wholly different from his own experience in America.” –Walter Laqueur, The Wall Street Journal

    “Riveting … Satter provides an astonishingly intimate look at the unraveling of the Soviet system on a personal as well as a political level.” –Publisher’s Weekly

    “David Satter brings to his writing both extraordinary observational and descriptive powers and a passionate commitment to telling the truth about one of the most monstrous regimes the world has known. This commitment is born of his long experience in Russia, and his closeness to a large number of people in the former Soviet Union whose stories and experiences are so vividly chronicled in this book important reading for anyone interested in one of the central moral phenomena of our time.” –Francis Fukuyama, author of The End of History

    “Satter weaves a marvelous and accurate tapestry from characters who lived through the long history of Soviet communism and who confronted its absurdities.” –Vincent J. Scholdolski, Chicago Tribune

    “A well written and very vivid account of the events leading to the Soviet collapse, somewhat in the style of John Reed’s Ten Days… A large part of the book consists of the true life stories of ordinary Soviet people, thus providing a good background to the climactic events of 1989-91. These stories are especially good and illustrative, preparing the reader not only for the Soviet regime’s collapse but also for the inevitable chaos and lawlessness afterwards.” –Vladimir Bukovsky, author of To Build a Castle

    “In the long run, Satter argues, communism was destined to fail by reason of its materialistic interpretation of mankind. Devoid of any spiritual or transcendent element, it was brute social engineering … Time and again, Satter stresses that the party had done nothing less than manipulate reality to conform to its ideology. Reality itself had thus become a fake on the lines of the Potemkin village.” –David Pryce-Jones, Times Literary Supplement

    “… a gripping history of the collapse of Communist Russia that reads like a Dostoevsky novel.” –Conservative Book Club

    “Impressive and moving… Satter’s book seeks to portray a Soviet life beyond that of the dissident and the Muscovite intelligent. It has the journalistic strengths of authenticity and evocative descriptions of people and events and it is powered by a commitment to human dignity.”–Dominic Lieven, The National Interest

    “Satter is both a journalist and an academic scholar… This background provides a key to the importance of Delirium: It is filled with astute reporting and also non-reportorial conclusions. Time after time, Satter draws a meaningful generalized point from individual situations. When he writes that the Soviet ideology ‘imparted a sense of purpose,’… the facts in the book solidly support his conclusions.” –Robert A. Lincoln, Richmond Times Dispatch

    “Compelling… the most horrific and banal aspects of the former Soviet Union are painfully resurrected… What made the Soviet Union viable, indeed what made it tolerable and even beloved, was its ability successfully to create, market and enforce a false but consoling, and sometimes, pleasant reality. It could survive and propagate itself because ‘human beings were inculcated with a false consciousness.’ This believable ‘alternative to the agnosticism of twentieth century modernity’ could not be defeated by Western policies but only from within, by a crisis in the belief it had created. When the regime finally announced it no longer believed its own lies, it was doomed: Gorbachev’s policy of ‘glasnost could not but destroy the Soviet system.” –Max J. Okenfuss, St. Louis Post-Dispatch

    “Moving and thoughtful…” –Library Journal

    “Impressive and harrowing…” –Kirkus Reviews

    “This book lays bare the evil behind the ‘Evil Empire’ – and demonstrates persuasively, notably with compelling stories from the lives of ordinary people, why we were obliged to resist it.” –Caspar W. Weinberger, former Secretary of Defense

    “Satter was one of a unique few correspondents in the 1970s and 1980s who… sought out Soviet citizens in an effort to create a living document of their experiences.” –Todd Gutnick, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

    “A vivid, graceful writer and the Financial Times’ long time correspondent in Moscow, Satter exposes the sham the regime’s values had become, the drunken indifference of workers, and, in particular, the senseless, bureaucratized cruelty of the KGB.” –Foreign Affairs

    “One of the distinguishing aspects of Mr. Satter’s work is that he eloquently portrays Communism’s moral decay, showing it is that which eventually led to the Soviet Union’s downfall.” –Natalia Feduschak, Ukrainian Quarterly

    “Satter’s method is to look at events through the eyes of Russian individuals, high and low, whom he has interviewed… His is a remarkable example of the human element a skilled reporter can capture.” –Robert V. Daniels, The New Leader

    “David Satter has acquired an insight into the reality of Russia which sets him apart from the superficial and credulous travellers who are fooled by the innumerable methods that the Russians employ to deceive foreigners about their country. David Satter was never fooled. His penetrating insight is nourished by a serious knowledge of Russian history and an understanding of the mechanisms at the heart of communism. This theoretical knowledge saves him from illusions. It permits him to choose from the mass of facts those which were really significant and despite its impressionistic and very personal appeal, the tableau he paints is perfectly realistic.” –Alain Besancon, author of Les origines intellectuelles du Leninisme

  • Darkness at Dawn

    darkness_at_dawn

    Anticipating a new dawn of freedom after the disintegration of the Soviet Union, Russians could hardly have foreseen the reality of their future a decade later: a country impoverished and controlled at every level by organized crime. This riveting book views the 1990s reform period through the experiences of individual citizens, revealing the changes that have swept Russia and their effect on Russia’s age-old ways of thinking.

