This week Vladimir Yakunin, Co-founder and Chairman of the Dialogue of Civilizations Research Institute in Berlin, released his English language autobiography (published by Biteback). Titled The Treacherous Path, it describes Yakunin’s journey from Soviet intelligence officer to diplomat, government minister, and until 2015, the head of the Russia’s biggest company, Russian Railways. The book offers rare glimpses into the personal life of a high-ranking civil servant both of both the USSR and Russia, and recollections of the Cold War from the ‘other side’s’ perspective. Yakunin reflects on the post-Soviet social and economic transformations, the war on terror, and the development of the Dialogue of Civilizations concept that finally led to the foundation of the Dialogue of Civilizations Research Institute.
Yakunin concludes: “When I think about the relationships I have formed with men and women from the United States, or Britain, or Germany, or when I look around the offices of the Dialogue of Civilizations’ Research Institute and hear people from around the world talking amicably in different languages and with different accents, I know that it is possible to substitute discussion and cooperation for aggression and chauvinism. (…) It is a diffuse ambition, the success of which is nearly impossible to measure, but who could honestly say that it is not a worthwhile one?”
Ex-Siemens AG CEO Peter Löscher, presently Chairman of OMV, on The Treacherous Path: “A must-read if you truly want to comprehend [Russia’s] role as a bridge between East and West (…) As a political insider, Yakunin invites you