Beloved of ‘Russia-watchers’, the now discredited book ‘Putin’s People’ exposes everything wrong with Western reporting on Moscow | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED X-Frame-Options: DENY X-Frame-Options: SAMEORIGIN

Beloved of ‘Russia-watchers’, the now discredited book ‘Putin’s People’ exposes everything wrong with Western reporting on Moscow

Having pored over former Financial Times reporter Catherine Belton’s book, ‘Putin’s People’, it’s hard to be surprised it is now causing her legal problems. More surprising is that it was published like this in the first place.

Despite being picked up by a major American publishing house, the Rupert Murdoch-owned HarperCollins, Belton displayed a profound lack of journalistic judgement in how she conducted the research behind her explosive claims. And that’s coming back to bite her.

In one lawsuit brought by Mikhail Fridman and Pyotr Aven, the Russian founders of one of Moscow’s largest financial institutions, Alfa Bank, a settlement was reached last week. HarperCollins agreed to amend and edit parts of the book asserting that the pair of businessmen essentially had sponsorship from the KGB when they embarked on their entrepreneurial careers. According to the agreement, the publishers admitted the claims made in the book were unsubstantiated.

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