Sunday, April 26, 2015


Audio Podcast: Goodbye, Lenin

Breaking with the past or dividing the future?

When Ukrainians began toppling statues of Soviet founder Vladimir Lenin at the height of the Euromaidan revolution, it seemed almost retro. As if we had gone back in time to 1991.

And in some ways we had.

Because to many of its supporters, last year's Ukrainian uprising represented reviving the dashed hopes and promise of that heady time. Hopes for a truly independent Ukraine that had broken from its Soviet past -- and was free from Russian domination in its present.

But as Ukraine's pro-Western rulers are now learning, putting these hopes into practice is a lot trickier than knocking down a monument.

On the latest Power Vertical Podcast, we look at a series of anticommunist laws recently passed by the Ukrainian parliament and the controversy they have generated.

Joining me are Natalia Churikova, senior editor of RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service and host of the program European Connect; Taras Kuzio, a senior research associate for the Canadian Institute for Ukrainian Studies at the University of Alberta; and Lucan Way of the Center for European, Russian, and Eurasian Studies at the University of Toronto.

Enjoy...

Power Vertical Podcast -- 24 March 2015
Power Vertical Podcast -- 24 March 2015i
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Tags:Ukraine, Russia, Power Vertical podcast


Video The Daily Vertical: Kadyrov 'Declares Independence'

The Daily Vertical: Kadyrov 'Declares Independence'i
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April 24, 2015
The Daily Vertical is a video primer for Russia-watchers that appears Monday through Friday. Viewers can suggest topics viaTwitter@PowerVertical or on the Power Vertical Facebook page.
The Daily Vertical: Kadyrov 'Declares Independence'

The Daily Vertical is a video primer for Russia-watchers that appears Monday through Friday. Viewers can suggest topics viaTwitter@PowerVertical or on the Power Vertical Facebook page.


Video The Daily Vertical: The Respectable Mr. Lavrov

The Daily Vertical: The Respectable Mr. Lavrovi
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April 23, 2015
The Daily Vertical is a video primer for Russia-watchers that appears Monday through Friday. Viewers can suggest topics viaTwitter@PowerVertical or on the Power Vertical Facebook page.
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The Daily Vertical is a video primer for Russia-watchers that appears Monday through Friday. Viewers can suggest topics viaTwitter@PowerVertical or on the Power Vertical Facebook page.


Video The Daily Vertical: Why The Gazprom Antitrust Case Matters

The Daily Vertical: Why The Gazprom Antitrust Case Mattersi
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April 22, 2015

The Daily Vertical is a video primer for Russia-watchers that appears Monday through Friday. Viewers can suggest topics viaTwitter@PowerVertical or on the Power Vertical Facebook page.


Video The Daily Vertical: Russia's Embarrassing Exports

The Daily Vertical: Russia's Embarrassing Exportsi
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April 21, 2015
The Daily Vertical is a video primer for Russia-watchers that appears Monday through Friday. Viewers can suggest topics via Twitter@PowerVertical or on the Power Vertical Facebook page.
The Daily Vertical: Russia's Embarrassing Exports

The Daily Vertical is a video primer for Russia-watchers that appears Monday through Friday. Viewers can suggest topics via Twitter@PowerVertical or on the Power Vertical Facebook page.

 


Video The Daily Vertical: Lukashenka Makes His Choice

The Daily Vertical: Lukashenka Makes His Choicei
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April 20, 2015
The Daily Vertical is a video primer for Russia-watchers that appears Monday through Friday. Viewers can suggest topics via Twitter@PowerVertical or on the Power Vertical Facebook page.

Daily Vertical is a video primer for Russia-watchers that appears Monday through Friday. Viewers can suggest topics via Twitter@PowerVertical or on the Power Vertical Facebook page.


Audio Podcast: Putin's Rite Of Spring

Putin talks dogs, clones, pensions, and Ukraine -- for four hours.

It happens every spring.

The sun shines, the birds sing, the trees bloom, and Vladimir Putin holds his annual phone-in program in which carefully vetted ordinary Russian citizens can ask the Kremlin leader any pre-approved question their heart desires.

It's a highly scripted and choreographed affair and it's hyped up as if it were the World Cup or the Super Bowl.

And it's closely watched by Kremlinologists for clues about Putin's thinking.

So what exactly was he telling us this year?

On this week's Power Vertical Podcast, we unpack the Putin Show. Joining me are co-host Mark Galeotti, a professor at New York University, and expert on Russia's security services, and author of the blog In Moscow's Shadows; and RFE/RL's Social Media Editor Glenn Kates.

