Holding Putin and his men to account

Tuesday March 08 2022
Mikhail Zygar

All the Kremlin's Men, by Mikhail Zygar. PHOTO | POOL


For the world to understand who Russian President Vlamir Putin is and what he bases his thinking on, we have to go back to the 2016 book by Russian journalist Mikhail Zygar titled All The Kremlin’s Men: Inside the Court of Vladmir Putin.

Zygar, a Moscow-based journalist reveals in his 370-page book, the characters behind Putin’s politics, both friends and foes.

He does this in layers, peeling off the oriental onion of the Kremlin Court over the course of this century, from when Putin became president on January 1, 2000 to the present day war in Ukraine.

But most material to this 2022 moment. is the man whom Putin is literally godfather to, Russian-born Ukrainian oligarch Viktor Medvedchuk, an oil-and-media baron, now under house arrest in his dacha near Kyiv for treason, and whom Putin is likely to install as his puppet in Ukraine if the invasion succeeds.

In 2004, Medvedchuk was so close with Putin that the latter became godfather to his daughter Daryna Medvedchuk. 

Soon enough, Medvedchuk had replaced Dmitri Medvedev in Moscow as the Chief Policy Adviser on the Kremlin’s strategies towards Ukraine, recognising that President Putin was “obsessed with the question of Ukraine,” and said time-and-again that ‘’something must be done, once and for all, about the Ukraine, or we (Russia) will lose it forever ...’ Zygar writes.


‘It is a war without end,’ Zyagar says. 

He writes about the billionaires Boris Berezosky and Mikhail Khodorkovsky, as some of the oligarchs destroyed by Putin,.

The book also features Putin’s foes — from former US president Barack Obama to former Georgian president Mikheil Saakashvili.