Accessibility links

Podcast: Russia's Legitimization Ritual

  • Brian Whitmore

Let the campaign begin! (cartoon by Sergei Elkin)

Let the campaign begin! (cartoon by Sergei Elkin)

Another political season gets under way in Russia.

Vladimir Putin kicked off Russia's parliamentary election campaign this week, setting a date for the vote and bidding the outgoing State Duma farewell.

Like all Russian elections under Putin, the outcome, of course, is not in doubt.

But the September 18 election, and the campaign leading up to it, is important nonetheless -- as a legitimization ritual for the regime.

And as Putin learned the hard way five years ago, such legitimization rituals can go horribly wrong.

On this week's Power Vertical Podcast, we discuss the upcoming political season and what it portends.

Joining me are Sean Guillory of the University of Pittsburgh's Center for Russian and Eastern European Studies and host of the SRB Podcast; and Maxim Trudolyubov, a senior fellow at the Kennan Institute in Washington and editor at large of the Russian business daily Vedomosti.


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


Latest Podcast

Show comments