We've seen that he could be ruthless. We've always suspected he was cynical and calculating. And we've always known him to be cunning. But recent years have taught us something new about Vladimir Putin. He appears to be much more ideological than we had suspected.
This has been evident in the Kremlin leader's persistent gay bashing; in his full-throated defense of Russia's "traditional values" and derision of the West's "genderless and infertile" liberalism in his state-of-the-nation speech last year; and in his recent redrafting of history in public comments following the annexation of Crimea.
The new face of Putinism is coming into sharp focus. Is it just a cosmetic makeover to meet the needs of the moment? Or is it the shape of things to come?
On the latest "Power Vertical Podcast," we discuss the newly ideologial Putin. Joining me are Mark Galeotti, a professor at New York University, an expert on Russia's security services, 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 and author of "Sean's Russia Blog
Also on the podcast, Mark, Sean, and I talk about how recent developments have led us to rethink our assumptions about Russia.
Listen to or download the podcast above or subscribe to "The Power Vertical Podcast" on iTunes.