It's pretty much impossible to ignore Ramzan Kadyrov -- and he knows it.
And he's not going anywhere. Whether Kadyrov is Vladimir Putin's loose cannon or his loaded pistol, the rambunctious Chechen leader has become an indispensable part of Russia's political system -- regardless of who is in the Kremlin.
On this week's Power Vertical Podcast, we pay a visit to the strange and scary world of Planet Ramzan and try to unpack the Kadyrov factor.
Joining me are Mark Galeotti, a professor at NYU, an expert on Russia's Security Services, author of the blog In Moscow's Shadows, and author of the book Russia's Wars In Chechnya; and journalist Oliver Bullough, author of the book The Last Man In Russia And The Struggle To Save A Dying Nation and of an in-depth profile of Kadyrov that was recently published in The Guardian.
Also on the Podcast, Mark, Oliver, and I discuss the new leadership in the GRU, Russia's military intelligence service, and what it portends.
Podcast: The Importance Of Being Ramzan
Listen to or download the podcast above or subscribe to The Power Vertical Podcast on iTunes.