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In Vladimir Putin's Russia, you can now face harsher criminal penalties for questioning the existence of God or insulting someone's religious beliefs than for wife beating.

Recent legislation decriminalizing domestic violence, as well as older laws outlawing blasphemy and so-called gay propaganda are just a few examples of the Kremlin's ultraconservative turn during Putin's third term in the Kremlin.

They also show the growing influence of the Russian Orthodox Church.

But these measures aren't just about domestic politics. They're also an element in Russia's foreign policy.

The Putin regime's embrace of what it calls traditional values at home, combined with its support of far right forces abroad, are components of an incipient ideology aimed at shoring up domestic support, undermining Western liberalism, and restoring Russia's status as a great power.

Meet the new Putinism. It's different from the old Putinism.

On this week's Power Vertical Podcast, we discuss Russia's emerging ideology, its role in domestic politics, and in Moscow's confrontation with the West.

Joining me is co-host Mark Galeotti, a senior research fellow at the Institute of International Relations in Prague, a visiting fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations, and author of the blog In Moscow's Shadows; and Sean Guillory of the University of Pittsburgh's Center for Russian and Eastern European Studies, author of Sean's Russia Blog, and host of the SRB Podcast.

Also on the podcast, Mark, Sean, and I discuss what ten years of Ramzan Kadyrov as Chechnya's leader has meant for Russia.

Enjoy...

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

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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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