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The Power Vertical

Podcast: Russia's Trust Deficit

A resident looks at debris in a house damaged by floods in the town of Krymsk in the Krasnodar region on July 8.
A resident looks at debris in a house damaged by floods in the town of Krymsk in the Krasnodar region on July 8.
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It's a scenario we've seen play out time and time again. A humanitarian disaster strikes. The Kremlin is caught flat-footed. Relief efforts founder. Weaknesses in infrastructure, inspection procedures, and oversight are exposed. Promises of reform are made -- and not kept. Public anger mounts and then subsides. Until the next disaster hits.
 
From the explosion at the Sayano-Shushenskaya power plant in 2009, to the raging forest fires in the summer of 2010, to the sinking of the "Bulgaria" cruise ship almost exactly a year ago, as well as in many other cases, the script has been almost identical.
 
And so it was with last weekend's floods in southern Russia. But Russia's latest disaster has exposed something more than just official ineptitude; it starkly illustrates the extent to which public trust between the state and society has all but evaporated.

In the latest edition of "The Power Vertical Podcast," I discuss Russia's trust deficit and its implications with Kirill Kobrin, managing editor of RFE/RL's Russian Service.

Also on the podcast, Kirill and I take stock of the political landscape as Russia enters its traditional summer lull and speculate about what looms in the autumn.
Power Vertical Podcast: Russia's Trust Deficit
Power Vertical Podcast: Russia's Trust Deficiti
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by: Eugenio from: Vienna
July 16, 2012 04:43
The picture above is very sad - the appt on it looks like any appt in the glorious city of Detroit. Only that in Detroit they did not need a flood to arrive there - just some "efficient management" by the govt of banksters.
In Response

by: Patrick from: Moscow
July 18, 2012 06:56
My God. You know I've been following Brian Whitmore's excellent blog for almost two years now. And every time I read or listen to a podcast there's always some ridiculous, inappropriate or irrelevant comment attached, often by people claiming not to be from Russia but somewhat giving themselves away with there heavily russified English. I never mentioned it before but I just lost my patience now. To all those who criticize Brian Whitmore's blog or say that it has a heavily politicized slant, firstly the blog is excellent and highly informative and secondly the slant is, given RFE/RL's hardly concealed attachment to supporting democratic rights. To all those who post irrelevant comments about America - yes America does have problems but why is that relevant here? I'm not American myself but it is one of the most childish and frankly transparent tactics of uninformed political discourse by those who know nothing about their subject to deflect one criticism by reference to the criticism of another. It's not only irrelevant but, with a little consideration, clearly morally repugnant. Not, I'm sure, that you need my praise to justify your work but I want to do something that is done far too rarely on internet comments - thank the author of this blog, and Kirill Kobrin as well, for his informative articles and their engaging discussions.
In Response

by: Eugenio from: Vienna
July 18, 2012 08:40
Wow, wow, wow, Beavus from Moscow, thank you very much for your highly appropriate and relevant comment - very different from all the irrelevant and inapropriate comments of those who write in the language of Beavus and Butthead (apparently the only one your intellectual capacity allows you to put a couple words together) in a "heavily russified" manner, like myself :-)).
You know, very frankly, it sounds like you yourself are from DETROIT and your own appt looks like the one on the picture above - that's probably the reason why you had to move to Moscow and ask Putin to lend you some cash so that you could meet your ends meet.
But I am not criticizing you for this behavious of a beggar, Beavus: after all, you do nothing else than following the pattern of the govt of your own country of bankrupt losers - just going around the world and asking people to lend them some money to postpone their sorry end for a few more years :-)).
Have a nice summer, Beavus, and if you happen to come to Vienna for a day or two - please let me know: I will invite you for a cup of coffee in the Mozart Café :-)).

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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