Monday, September 01, 2014

The Power Vertical

Podcast: Putin Then And Now

Putin then and now: From the Ozero Cooperative to the Kremlin
Putin then and now: From the Ozero Cooperative to the Kremlin
Before he built the vertical, he built a team of like-minded cronies. Before he saved Russia from the chaos of the wild '90s, he manipulated that very chaos to advance his power and influence. And before he became the "gatherer of the Russian lands," he gathered a fortune for himself and his inner circle.

Before the Kremlin, before the oil boom, before Russia Inc., before the Georgia war and the Crimea annexation, there was the Ozero Dacha Cooperative -- a group of influential St. Petersburg politicians and businessmen centered around the city's deputy mayor, Vladimir Putin.

And if you were doing business in St. Petersburg in the 1990s, there was one iron-clad rule: Putin was the man to know. But what does the Putin of two decades ago tell us about the man today?

On the latest "Power Vertical Podcast," we look at Putin's St. Petersburg years. Joining me is Karen Dawisha, director of the Havighurst Center for Russian and Post-Soviet Studies at the University of Miami, Ohio, and author of a forthcoming book on that subject. 

Also joining me are co-hosts Mark Galeotti, a professor at NYU, an expert on Russia's security services, and author of the blog "In Moscow's Shadows," and Kirill Kobrin,  editor of the Moscow-based history and sociology magazine "Neprikosnovenny zapas."

Power Vertical Podcast -- April 11, 2014
Power Vertical Podcast -- April 11, 2014i
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Listen to or download the podcast above or subscribe to "The Power Vertical Podcast" on iTunes.

Tags: Vladimir Putin,St. Petersburg,Ozero Dacha Cooperative,Tambovskaya Mafia,Karen Dawisha

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
by: Anonymous
April 11, 2014 18:44
years and years that you are here writting about putin
writting about how bad putin is
writting how imminent is the end of putin
writting about how many mistakes did putin

and then ...... what you got?

I understand that this is your "mission"

but I also understand that it must be very frustrating.

I'll see you in a few years

you will be always here writting about the bad boy putin

and putin will be always getting stronger

A mission is a mission ! ! !
In Response

by: OneUkraine
April 11, 2014 20:51
I agree with you Putin, Putin, Putin. But if he has such great plans he needs a another famous leader needed when the end came for him. The devils work never seems finished.
In Response

by: peter from: ottawa
April 12, 2014 01:02
If your anonymous then that means your a nobody and if your a nobody then you don't exist, so who then wrote the comment ?
In Response

by: Maria Los from: Toronto
April 12, 2014 02:15
And how much did Putin pay you for writing this? Putin pays people to say nice things about him; he buys them cars and houses. Do you think he can go on like this forever?
In Response

by: C. Darwin from: Maryland
April 12, 2014 04:28
What's he suppose to get? You'll see him in a few years? What are you waiting for? Who's frustrated? You or him? How is Putin getting stronger?
In Response

by: johnjo from: Dublin
April 12, 2014 15:05
Bully's are always strong when they have thugs alongside them (little green men in little green uniforms) doing the bullying for them, but splice them apart & you see how weak they are. the most cowardliness of "Cowards".

This for now BULLY will meet his match sooner rather than later when he'll be defrocked by his own people or someone within & then we'll see him in his coward suit sitting in a court sucking his "Thumb" that's if he gets that far.

PS. Oh as regards anything Putin now says e.g. like Europe's oil/gas supplies will be honoured...or he won't attack Ukraine or any other past state that was under Soviet Rule before 1989 then close your ears...for all you will hear are "Lies". This man was born a "Liar" for how else could he have getting to be in his position, of bullying? Cunning lies & slyness (oh) & bullying, that's how!

