Three Books on the Enigma That Is Modern Russia

In The News Piece in New York Times
Stuart Monk /
Jan. 17, 2020

Joshua Yaffa's book Between Two Fires was reviewed in the New York Times.

A New Yorker magazine correspondent in Moscow, Yaffa paints a deep and revealing portrait of life inside Vladimir Putin’s Russia by profiling prominent figures who have learned to navigate the regime’s increasingly strict and often arbitrary cultural and political strictures.
Subjects include a television producer steeped in Soviet-era counterculture who rises to head the main state television channel; a Crimean zookeeper whose enthusiasm for Russia’s annexation of Ukraine’s Black Sea peninsula founders under its corrupt new leaders; and a Chechen human rights activist who continues working in her traumatized region while colleagues are killed or forced out. Through them, Yaffa explores the topics of state propaganda, the Kremlin’s revisions of history and its war in eastern Ukraine.