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Podcast: Russia's Tangled Red Web

  • Brian Whitmore

From Soviet censors to Internet filters: The more things change, the more things stay the same.

From Soviet censors to Internet filters: The more things change, the more things stay the same.

Information, and the ability to spread it, is power.

This is something the Soviet authorities understood when they stopped -- among other things -- mass production of photocopiers back in the 1950s.

And it is something that Vladimir Putin's Kremlin understands today with its efforts to control and police the Internet.

And it is also something understood, as well, by the samizdat-spreading Soviet dissidents of yore and the web-savvy Twitterized foes of Putin today.

The struggle over the control of information is the subject of an important new book, The Red Web: The Struggle Between Russia's Digital Dictators And The New Online Revolutionaries by journalists Andrei Soldatov and Irina Borogan.

On this week's Power Vertical Podcast, I discuss the issues raised in the book with Soldatov, who is also co-founder of the investigative website Agentura.ru, and with my co-host Mark Galeotti, a professor at New York University, an expert on Russia's security services, and author of the blog In Moscow's Shadows.

Enjoy...

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

About This Blog

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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