by: Peter
April 11, 2014 20:28
The podcast cuts off at 49 min 20 seconds, while Prof. Galleotti is in mid-sentence. Could someone please upload the podcast in its entirety? I am very interested in hearing the ending.
Thank you.
In Response

by: RFE/RL Editor
April 12, 2014 08:22
Thanks, Peter, for alerting us to that. Our apologies. It's fixed now.
In Response

by: peter from: ottawa
April 12, 2014 11:54
Some low life has no imagination and cant use another name but my first name besides I'm using Vlad the Annexer's face as target practice.
In Response

by: Peter
April 12, 2014 13:06
Thank you!
In Response

by: Eugenio from: Vienna
April 12, 2014 18:53
Peter, you are one incredible man: to be able to listen to this ... called "RFE/RL podcast" for 49 min and 20 sec makes you eligible for the Noble Prize in the field of "Patience":_)

by: Konstantin from: Los Angeles
April 12, 2014 05:48
Putin is a "kukla" of the double-faced "Sterva-Sterviatnik",
Varaga-Prussaka usurpers of Russia and of their "kapustnik".
One face pretending to be "legit" rulers of expanding Russia,
The Varagas instigated by receptionists, girls from Prussia.
Another face pretending to be terrorists, "oboroten's"-GRU,
"Spetcnaz" and rest of the "Third Force" - Russian "TcRU".
"Sterva" has rotten soul of "Union of Russian People" rat
That infiltrate neighbors, than justify invasion by infiltrate.
Russian "Shtaby" of all of the above have "kapustniks",
Lying to the World "larva of Magog" infected "spychiks".
Result - perpetually breed-out evil macaques, "Russkis"
And some temporary accomplices - promised "rubchik".
On another hand, Putin's mafia grow power and wealth,
Which corrupt, but not as West might think about "gelt".
Varaga "Sten'ka Razin" gang punching bellow the belt,
But shear-gang-rape together and crawl in same belch.
Putin can't deny Varagas communion greed to quench.
By the way, Putin, all I write, even sometimes in a haze,
Is not for your lying spies to decode and to misrepresent!
Don't be romantic fool - believing Russia owns all "Welt"!
If I say bad - it is bad, good - it is good, it isn't KGB maze!
I was born free and I'll die free, your advisors lying to you
That they might own me and I meant something else - no!
1954 pact, repopulate Eastern World by Russia, will blow!
I don't agree vanish any nation Russia, leave Ukraine, go!

In Response

by: Konstantin from: Los Angeles
April 14, 2014 01:40
Regarding Ukrainian decision to clean from terrorists government buildings:
Russia already calls it order from CIA!
The same CIA that was ordered blackmail me and murder my mother in 2012 by order of Russians, including Russians in CIA - for the holt of 2008 Russian attempt to conquer whole Georgia?
Very interesting, Russians!
If it would be so, wouldn't it mean Russians use CIA to provoke Ukraine?
On another hand, the armed people that grabbed government buildings in Ukraine and intimidate locals and whole Ukraine are terrorists, even if they are "local Russians" from old network of Russian occupiers of USSR.
Which probably many are not - most of their actions look like
they are professional Russian Special-Force-GRU, not unlike Timmerman and Yamadayev battalions used in 2008 in Georgian "Osetia" - read their interviews!
Nominally they a blend of invading Russian paramilitary terrorists of GRU-Spetcnaz and local terrorist since time of Russian occupation KGB-GRU.
Ukraine have all right to clean from them their country, at least government buildings, specially if they are armed.
The only reason they hesitate - Ukrainians, as other CIS nations, don't want threat Russians as enemies - knowing Russia wouldn't change its hate anywhere...
There are some articles lately about Russia simply want be "friend" with Ukraine.
Russia, thought, have different understanding of word "friend".
Their friends, Chechen contractors in Abkhazian war, asking for few month pay, send home to their families, were lured in
a strip of trees and shot by Russians.
Their best friends, Serbians, were working on Sochi Olympics projects for several month - Russia refused to pay them.
Ukraine, Russians erroneously call also "brothers Russians",
bestially sucked for three centuries, starved, tortured and murdered, saved the World in 1941 and moved their, best in USSR industries, east, won WW2, but Russia kept them as slaves and repopulating their houses by Russians.
They have pay to Ukraine many trillions, but still robe Ukraine and demand billions!
West promised to Ukraine billions in help - Russia immediately demanded from Ukraine more billions!
In sick Varaga-Prussaka heads of Russian usurpers "friend"
is a slave (now try go away free) - even West, in their sick minds, cannot pay as much as Russia suck from Ukraine...
No friends for hooligans-bandits that steal them clean and blackmail for more...

by: American Tolerast
April 12, 2014 07:12
Our natural liberal impulse is to stack all blame for Russia's crimes and mediocrities onto the narrow shoulders of this one man. Stack all you want, then watch it fall to the ground and land squarely on ordinary Russians where it belongs.

