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The Inside Story of Putin's War Against Ukraine321
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*A Telegraph Book of the Year* *Shortlisted for the Parliamentary Book Awards* An astonishing investigation into the start of the Russo-Ukrainian war - from the corridors of the Kremlin to the trenches of Mariupol. The Russo-Ukrainian War is the most serious geopolitical crisis since the Second World War - and yet at the heart of the conflict is a mystery. Vladimir Putin apparently lurched from a calculating, subtle master of opportunity to a reckless gambler, putting his regime - and Russia itself - at risk of destruction. Why? Drawing on over 25 years' experience as a correspondent in Moscow, as well as his own family ties to Russia and Ukraine, journalist Owen Matthews takes us through the poisoned historical roots of the conflict, into the Covid bubble where Putin conceived his invasion plans in a fog of paranoia about Western threats, and finally into the inner circle around Ukrainian president and unexpected war hero Volodimir Zelensky. Using the accounts of current and former insiders from the Kremlin and its propaganda machine, the testimony of captured Russian soldiers and on-the-ground reporting from Russia and Ukraine, Overreach tells the story not only of the war's causes but how the first six months unfolded. With its panoramic view, Overreach is an authoritative, unmissable record of a conflict that shocked Europe to its core.
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'Not merely the first full account of the war in Ukraine, but may set the standard for some time to come ... a remarkable achievement, with Matthews's expert eye like an all-seeing drone, buzzing from one side of the conflict to the other' 5* Telegraph 'The best current analysis of the countdown to war' Serhii Plokhy, TLS 'There will be many more books on Putin's invasion of Ukraine, but Owen Matthews' extraordinary perspective has produced an interim account of special value.' Daily Mail 'A wave of hurriedly written books about the Russo-Ukrainian war is about to crash over our bookshops and overburdened shelves, but it is hard not to feel sorry for most of their authors. Owen Matthews has already come out with what is not only one of the fastest, but also likely to be the best, setting a painfully high benchmark for those who follow.' Times 'The best new book on Russia ... a classic as enduring as Orwell's Homage to Catalonia' Literary Review 'Superb ... a true page-turner' Andrew Roberts, BBC History
Award-winning correspondent, historian and fluent Russian-speaker Owen Matthews has lived and worked in Moscow for over 25 years. He has built up an unrivalled network of contacts who have worked in Putin's administration, security services, armed forces and propaganda machine. He worked first as a staffer for The Moscow Times and then as Newsweek magazine's Moscow Bureau Chief. He has covered conflicts in Bosnia, Lebanon, Afghanistan, Chechnya, Iraq, Georgia and Eastern Ukraine. He currently contributes regularly to Foreign Policy, Spectator, Daily Mail, Telegraph and The Critic.