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"Gazprom: Russia's weapon"

(B2) This investigation by two Russian journalists can be read as a thriller but is more than necessary to understand today's Russia.

Useful for knowing all the ups and downs of this company which almost was privatized, was able to acquire its independence and little by little forge its links with the companies of the former sister republics, to end up being taken over (brutally) by Putin. Always with this obsession with being able to acquire sources of gas supply (in Turkmenistan for example) or to control all the destination routes (in particular towards Europe and the development of direct routes towards Germany, making it possible to circumvent the Ukraine or other intermediate countries).

This book is also interesting for understanding what this enterprise represents for the Russian soul, economy and power. So linked to the State that it is the State itself, led by figures like Chernomyrdin or Medvedev (before they became head of Russia, one as Prime Minister, the other as President ), Gazprom and gas are to Russia what nuclear power, the navy or neutrality are to other countries: the indelible mark of power and sovereignty.

It is also captivating to find most of the protagonists of the Russian-Ukrainian crisis in January: Yulia Timoshenko on the Ukrainian side, Vladimir Putin and Dimitri Medvedev on the Russian side. All three of whom were raised on a “bottle” of gas and for whom this is not the first encounter on the subject (nor the last perhaps).


• By Vlary Maniouchkine and Mikhaïl Zygar (trans. Michèle Kahn) (Actes sud, 284 p., 21,80 euros)

Nicolas Gros Verheyde

Chief editor of the B2 site. Graduated in European law from the University of Paris I Pantheon Sorbonne and listener to the 65th session of the IHEDN (Institut des Hautes Etudes de la Défense Nationale. Journalist since 1989, founded B2 - Bruxelles2 in 2008. EU/NATO correspondent in Brussels for Sud-Ouest (previously West-France and France-Soir).