Remember when iPads were all the rage for Russian officials? Or when the Skolkovo scientific center was going to spearhead innovation that would modernize the economy? How about when freedom was better than nonfreedom?
Russian President Vladimir Putin is clearly determined to eradicate any traces of the weak little mini-thaw that was Dmitry Medvedev's odd interim presidency.
But that clumsy, half-hearted, four-year effort to reform the economy and let some fresh air into the political system unleashed forces in society and within the elite that will be difficult to contain.
Can Putin put the genie back into the bottle? In the latest edition of the Power Vertical podcast, I discuss that very question with co-host and longtime Kremlin-watcher Mark Galeotti, a professor at New York University and author of the blog "In Moscow's Shadows
Also in the podcast, Mark and I discuss how Putin's efforts to forbid officials from holding foreign assets has become a bonanza for the president's nemesis -- anticorruption blogger and opposition figure Aleksei Navalny.
Listen to or download the podcast above, or subscribe to "The Power Vertical Podcast" on iTunes