Vladimir Putin, seen through Western eyes, is strong-willed, unpredictable, venal, and vain. The Ukraine/Crimea crisis has shown dramatically Putin´s determination to put Russia first, whatever the rest of the world might think. And his hand is seen behind crimes like the prosection and assassination of his political opponents. But how does he appear to his people? Anna Arutunyan, a Russian-American journalist, has observed Putin in action over the last ten years and in this readable book she shows how it is almost inevitable that every ruler of Russia plays the role of a tsar, whether or not he is crowned. There is a deep need for autocracy which generates autocrats. With lively reportage of such topics as the Pussy Riot Affair, oligarchs like Khodorkovsky and Berezovsky, and the vital role bribery and corruption play in Russian society, she shows how such headlines often echo events across hundreds of years of Russian history.