Monday, April 21, 2014


The Power Vertical

Podcast: A Year In The Vertical

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A president seemed to fade into the background, only to steal the show in the final act. An oligarch passed away, but the system he pioneered lived on. An opposition blogger found his voice and became a political force. Nationalism went mainstream and the culture wars intensified.

New words and phrases entered the political lexicon, sparking often hilarious discussions about what they might mean. Protest acts got more creative -- sometimes painfully so.

And as the year wrapped up, three of Russia's most famous political prisoners finally walked free.

It's certainly been a roller-coaster -- albeit one that's not moving in a clear direction. But on the last Power Vertical Podcast of the year, we'll try to make some sense out of 2013 for you anyway.

Joining me is co-host Mark Galeotti, a professor at NYU, an expert on Russia's security services, and author of the blog "In Moscow's Shadows."

Enjoy...

Power Vertical Podcast -- December 27, 2013
Power Vertical Podcast -- December 27, 2013i
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Tags: Mikhail Khodorkovsky, Vladimir Putin, Aleksei Navalny, Pussy Riot, Power Vertical podcast, 2013 Year Ender

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by: Eugenio from: Vienna
December 27, 2013 21:22
What has Obama done this year? Correct, he has made some pictures with the Danish PM at the funeral of Nelson Mandela (and he was also trying to activate a health insurance system web-site).
And what has Putin done during the same period of time? He (a) prevented a NATO intervention in Syria; (b) prevented Ukraine from becoming a German colony; (c) helped the US people to protect their privacy from their govt by granting asylum to Edward Snowden.
Happy New Year everybody!
In Response

by: Anonymous
December 28, 2013 21:53
and what about Iran ?

Bang Bang Usa was ready for bombing also Iran
In Response

by: Anonymous
December 28, 2013 22:08
and do not forget
the final defeat of EU / USA Nabucco gas pipeline

and the advanced situation for the Russian south stream!

And even
the actual creation of the 'customs union

that seemed doomed in favor of EU association treaties
that instead have proved a failure
getting home only the crumbs of Moldova and Georgia
if they ever really will sign !
In Response

by: Eugenio from: Vienna
December 29, 2013 17:05
You are absolutely right, Anonymous, the reduction of the level of tension around the legitimate nuclear program of Iran and the quiet demise of the Nabucco "pipeline" can also be attributed to the skillful Russian diplomacy in 2013.

by: Alex from: Seattle
December 28, 2013 12:23
That the podcast starts off by highlighting Putin's divorce from his wife Ludmila, as the the most notable event in Russia in 2013, just further underlines the fact that this media outlet is just another piece in the media sensationalism that has plagued the West.

Let me throw you a bone Brian, the main story of the year is that an American president got slapped around by a Russian master of politics. Made a Democrat in the white house look like an imperialist with a Neo-Con agenda.

Putin, for reasons I can't seem to understand, has positioned himself as the champion of conservatism. How this will play out in the future can be already seen by whats happening in India and Africa.

What is sure to come to fruition is that the liberal agenda propagandized abroad today will backfire in a big way in 2014; I hope you all will enjoy that.

by: American Troll
December 29, 2013 00:03
To celebrate Putin's glorious year, we should all emulate the poetic and soulful Russian tradition of drunkenly assaulting a random passerby. When asked why, just borrow Putin's own words and explain that the victim was genderless and liberal. Truly Russia is the superior civilization: Americans still travel to the far ends of the earth to bomb and kill foreigners, whereas Russians can live life to the fullest by killing foreigners right at home. (Obligatory apologies to all Orthodox/Slav herrenvolk offended by my tolerasti insinuation that gastarbeiters are human beings.) And speaking of the Caucasus, enjoy those Olympics. They'll be a blast.

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

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