    Where to buy it

    On Amazon: http://amzn.to/125seJb

    Reviews

    “A stunning book that honestly confronts the continuingly difficult birth of post-Soviet Russia: dictatorship, economic collapse, and depopulation may still be in Russia’s future and much depends on oil. Bravo to Satter — a clear, troubling, brave work.” — Jim Woolsey, former CIA Director

    “David Satter has written a compelling and provocative indictment of post-Soviet Russia. He grounds his stern judgment in years of his own reporting on real people’s experiences, and he brings to the task he has set himself a powerful intellect. This book is a major contribution to the debate over what has happened in Russia— and why, and what it means.”— Strobe Talbott, president, The Brookings Institution

    “[Satter] tells engrossing tales of brazen chicanery, official greed and unbearable suffering. . . .  Satter manages to bring the events to life with excruciating accounts of real Russians whose lives were shattered.” — Scott Shane, Baltimore Sun

    “With a reporter’s eye for vivid detail and a novelist’s ability to capture emotion, he conveys the drama of Russia’s rocky road for the average victimized Russian.  . . .  This is only half the story of what is happening in Russia these days, but it is the shattering half, and Satter renders it all the more poignant by making it so human.” — Foreign Affairs

    “Vivid, impeccably researched and truly frightening.  . . . Satter plays Dante, taking his readers on a comprehensive tour of this thermonuclear-armed Inferno. Reading his relentlessly grim, implacably documented accounts is to be reminded of D. H. Lawrence’s prescient vision on observing the crazed gaiety and brilliance of Weimar Germany in the 1920s.  . . . Western policy-makers would do well to study these pages and to ponder the teachings of thegreat Russian religious philosopher Nikolai Berdyaev with which Satter closes this important, troubling book.” — Martin Sieff, National Post (Canada)

    “[Satter] has a reporter’s eye for detail. His book is good journalism, but it could also be used as a textbook in courses on political philosophy; it describes, more compellingly than any abstract theorist could, the consequences of nominal freedom without rule of law.” — Michael Potemra, National Review

    “[Satter’s] new book, Darkness at Dawn, paints about as abject a picture as I’ve seen of the corruption, cronyism, lawlessness and incompetence that have flourished under Boris Yeltsin and his handpicked successor, Vladimir Putin.  . . .  The Russia that Satter depicts in this brave, engaging book cannot be ignored. Darkness at Dawn should be required reading for anyone interested in the post-Soviet state.” — Christian Caryl, Newsweek

    “This book is informed very effectively by Satter’s extensive firsthand experience in Russia and by his broader perspective on what is happening during the tumultuous transformation taking place in the former Soviet Union.  . . .  Darkness at Dawn is a very good read and should provoke thoughtful discussion in the classroom and elsewhere.” — Ronald R. Pope, Perspectives on Political Science

    “His new book, Darkness at Dawn is a sharp evocation of the pervasive criminality of post-Communist society, powerfully illustrated with disturbing social vignettes.” — Charles Woolfson, Slavic and East European Review

    “Satter is to be commended for recording so many of these case studies of corruption and crime in the Russia of the 1990s on paper. In my opinion, access to this information will help students understand the depth of the problems Putin faced.  . . .  I strongly recommend this book for both undergraduate and graduate courses.” — Dale R. Herspring, Slavic Review

    “A humane and articulate attempt to record the consciousness of ordinary Russians waking up to an unrecognisable historical reality for which they were wholly unprepared.  . . .  Compelling reading.” — Raymond Asquith, Spectator (UK)

    “Provocative.  . . .  A brooding, no-holds-barred account of what the author describes as the ’rise of the Russian criminal state’ that sprang from the ashes and moral vacuum of communism.  . . . Satter must be commended for saying what a great many people only dare to think.  . . .  Satter’s book is instructive in that it shows how fear and lawlessness continue to plague a huge and resource-rich nation that once made the world tremble.” — Matthew Brzezinski, Toronto Globe and Mail

    “If policymakers, journalists, and Wall Street’s fund managers wish to avoid getting another Russian rake in the face, they should read David Satter’s Darkness at Dawn.  . . . The advantages of Satter’s ground-up perspective manifest themselves again and again.  . . . No one is as good as Satter at explaining how ‘Russia’s criminal state’ cruelly injures the lives of little people.” — Sean McMeekin, Weekly Standard

    ” … with your mouth agape, read David Satter’s tale of the Russian mafia in Darkness at Dawn.” — Gillian Slovo, The Independent on Sunday

     

  • It Was a Long …

    it_was_along_time_ago

    Russia today is haunted by deeds that have not been examined and words that have been left unsaid. A serious attempt to understand the meaning of the Communist experience has not been undertaken, and millions of victims of Soviet Communism are all but forgotten. This book presents a striking new interpretation of Russia’s great historical tragedy, locating its source in Russia’s failure fully to appreciate the value of the individual in comparison with the objectives of the state.

    Buy it on Amazon: http://amzn.to/YtGIVY