Welcome to a special edition of Axios World. I hinted a while back that I had something up my sleeve. Here it is:
- 20 years ago, on New Year's Eve 1999, a political newcomer and former KGB operative named Vladimir Putin suddenly assumed the Russian presidency.
Part 1 of our "20 Years of Putin" special report focuses on his rise, his early years and his escalating antagonism with the West.
- Part 2, coming next week, will bring us up to the present and examine the system Putin has built — and what will happen to it when he’s gone.
- This report is based on conversations with Mikhail Khodorkovsky — the oligarch whose imprisonment in 2003 revealed Putin's ruthlessness to the world — three former U.S. ambassadors to Moscow, leading experts and former chiefs of the Pentagon and CIA.
- We're off on Thursday for Thanksgiving. Tonight's edition is 1,870 words (7 minutes).
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