Friday, April 18, 2014


The Power Vertical

Podcast: The Vanguard

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A blogger and a billionaire; a firebrand and a socialite; a legislator and an economist. And, of course, a punk rock collective.

They have been on the cutting edge of the changes sweeping Russian society. Their profiles were raised and their images transformed as the political crisis deepened.

Some have played it safe, some have taken risks, and some have paid a heavy price. But they all have, one way or another, been in the vanguard of Russia's political awakening. And the roads they have traveled over the past tumultuous year provide some insight into where Russia may be headed.

In the latest edition of "The Power Vertical Podcast," co-host Kirill Kobrin and I mark the one-year anniversary of Pussy Riot's now-famous punk prayer performance and look at the evolution of some of the other key players in the drama that Russian politics has become.

Enjoy…
Power Vertical Podcast: The Vanguard
Power Vertical Podcast: The Vanguardi
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by: Idrian from: Surrey, BC
February 23, 2013 08:32
Why is Limonov not on the list? And I think RFE/RL has to highlight other forces in the wider Russian opposition (ROVS, NTS etc)
In Response

by: Eugenio from: Vienna
February 23, 2013 18:17
Why is Senator McCain not on the list??? After all, he is the one who will be proclaimed the Russian Emperor once the bloody regime of Vladimir Putin will have been overthrown by the people like about next Monday right after lunch :-)))))))))))

by: Eugenio from: Vienna
February 24, 2013 11:02
By the way, here is an interesting VIDEO on how the Russian opposition protests against violations of Human Rights committed by the Russian govt during the preparations of the Sochi Olympic Games 2014: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l98ENa9tLws&feature=youtube_gdata_player

by: La Russophobe from: USA
February 25, 2013 07:54
I'm very disappointed to see the phrase "changes sweeping Russia" appear on this blog. It's simply ludicrous and beneath the dignity of this fine blog to claim that the likes of Udaltsov and Sochak are causing any such changes. To the contrary, Russia is clearly and indeed palpably in retrograde. The protest movement these two clowns sought to lead has utterly disappeared, and one is now under house arrest while Navalny faces a whole slate of charges and his movement has turned into a joke. Please be more careful with language and facts.

by: Vytautasba from: Vilnius
February 26, 2013 13:04
Just want to express my thanks and appreciation (wanted to for a long time) to Mr. Whitmore and co-host Mr. Kobrin for putting on these podcasts. I am not a Russian speaker and can appreciate your commenting on the Russian scene. I work with many policy people who are fluent in Russian and your insights give me the feeling that I can "keep up" with their understanding of what is going on. Perhaps may at times even have a deeper insight then they may have since your analysis covers so much.

Thanks again and keep up the good work.

by: Ben
February 27, 2013 16:15
This blogger`s sympathies are evident: no one democrat,no one inteligent is interesting enough for him.Putin thinks the same and leaves them in peace too.
In Response

by: Asehpe from: the Netherlands
March 05, 2013 22:19
Yes, Ben, if only you made sense!... I gather you don't like Brian, but the rest is Chinese to me...

by: A.L.Brown
March 26, 2013 07:45
Disagree with the last point Brian regarding Putin 'creating' a new majority. The Pussy Riot case catered precisely to Putin's existing support base. Compare the statistics on who voted for Putin in the presidential elections (section 2 at the first link below) with the demographics that most supported the harshest punishment for Tolokonnikova (second link). There is a very close correspondence. I'm afraid that Western commentators still over-dramatise the 'democratic' 'changes' happening in Russia.

http://www.levada.ru/27-03-2012/vybory-prezidenta-kak-golosovali-sotsialnye-gruppy

http://www.levada.ru/25-03-2013/rossiyane-o-nakazanii-uchastnitse-pussy-riot-nadezhde-tolokonnikovoi

More survey results here -- interesting, among other things, that the Pussy Riot case did not affect most Russians' level of trust in the legal system (and this excludes the number who never trusted it):

http://www.levada.ru/17-08-2012/tret-rossiyan-verit-v-chestnyi-sud-nad-pussy-riot

http://www.levada.ru/31-07-2012/rossiyane-o-dele-pussy-riot

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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