On top of his genuine popularity, Putin is truly the best they can muster, the one-eyed man in the country of the blind. This grim fact is proven by Russia's voices of dissent. No, not the few dozen harmless liberals who queue up for their ritual Article 31 beatings every other month. Ignore them, as all Russians do. A vastly greater number of Russians hate Putin not for being a dictator but for serving Muslim migrants and Jewish oligarchs rather than ordinary Russians. In the context of his tribe, Putin is a liberal.

Russia is moving quickly and inexorably toward genocidal Orthodox/Slav-supremacism as state policy. Far from being responsible, Putin does his timid best to lip-synch just enough populism to hold off the maelstrom for one more day, month, or year. Yes, he is a misplaced Latin American tin-pot dictator and a menace to his equally ignoble neighbors, but the ugly fact is that his successor will make us in the West miss his relative sanity. The best-case scenario is a military junta. More likely is someone like Rogozin or Kiselyov who truly speaks to the "unique Russian soul," a nuclear Hitler free to slaughter his own subjects--gays, Muslims, Jews, liberals, Protestants, and all National Traitors™--without fear of foreign intervention. We will watch it happen live online, and we will be powerless to stop it.

Or I could be completely wrong about Putin and he will do this himself rather than lose power. But those are the options.

by: Konstantin from: Los Angeles
April 14, 2014 07:58
China is a nation that since end of WW2 was under substantial
influence of USSR , than Russia.
Stalin, temporary elected President for time of WW2 under insistence of USA and Britain that didn't trust Russians, with limited powers, where Russians were against his decisions, knew that Russian race war gaining again power and striving to retake territories, once occupied by Russian Empire.
He did all he could, even under house arrest since Spring of 1947, to reason with Russians.
One such "territory" was northern China, or parts of it.
The one of last big "swan songs" of Stalin was to pass weapons of
a million Japanese army that was about to capitulate in Manchuria.
He past a word and Chinese population in Northern China went to Manchuria, taking by surprise Soviet officers of Russian extraction and taking all arms to China.
Russians were furious, but it was to late to conquer China,
so they got aboard, but turned it into competition between
older occupiers of China, Russians and British.
After 1947, Chinese leaders were even more confused, but still not against ideology of national policy that started Stalin and
Parliament of nations.
Since 1956 Russia and China were not friends anymore, still,
Russia increasingly tried diversion of the World, including China, toward Imperial Resurrection.
Russians succeed in some respect with China turning quite
Chauvinistic in some cases, starting with minorities in China
and late claims on some islands in Chinese Sea that co-inside with Russian claims to their neighbors and busting-up hit by
national disasters Japanese.
Chinese are wise, thought, they don't go too far with it, however, it looks like Russians got Chinese mentality shift
in desirable for them direction.
They condole Russian expansion into other countries, starting with Afghanistan and ending with Ukraine, or abstain, or let Russia use them for cover, like Chinese Olympics, when Russia invaded Georgia.
The was a Chinese movie about unification of China as Great
Empire by one emperor. All other emperors and noble, along
with their families and nations committed suicide, being inspired by great idea of greatest empire in the World,
where one emperor would produce billions look-alike Chinese
by getting each night pregnant 10 ladies.
I respect Chinese and their culture, but imagine how would look people in Euro-Asia, if they all will commit suicide for
"Russia" breed into billions of look-alike Putin-Zhirinovsky
Russians from Eastern Europe through Japanese Sea!
Forgive me Chinese for a joke above, but I think you are wiser than an inspired by Russians movie above.
I hope China will not fall for pressure of Putin and Lavrov,
making Georgia, or Ukraine commit suicide, so that Russian
Neanderthals would breed in their land Great Russia...

by: Oscar from: Sweden
April 16, 2014 11:36
Putin is no angel but thats what you need to deal with the neocon-yanqui maffia. The Ukrania we knew dissappeared the day when the right wing fascitic oriented took the power encourraged by the US/EU. So now deal with the consequences. To finish this who trust a government, system that is spying on all its citizens?

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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