Also on the podcast, Mark, Glenn, and I take a look at the latest developments in the Boris Nemtsov assassination.

Enjoy...

Power Vertical Podcast: Putin's Rite Of Spring
Power Vertical Podcast: Putin's Rite Of Springi
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Listen to or download the podcast above or subscribe to "The Power Vertical Podcast" on iTunes.​

Tags:Vladimir Putin, Boris Nemtsov, Russian politics, Power Vertical podcast


Video The Daily Vertical: The Wily Lukashenka

The Daily Vertical: The Wily Lukashenkai
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April 17, 2015
The Daily Vertical is a video primer for Russia-watchers that appears Monday through Friday. Viewers can suggest topics via Twitter@PowerVertical or on the Power Vertical Facebook page.

Daily Vertical is a video primer for Russia-watchers that appears Monday through Friday. Viewers can suggest topics via Twitter@PowerVertical or on the Power Vertical Facebook page.

 


Video The Daily Vertical: The Wrong Wars?

The Daily Vertical: The Wrong Wars?i
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April 16, 2015
The Daily Vertical is a video primer for Russia-watchers that appears Monday through Friday. Viewers can suggest topics via Twitter@PowerVertical or on the Power Vertical Facebook page.

Daily Vertical is a video primer for Russia-watchers that appears Monday through Friday. Viewers can suggest topics via Twitter@PowerVertical or on the Power Vertical Facebook page.


Video The Daily Vertical: Keep An Eye On Karelia

The Daily Vertical: Keep An Eye On Kareliai
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April 15, 2015
The Daily Vertical is a video primer for Russia-watchers that appears Monday through Friday. Viewers can suggest topics via Twitter@PowerVertical or on the Power Vertical Facebook page.

The Daily Vertical is a video primer for Russia-watchers that appears Monday through Friday. Viewers can suggest topics via Twitter@PowerVertical or on the Power Vertical Facebook page.


Video The Daily Vertical: Not Quiet On The Western Front

The Daily Vertical: Not Quiet On The Western Fronti
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April 14, 2015
The Daily Vertical is a video primer for Russia-watchers that appears Monday through Friday. Viewers can suggest topics via Twitter @PowerVertical or on the Power Vertical Facebook page.

The Daily Vertical is a video primer for Russia-watchers that appears Monday through Friday. Viewers can suggest topics via Twitter@PowerVertical or on the Power Vertical Facebook page.


Video The Daily Vertical: Putin's Corruption Machine

The Daily Vertical: Putin's Corruption Machinei
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April 13, 2015
The Daily Vertical is a video primer for Russia-watchers that appears Monday through Friday. Viewers can suggest topics via Twitter @PowerVertical or on the Power Vertical Facebook page.
The Daily Vertical: Putin's Corruption Machine

The Daily Vertical is a video primer for Russia-watchers that appears Monday through Friday. Viewers can suggest topics via Twitter@PowerVertical or on the Power Vertical Facebook page.


Audio Podcast: Putin Flexes His Missiles

Is Putin learning to love the bomb?

Vladimir Putin has decided its time to flex his missiles.

Last month,Russia's ambassador to Copenhagen threatened to target Denmark's warships with nuclear weapons if that country joins NATO's defense shield.

Russian generals also told U.S. officials during a meeting in Germany in March that Moscow would utilize a "spectrum of responses from nuclear to nonmilitary" if NATO moved more forces into the Baltic states.

And, in a recent documentary aired on Russian state television, Putin himself said he was prepared to put the country's nuclear forces on alert during the annexation of Crimea a year ago.

Is it all bluster? The geopolitical equivalent of Putin's fondness for being photographed shirtless? Or does it point to something darker?

On this week's Power Vertical Podcast I address these questions with 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...

Power Vertical Podcast: Putin Flexes His Missiles
Power Vertical Podcast: Putin Flexes His Missilesi
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Listen to or download the podcast above or subscribe to "The Power Vertical Podcast" on iTunes.​

 


Video The Daily Vertical: The Kremlin's Maidanphobia

The Daily Vertical: The Kremlin's Maidanphobiai
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April 10, 2015
The Daily Vertical is a video primer for Russia-watchers that appears Monday through Friday. Viewers can suggest topics via Twitter @PowerVertical or on the Power Vertical Facebook page.

The Daily Vertical is a video primer for Russia-watchers that appears Monday through Friday. Viewers can suggest topics via Twitter @PowerVertical or on the Power Vertical Facebook page.


