Listen free for 30 days

Listen with a free trial

One credit a month, good for any title to download and keep.
Unlimited listening to the Plus Catalogue - thousands of select Audible Originals, podcasts and audiobooks.
Exclusive member-only deals.
No commitment - cancel anytime.
Buy Now for £16.99

Buy Now for £16.99

Pay using card ending in
By completing your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and authorise Audible to charge your designated card or any other card on file. Please see our Privacy Notice, Cookies Notice and Interest-based Ads Notice.

Summary

The Sunday Times best seller.

A Times and Sunday Times Book of the Year 2020.

A Daily Telegraph Book of the Year 2020.

The hacking of the 2016 US elections. The sponsorship of extremist politics in Europe. War in Ukraine. In recent years, Vladimir Putin's Russia has waged a concerted campaign to expand its influence and undermine Western institutions. But how and why did all this come about, and who has orchestrated it?

This rigorous and revelatory audiobook explains how this happened, Putin's rise to power and how Russian black cash is subverting the world.

In Putin's People, former Moscow correspondent and investigative journalist Catherine Belton tells the untold story of the rise of Vladimir Putin and the small group of KGB men surrounding him. Delving deep into the workings of Putin's Kremlin, Belton accesses key inside players to reveal how Putin replaced the free-wheeling tycoons of the Yeltsin era with a new generation of loyal oligarchs who in turn subverted their country's economy and legal system and expanded its influence in the West.

The result is a chilling and revelatory expose of the KGB's renaissance - a story that began long ago in the murk of the Soviet collapse when networks of operatives were able to siphon billions of dollars out of Russia and into the West. After Putin's takeover of the economy, some of these networks acquired new flows of cash to realise their goals. Based on many years of research, Belton charts the relentless seizure of private companies and the installation of those closest to Putin into the richest, highest seats of power.

Ranging from Moscow to London, Switzerland and Trump's America and introducing a colourful cast of characters, Putin's People is a gripping and terrifying account of how hopes for the new Russia went astray, with stark consequences for its inhabitants and, increasingly, the world.

©2020 Catherine Belton (P)2020 HarperCollins Publishers Limited

Critic reviews

"Putin's People is meticulously researched and superbly written; terrifying in its scope and utterly convincing in its argument. It is a portrait of a group of men ruthless in their power, and careless of anyone else. This is the Putin book that we've been waiting for." (Oliver Bullough, author of Moneyland)

"Catherine Belton is quite simply the most detailed and best-informed journalist covering Russia. One hears so much grand punditry about the country, but if you want to know the terrifying facts, from the nexus of KGB, business and crime which was Putin's petri-dish, to the complex reality of the relationship with Trump, and if you want to see how all this combines into a whole new system, then this is the book for you." (Peter Pomerantsev)

"A ground-breaking investigative history of the rise of Vladimir Putin, a revealing examination of how power and money intersect in today’s Russia. Catherine Belton has pulled away the curtain on two decades of hidden financial networks and lucrative secret deals, exposing the inner workings of Putin & Co. in remarkable and disturbing detail. A real eye-opener." (David E. Hoffman, author of The Oligarchs: Wealth and Power in the New Russia)

What listeners say about Putin’s People

Average customer ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    633
  • 4 Stars
    151
  • 3 Stars
    28
  • 2 Stars
    9
  • 1 Stars
    8
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    496
  • 4 Stars
    146
  • 3 Stars
    40
  • 2 Stars
    13
  • 1 Stars
    15
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    565
  • 4 Stars
    108
  • 3 Stars
    24
  • 2 Stars
    8
  • 1 Stars
    7

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Chilling expose of Putin’s People and there control and abuse of Russia

A dense fact laden book charting the rise of Putin the KGB officer and the figures surrounding him in there infiltration of the Russian state by the judicious use of the FSB and mobsters to control and effectively own the state and the Oligarchs that shamefully raped the state of its assets and made Putin’s task possible.
Initially the aim was self enrichment which has been successful and has now morphed into the corruption and undermining of the Western Democracy’s
It is also an inditement of the greed of the West and it’s shameful turning of a blind eye to the obvious wrongdoing in respect to our laws and institutions.
There is also the most chilling account of the probable corruption of Donald Trump she Catherine Belton treads a very fine line for obvious legal reasons but the old adage there is rarely smoke without fire would seem to fit in this case.
There is a conspiracy under way and it’s definitely not a theory, Putin has clearly demonstrated that with amongst others actions in Georgia, Crimea, Ukraine, MH17, Alexander Litvinenko and the Salisbury attack on Skripal.
Putin is prepared more and more openly to advance his cancerous ideology wherever he wants, and we in the West cravenly allow this to happen.
Every politician should read this and feel ashamed and every citizen should should shout from the rooftops why have you allowed this to happen.

