Thursday, November 27, 2014


The Power Vertical

Podcast: Thermidor In The Kremlin, Funk On The Street

The "Russian street" is in a deep funk, with the opposition divided and disheartened. Reformists in the elite are on the ropes, outgunned and outmaneuvered by siloviki and statists determined to maintain the status quo.

Emigration is on the rise and the crackdown on dissent continues apace with no signs of it abating.

When mass protests broke out a year-and-a-half ago, it appeared Russia was on the cusp of a major transformation. But now it looks like that was all an illusion.

In the latest edition of "The Power Vertical Podcast," I discuss Russia’s deepening Thermidor with co-host Sean Guillory of the University of Pittsburgh’s Center for Russian and Eastern European Studies and author of "Sean’s Russia Blog."

Also joining us for his debut appearance on the podcast is Kevin Rothrock, project editor for RuNet Echo at Global Voices and author of the Russian affairs blog "A Good Treaty."

In this week's podcast, Sean, Kevin, and I also discuss the intrigue and maneuvering surrounding the upcoming mayoral election in Moscow.

Enjoy...

The Power Vertical Podcast: Thermidor In The Kremlin, Funk On The Street
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Tags: Russian politics,Power Vertical podcast,Moscow mayoral elections

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by: La Russophobe from: USA
June 07, 2013 21:16
"When mass protests broke out a year-and-a-half ago, it appeared Russia was on the cusp of a major transformation. But now it looks like that was all an illusion."

It appeared that way to some people, mostly because of reckless reporting from irresponsible Russia correspondence, the worst of whom were Julia Ioffe and Miriam Elder, neither of whom have apologized for their gross misreporting (nor been asked to by their colleagues).

But I, for example, said from the beginning that the protest movement could not be taken seriously. I said from the beginning that the leadership was extremely weak and the organization weaker, limited to Moscow and to the Internet when it should have been doing much more grass-roots work.

Credit where credit is due?

by: Ben
June 09, 2013 21:03
As the deseived lover the West is indignant with the Putin`s "sovereign democracy".The "Arab spring" horrors have not taught the liberal West.They are waiting for the "Russian spring" and search for the " middle class" as the driving force.As the "middle class" is the absurd conception for the non Western societies their hopes are vain.Russian business are mainly state-dependent, as the "middle class" is.The Western sociology are absolutly feeble abroad.

by: Konstantin from: Los Angeles
June 10, 2013 23:39
Both, "Russophobe" and "Ben" might have good arguments,
If not the false "opposition" and other "signs of democracy"
That Russia forge since they put Stalin under house arrest,
In 1947, in fluxing and invading Europe and Asia with brass,
And turned hard democracy into "cover and lie plutocracy".

Real war against freedom and dignity, or true democracy,
Russia fight together - 2/3of population according to polls,
Against non-Russian nations and nationalities, autocracy
Resurrecting colonial empire. Pact of 1954-56 is the goal.
Degenerates breeding in our houses and lands atrocities.

They also bringing slaves - refugees from invaded lands,
To make themselves feudal "pomesh'iks" over new serfs.
It is dream of Varag - refuse accept better men as friends,
But appear be best by plagiarizing and usurping our best.
It is why Russians just pretend a deviation from evil trend.

One sample of Russian “pseudo” Russia spreading in Muslim world, Saakashvili asked to investigate,
that I commented:

NOT ONLY FBI BUT ALSO UNITED NATIONS AND WHOLE WORLD MUST INVESTIGATE IT!
IT IS RUSSIA - DIRECTLY OR INDIRECTLY!
IT IS RUSSIAN "THIRD FORCE"!
IT IS THE SAME LANGUAGE RUSSIAN SHTABY USED SINCE THEY THREATENED INVADE ABKHAZIA!
IT IS THE SAME LANGUAGE RUSSIAN SHTABY USED TO MOTIVATE PSEUDO-MUSLIM SPETCNAZ-GRU AND THEIR PROXIES, CHILDREN OF RAPED BY RUSSIA CAUCASIAN GIRLS AND WOMEN, PROMISING THEM
SHEAR OF THE GEORGIAN LAND, HOUSES AND LOOT!
IT IS THE SAME LANGUAGE THAT WAS USED BY A RUSSIAN PROXY THAT DESTROYED MY COMPUTERS AND FILES BEFORE 2008 RUSSIAN INVASION AND USED CHLORIDE PUT TWO BULLET HOLE MARKS ON MY CLOSE IN AREA
OF HEART AND LIVER, REMINDING ME GEORGIANS MURDERED BY RUSSIANS SNIPERS IN ABKHAZIA IN 1993 AND INSULTING BY DIRTY WORDS ME AND MY MOTHER!
GEORGIA WAS NEVER AN AGGRESSOR AGAINST MUSLIMS, BUT IT DEFENDED ITSELF FROM MANY AGGRESSORS.
CRUSADERS INVITED GEORGIA TO FIGHT SALADIN, BUT INSTEAD THEY MADE PEACE BETWEEN SALADIN AND CRUSADERS!
IT IS WHY SALADIN AND CRUSADERS GAVE GEORGIA SYMBOLIC FLAG OF JERUSALEM, MODERN FLAG OF GEORGIA, AND CROSS ON WHICH CHRIST DIED, AS IT WAS BELIEVED AT THE TIME.
RUSSIA KNOW IT ALL TOO WELL AND LYING!

