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The Daily Vertical: Putin's Stalin Envy

  • Brian Whitmore

This is Part Two of a special Daily Vertical series on Vladimir Putin and The Ghosts Of Kremlins Past. (The views expressed in this commentary do not necessarily reflect the views of RFE/RL.)

Vladimir Putin is haunted by his predecessors.

He's spooked by how one of them came to power, through a revolution in the streets.

He's haunted by another, whose example he could never live up to.

He's afraid of turning into one, who was overthrown in a palace coup, and another who presided over a geriatric, ossified regime and a stagnant economy.

He's afraid of turning into another, who inadvertently sparked the disintegration of his country.

The ghosts of all the dead Kremlin leaders -- as well as one that's still alive -- weigh like a nightmare on the brain of the current one.

In a special six-part series, The Daily Vertical takes a closer look at Putin and the ghosts of Kremlins past.

The Daily Vertical is a video primer for Russia-watchers that appears Monday through Friday. Viewers can suggest topics via Twitter @PowerVertical or on the Power Vertical Facebook page.

A transcript of today's Daily Vertical can be found here.

About This Blog

The Power Vertical
The Power Vertical

The Power Vertical is a blog written especially for Russia wonks and obsessive Kremlin watchers by Brian Whitmore. It offers Brian's personal take on emerging and developing trends in Russian politics, shining a spotlight on the high-stakes power struggles, machinations, and clashing interests that shape Kremlin policy today. Check out The Power Vertical Facebook page or

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