With a preface by Norman Davies, author of Europe: A History. Revised and updated following Russia's attack on Georgia. In the 1990s, Russia was the sick man of Europe, but the rise to power of former KGB officer Vladimir Putin in 1999 coincided with a huge hike in world oil and gas prices, and after Yeltsin's downfall Putin set about re-establishing Russian autocracy. Now with its massive gas and oil reserves Russia has not only paid off its debts but amassed huge cash reserves which it is investing in easily accessible European businesses. Putin's Russia is hostile to open debate. Critics inside Russia such as the journalist Anna Politkovskaya, and opponents abroad such as the defector Alexander Litvinenko, a British subject, have been assassinated. Russia has threatened to target its nuclear missiles on America's allies in eastern Europe. It has resumed the military bullying of its neighbours, including repeated airspace violations; its generals play war games involving the recapture of the Baltic states. These are familiar tactics, but a whole new breed of Kremlin dirty tricks is still more sinister. The cyber-attacks on Estonia in May 2007 showed Russia was ready to wipe a country off the online map. Russia is stitching up Europe's gas market, giving it huge influence both within and on Europe. Many people, out of naivete or greed, deny the existence of the problem. Russia has so far sidelined America, its most formidable opponent in the last cold war: America needs Russia co-operation on North Korea, Iran and the Middle East, leaving the way clear for the Kremlin. The New Cold War explains both the Kremlin's tactics and the West's weaknesses. Why we are perilously close to defeat and - and how we can still win.
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