Various

Is Ashok Gupta’s Book about Putin Financed by Sputnik TV among Bestsellers on Amazon?

20 March, 2020

On March 17, a pro-Kremlin online edition News Front Georgia released an article headlined “Georgian company has released an English-language bestseller about Vladimir Putin.” The article reads that the book titled “Vladimir Putin – Top Leader of Modern Humankind” was written by Bangladeshi citizen Ashok Gupta, who has no links to Russia and is absolutely neutral. News Front claims that the book had been one of the most popular products on Amazon in February and March, listed among top 100 bestsellers in the category of political leader biographies. Davit Purtskhvanidze, head of the company Europe Studies Labor (ESL) that published the book, said in the interview with News Front that it is also planned to publish the books about other world leaders, including Donald Trump, Xi Jinping, Nursultan Nazarbayev, Silvio Berlusconi and, in case of interest, Bidzina Ivanishvili.

The book “Vladimir Putin – Top Leader of Modern Humankind” is ranked 211th in the category of political leader biographies on Amazon and it cannot be searched among the bestsellers. The author is not “neutral”, but rather he is a pro-Russian Bangladeshi writer, and the publishing company ESL Georgia belongs to the owner of Sputnik TV. 

Is the book a bestseller?

The verification on Amazon has revealed that the book “Vladimir Putin – Top Leader of Modern Humankind” cannot be searched among the best sellers in 2020; neither is the book listed among top 100 bestsellers in biographies of political leaders in Kindle eBooks. 

"

Although the lists of bestsellers and top 100 books are updated hourly, considering the rankings of the book about Putin, it is unlikely that it will appear among top 100 bestsellers. The book is ranked 211th just in the category mentioned by News Front.

"

Who is “neutral” author as claimed by News Front? 

Ashok Gupta, Dr. in Economics and writer, was born in Bangladesh and he received education in Soviet Russia. Gupta expresses his positions regarding WWI and WWII, as well as the Vietnam and Korean wars, describing them as provoked by the United States or its allies. The article stresses that Ashok Gupta is a neutral author; however, his books are known for praising Russia and Socialism.

The book “Vladimir Putin – Top Leader of Modern Humankind” presents a concise historical overview of Russia from the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 to the present days, with an emphasis on Putin’s political career. Gupta is also the author of another book “Russia will build a beautiful world by 2030”, which emphasizes the author’s pro-Russian orientation. 

Who is Davit Purtskhvanidze and what does the company ESL Georgia represent?

The Georgian company that has published the book “Vladimir Putin – Top Leader of Modern Humankind” belongs to Russian-based Davit Purtskhvanidze. According to the information posted on ESL Georgia’s website, the company’s mission is to develop and initiate commercial and humanitarian projects for European and Asian markets. 


Since 2013, ESL Georgia’s Director Davit Purtskhvanidze has served as the head of analytical agency Anti-Crisis Center of Security Problems. According to Georgian Business Registry, Davit Purtskhvanidze is a 100% owner of Sputnik TV.

"

In 2012, Georgia and World released an interview with Davit Purtskhvanidze on political developments in Georgia, referring to him as a Russian-based expert. In 2014, Purtskhvanidze participated in the roundtable discussion organized by the Kremlin-affiliated Eurasian Research Institute and the Alexander Gorchakov Public Diplomacy Fund. In the interview with Georgia and World in 2018, Purtskhvanidze said that Sergei Skripal, former Russian military officer, and his daughter Yulia were poisoned by British intelligence services. Simultaneously, he claimed that the West was blocking the Georgian Patriarch’s efforts aimed at normalizing relations with Russia.


Prepared by Nikoloz Gvaridzishvili and Maiko Ratiani 
Myth Detector Lab