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A blogger and a billionaire; a firebrand and a socialite; a legislator and an economist. And, of course, a punk rock collective.

They have been on the cutting edge of the changes sweeping Russian society. Their profiles were raised and their images transformed as the political crisis deepened.

Some have played it safe, some have taken risks, and some have paid a heavy price. But they all have, one way or another, been in the vanguard of Russia's political awakening. And the roads they have traveled over the past tumultuous year provide some insight into where Russia may be headed.

In the latest edition of "The Power Vertical Podcast," co-host Kirill Kobrin and I mark the one-year anniversary of Pussy Riot's now-famous punk prayer performance and look at the evolution of some of the other key players in the drama that Russian politics has become.

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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