26 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Me
  • 30-04-20

Thought Provoking

Have often wondered how Russia operates and functions and this gives a good explanation of the current leaderships drivers and processes. really interesting and quite a damnation of western politicians, bankers and business leaders over there handling and dealings with Russia. I suspect this book may be the first of many looking to expose the corruption of Russia and the corruption of western politicians, bankers and businessmen.

14 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A truly amazing account.

The book is extraordinary in the detail and the facts. The last chapter about Donald Trump should really give us nightmares.

14 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

brilliant and terrifying

A great dissection of how Putin rose to power and how his methodology has further corrupted western democracy and economics. The damage may be irreparable but it's still worth arming yourself with the truth just in case.

11 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

slow down!

well. what is seemingly a well researched book, written to command attention by the author, is thoroughly ruined by Dugald Bruce-Lockhart.

The speed at which the book is narrated, as though Dugald is late for boarding at gate 36, makes one think the dashing and wreckless Baron Lord Flashheart is at the helm whilst barking orders at Private Baldrick.

only 20mins into the Prologue and the book is firmly closed.

10 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

a World financed by the Russian mafia

meticulously stitched together.
How Russia has taken over the world without the majority of people realising

8 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Fab

Great good book. Really well narrated! Is super informative and fascinating! If you like Russian politics you’ll LOVE this!!

8 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

The Making of a Capitalist Tsar

This is an astonishing book telling a remarkable story in a meticulously researched way and at a thrilling pace.

6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Mind-blowing

Genuinely one of the most fascinating books I've read/listened to in years. it's all there in the open, the corruption, the greed and the influence, please read

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

The narration is tiresome for me.

Not wanting to be unnecessarily critical but the narration style is not to my liking. It seems extremely rushed and "shouty". The content is incredible though, so rather than give up I might just take a break or purchase the Kindle version instead.

3 people found this helpful

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Ludo
  • Ludo
  • 20-05-20

Poor

Just a ramming up of facts.... no proper story line... the first part you think you skipped half the book.... the audio quality is the worst part as is the narrators voice.... the sound is so incredibly hollow..... I stopped after 3 hours....

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Anonymous User
  • Anonymous User
  • 29-10-21

What a dreary listen

I would have imagined that such lauded book by FT, the economist and the like would’ve been at least an interesting read, but what I got instead was a badly written propaganda puff piece about the boogeyman of old soviet era who are now lurking with iron behind every curtain. To add insult to injury it’s read by a guy I cannot stand, don’t know who the actor is, but I’ve come across his work before and he just doesn’t do it for me. If you’re looking for a good read, look on, because this isn’t it! Disappointing

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Anonymous User
  • Anonymous User
  • 27-08-21

Basic knowledge for everyone

Clear explanation of the ”Russian intelligence interfering in *” cases and what is wrong with the regime, with witty descriptions for characters whose names may be unfamiliar or hard to remember. As a Russian who grew up abroad, I wish this was fiction that did not affect ordinary Russians’ lives (most of whom are quite disgusted by these dealings.)

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Luke
  • Luke
  • 22-07-21

Starts out good, goes of the rails in the 2010s

The book is rather good up until the early 2010s. The author discredits herself jumping on the Trump Russia collusion band wagon even while admitting that the sanctions Trump imposed had heavy consequences for the Russian elite. No mention at all of Barrack Obama asking Putin for space during his second election or Hillary Clinton signing off on the sale of US uranium interests to Russian owned front company. Most laughably, Biden is made out as some type of anti-corruption VP. The detailed parts of the book are the transfer of power from the Yeltsin family to Putin and other former KGB.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Nikita
  • Nikita
  • 25-05-21

If this is true, it’s revealing

Very nice book. Describes the “unique Russian path” that our president steered Russia towards. Assuming it’s true, of course.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Arno
  • Arno
  • 30-06-20

The full Understanding of Putinism !

Funded by the fallout of the collapse of the Soviet empire, Putin's oligarchy has an effective grip on the financial world and gave the world the full brunt of malign Trumpism! The Putin state mafia put the Trump crime family in the white house through the greed of the Deutsche Bank.....

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Timur
  • Timur
  • 30-05-20

Great listen, but produced with little flaws

highly recommend, an insight into modern politics, not only Russian, but also the USA and EU.

But: hope this will be fixed: between some chapters end, you listen that they have been overly edited, a word or a phrase may be a miss. listen to last 5 seconds of the chapters, will understand.