In the years following the end of the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet Union, Western leaders and political scientists lauded the turning point in history as a momentous triumph of democracy and economic liberalism over communism and the doomed command economic model. Western nations and the United Kingdom in particular, saw the period immediately after the Soviet collapse as an opportunity for political and economic cooperation not seen in more than a half century. Lavish public relations events including state dinners, meetings with the Queen of England and inclusion on the G-8 Economic Council were all extended to and accepted by Russia’s president in the years following what many in the West considered a victory for global democracies everywhere. Yet in Heidi Blake’s book, From Russia with Blood: The Kremlin’s Ruthless Assassination Program and Vladimir Putin’s Secret War on the West, what becomes vividly clear is that to Putin, this event marked the “greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the twentieth century” (p.12), and he laid the blame squarely on the West.
Keywords: Russia, Vladimir Putin, Soviet Union, West, G-8, NATO