Here's an inside-the-beltway account from Andrew S. Weiss – an actual insider – that takes a detailed, contexualized look at Putin's rise within the Russian state apparatus, as it struggled to reconstruct itself amidst the rubble left by the collapse of the Soviet Union. It has been expertly wrought into comics form by Brian "Box" Brown, whose crisp, clear cartooning works to efficiently convey large quantities of disparate, often unfamiliar information into intellectually digestible associative clusters.
Readers will not only gain a greater understanding of Putin, they will also – and of necessity – be simultaneously brought up to speed on the realities of post-Soviet Russia along with getting a look at its roots in Russian history. This intertwined narrative approach works to demonstrate how quirks of fate led Putin to be ensconced in a seat of such power.
Accidental Czar is another good example of the communicative power of the comics form, as readers will emerge from its reading empowered with a substantially increased understanding of Putin's Russia – as well as, critically, its relations with the United States – that will assist them in making better sense of our tumultuous times.