Video The Daily Vertical: Bessarabia -- Another Mythological Territory

The Daily Vertical: Bessarabia -- Another Mythological Territoryi
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April 09, 2015
The Daily Vertical is a video primer for Russia-watchers that appears Monday through Friday. Viewers can suggest topics via Twitter @PowerVertical or on the Power Vertical Facebook page.

The Daily Vertical is a video primer for Russia-watchers that appears Monday through Friday. Viewers can suggest topics via Twitter @PowerVertical or on the Power Vertical Facebook page.


Video The Daily Vertical: Putin's Partition Fixation

The Daily Vertical: Putin's Partition Fixationi
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April 08, 2015
The Daily Vertical is a video primer for Russia-watchers that appears Monday through Friday. Viewers can suggest topics via Twitter @PowerVertical or on the Power Vertical Facebook page.

The Daily Vertical is a video primer for Russia-watchers that appears Monday through Friday. Viewers can suggest topics via Twitter @PowerVertical or on the Power Vertical Facebook page.


The Daily Vertical: The Nemtsov Whitewash

The Daily Vertical: Why No Memorial Concert For Nemtsov?i
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April 07, 2015
The Daily Vertical is a video primer for Russia-watchers that appears Monday through Friday. Viewers can suggest topics via Twitter @PowerVertical or on the Power Vertical Facebook page.

The Daily Vertical is a video primer for Russia-watchers that appears Monday through Friday. Viewers can suggest topics via Twitter @PowerVertical or on the Power Vertical Facebook page.


Podcast: The State, The Mob, And The Asssassins

Vladimir Putin, Vladimir Barsukov (aka Kumarin), and a memorial for Galina Starovoitova

Russia solved a contract killing this week.

It was an assassination that gripped the nation, shook the elite, and led to a massive outpouring of grief. The victim was a leading democrat with close ties to former President Boris Yeltsin. The mastermind was a politically powerful man with a violent streak.

No, it's not the Boris Nemtsov assassination. The case Russian investigators are wrapping up is 16 years and four months old: the November 20, 1998, killing of State Duma Deputy and human rights campaigner Galina Starovoitova in St. Petersburg.

And the man the authorities appear ready to finger for the hit is the exact person who many suspected from the very start: Vladimir Barsukov, aka, Vladimir Kumarin.

That name may not mean a lot now. But in the 1990s, Barsukov was one of the most feared gangsters in the country and one of the most powerful men in Russia's second city.

And how he went from being untouchable to expendable tells us a lot about how Russia works.

On this week's Power Vertical Podcast, we take a look at the changing relationship between organized crime and the state in Russia. 

Joining me are co-host Mark Galeotti, a professor at NYU, an expert on Russian organized crime and its security services, and author of the blog In Moscow's Shadows; and Karen Dawisha, director of the Havighurst Center for Russian and Post-Soviet Studies at the University of Miami, Ohio, and author of the recently published book Putin's Kleptocracy: Who Owns Russia?

Also on the podcast, Mark, Karen, and I discuss the crime-riddled shooting gallery that was St. Petersburg in the 1990s -- the political environment where Vladimir Putin cut his teeth.

Enjoy...

Power Vertical Podcast: The State, The Mob, And The Asssassins
Power Vertical Podcast: The State, The Mob, And The Asssassinsi
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Listen to or download the podcast above or subscribe to "The Power Vertical Podcast" on iTunes.​

Tags:Vladimir Putin, Boris Nemtsov, St. Petersburg, Power Vertical podcast, Russian organized crime, Galina Starovoitova, Vladimir Barsukov, Vladimir Kumarin, Tambov Gang


Video The Daily Vertical: Russia's Not Thrilled

The Daily Vertical: Russia's Not Thrilledi
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April 03, 2015
The Daily Vertical is a video primer for Russia-watchers that appears Monday through Friday. Viewers can suggest topics via Twitter @PowerVertical or on the Power Vertical Facebook page.

The Daily Vertical is a video primer for Russia-watchers that appears Monday through Friday. Viewers can suggest topics via Twitter @PowerVertical or on the Power Vertical Facebook page.

 


Video The Daily Vertical: Lukashenka, The New Ceausescu?

The Daily Vertical: Lukashenka, The New Ceausescu?i
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April 02, 2015
The Daily Vertical is a video primer for Russia-watchers that appears Monday through Friday. Viewers can submit suggested topics to address on Twitter @PowerVertical or on the Power Vertical Facebook page.

The Daily Vertical is a video primer for Russia-watchers that appears Monday through Friday. Viewers can suggest topics via Twitter @PowerVertical or on the Power Vertical Facebook page.

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About This Blog

The Power Vertical is a blog written especially for Russia wonks and obsessive Kremlin watchers by Brian Whitmore. It covers 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