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Podcast: Putin's Rite Of Spring

Putin talks dogs, clones, pensions, and Ukraine -- for four hours.

Putin talks dogs, clones, pensions, and Ukraine -- for four hours.

It happens every spring.

The sun shines, the birds sing, the trees bloom, and Vladimir Putin holds his annual phone-in program in which carefully vetted ordinary Russian citizens can ask the Kremlin leader any pre-approved question their heart desires.

It's a highly scripted and choreographed affair and it's hyped up as if it were the World Cup or the Super Bowl.

And it's closely watched by Kremlinologists for clues about Putin's thinking.

So what exactly was he telling us this year?

On this week's Power Vertical Podcast, we unpack the Putin Show. Joining me are co-host Mark Galeotti, a professor at New York University, and expert on Russia's security services, and author of the blog In Moscow's Shadows; and RFE/RL's Social Media Editor Glenn Kates.

Also on the podcast, Mark, Glenn, and I take a look at the latest developments in the Boris Nemtsov assassination.


Listen to or download the podcast above or subscribe to "The Power Vertical Podcast" on iTunes.​

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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