Sunday, September 21, 2008

Darkness At Dawn

Russian organized crime syndicates
      Russian organized crime syndicates

Darkness At Dawn can be read online at Google books I strongly recommend that you read at least one chapter; it is absolutely riveting reading.

The problem of cybercrime and malware is inextricably linked with the rise to power of organized crime in post-Soviet Russia. The extent to which organized crime has been institutionalized in Russia is indeed shocking, and continues to today:

    "under Putin, organized crime — especially in St. Petersburg and Moscow — has been changing. Since he has consolidated power as president, Putin considers organized crime and Barsukov relics of a bygone era. Organized crime groups have, in short, been institutionalized — if not completely swallowed by politicians or legal institutions. For example, until recently, Barsukov worked legally as vice president of the Petersburg Fuel Co. The Tambov group’s control over the four ports it once claimed also has changed; the group still receives large kickbacks on imports and exports, but it does not own the ports and is instead considered port “security.”

    - Stratfor

In Darkness At Dawn, David Satter explains in vivid detail reminiscent of an early Tom Clancy novel, how this took place, and the terrible price the Russian people have paid. Satter's book provided me with some insight into factors which produced the extreme nationalist mania now gripping Russia.

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.

“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

“Satter must be commended for saying what a great many people only dare to think.” — Matthew Brzezinski, Toronto Globe and Mail

“Humane and articulate.” — Raymond Asquith, Spectator

“Vivid, impeccably researched and truly frightening. . . . Western policy-makers, especially in Washington, would do well to study these pages.” — Martin Sieff, United Press International

More details:
Darkness at Dawn: The Rise of the Russian Criminal State
By David Satter
Published by Yale University Press, 2004
ISBN 0300105916, 9780300105919
326 pages