In his annual press conference in December 2021, Vladimir Putin said, “‘Not one inch to the East,’ they told us in the nineties. So what? They cheated, just brazenly tricked us!”. He was referring to U.S. Secretary of State James Baker’s assurance in 1990 that NATO would move, “not one inch eastward” following German reunification. Putin again referenced the expansion of NATO to the east in his speech announcing a ‘special military operation’ on Ukraine.
M. E. Sarotte’s Not One Inch was last night awarded the 2022 Pushkin House Book Prize for the best non-fiction writing on Russia in the English language. The book pulls back the curtain on U.S.–Russian relations in the critical years between the fall of the Berlin Wall and Putin’s rise to power. Sarotte reveals the bitter clashes over NATO behind the facade of friendship and comes to a sobering conclusion: the damage did not have to happen. In this deeply researched and compellingly written book, Sarotte shows what went wrong.
This free extract from the book describes the actions undertaken by Vladimir Putin, then a Lieutenant Colonel in the KGB, in Dresden in 1989 following the fall of the Berlin Wall.
“Masterful and exhaustively researched. . . . For this well-written and pacy book, [Sarotte] has uncovered previously unpublished details of former president Bill Clinton’s role in deciding Europe’s fate.”—Con Coughlin, Sunday Telegraph
“A riveting account of Nato enlargement and its contribution to the present confrontation. Sarotte tells the story with great narrative and analytical flair, admirable objectivity, and an attention to detail that many of us who thought we knew the history have forgotten or never knew.”—Rodric Braithwaite, Financial Times