The Power Vertical Feed

In this space, I will regularly comment on events in Russia, repost content and tweets I find interesting and informative, and shamelessly promote myself (and others, whose work I like). The traditional Power Vertical Blog remains for larger and more developed items. The Podcast, of course, will continue to appear every Friday. I hope you find the new Power Vertical Feed to be a useful resource and welcome your feedback. More

15:34 November 26, 2014

SIBERIAN AVIATION FOLLIES

So by now, we've all seen how passengers in Krasnoyarsk had to get out and push their flight out of the snow...

...and we've all seen the snarky Twitter memes this has inspired...

...but have you heard about onboard drunken onboard brawl that grounded a flight in Novosibirsk?

12:41 November 26, 2014

MIKHAIL ZYGAR OF DOZHD-TV HONORED

12:33 November 26, 2014

NO MISTRAL, NO FRENCH WINE!

Via The Moscow Times:

A lawmaker on the State Duma's Defense Committee has proposed banning the import of French wines in response to Paris' decision to suspend delivery of the first of two helicopter carriers to Russia.

"Let's ban the sale of French wine in Russia," Deputy Vladimir Bessonov told Russian News Service radio on Tuesday. "Even talking about this can bring about desired results," he said, without specifying what these would be.

France, under pressure from its Western allies to cancel a 1.2 billion euro contract ($1.58 billion) with Russia for Mistral-class warships, said earlier Tuesday that it was suspending delivery of the first of two carriers because of Russia's meddling in eastern Ukraine.

MEANWHILE, IN UKRAINE...

12:21 November 26, 2014
12:20 November 26, 2014

BAD NEWS AT SBERBANK

12:18 November 26, 2014

MORNING NEWS ROUNDUP

From RFE/RL's News Desk:

INDEPENDENT JOURNALIST ESCAPES RUSSIA, SEEKS ASYLUM IN U.S.

By RFE/RL's Russian Service

The editor-in-chief of an independent Russian news website says he will seek political asylum in the United States.

Oleg Potapenko told RFE/RL on November 26 that he has arrived in the United States despite efforts by Russian authorities to prevent him from leaving the country.

Potapenko is editor of Amurburg.ru, a news site in the Far Eastern city of Khabarovsk that has reported about the presence of Russian troops in eastern Ukraine.

On November 12, the openly gay Potapenko and his partner were prevented from boarding a flight from Khabarovsk to Hong Kong after border guards said a page was missing from Potapenko's passport.

Potapenko says the page was cut out by a police officer who requested his passport for a check earlier that day.

He told RFE/RL that he had managed to leave Russia from another city, Vladivostok, on November 16.

MERKEL SAYS RUSSIA TRAMPLING ON INTERNATIONAL LAW

German Chancellor Angela Merkel says Russia's actions in Ukraine are a violation of international law and a threat to peace in Europe.

Speaking bluntly in an address to Germany's parliament on November 26, Merkel said, "Nothing justifies the direct or indirect participation of Russia in the fighting in Donetsk and Luhansk."

She told the Bundestag that Russia's actions have "called the peaceful order in Europe into question and are a violation of international law."

But she suggested there was no swift solution, saying, "Our efforts to overcome this crisis will require patience and staying power."

Germany has become increasingly frustrated over Moscow's refusal to heed Western calls to stop supporting pro-Russian separatists who have seized control of large parts of the Donetsk and Luhansk provinces in eastern Ukraine.

Close ties between Russia and Germany have been strained by the Ukraine crisis.

(Based on reporting by Reuters)

UKRAINE SAYS MORE RUSSIAN MILITARY IN EAST

Ukraine has leveled fresh charges that Russia is sending military support to pro-Russian separatists in the east.

A foreign ministry spokesman said five columns of heavy equipment were spotted crossing into Ukrainian territory on November 24.

Evhen Perebyinis told journalists on November 25 that a total of 85 vehicles had been detected in the five columns that entered at the Izvaryne border crossing point from Russia.

"The Russian side is continuing to provide the terrorist organizations of the Donetsk and Luhansk people's republics with heavy armaments," said Perebynisis.

Separately, the Ukrainian military said one soldier had been killed and five others wounded in the past 24 hours as a shaky cease-fire declared on September 5 continued to come under pressure.

The six-month conflict in the east of Ukraine has left more than 4,300 people dead, according to the United Nations.

(Based on reporting by AFP and Reuters)

RUSSIA SAYS IT WON'T ANNEX ABKHAZIA, SOUTH OSSETIA

By RFE/RL

Russia has rejected accusations that it is planning to annex Georgia’s breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin told RFE/RL’s Current Time program on November 25: “There can be no question about any annexations.”

Georgia and the West have criticized a "strategic partnership" agreement between Russia and Abkhazia signed on November 24.

Tbilisi condemned the pact as an attempt by Moscow to annex the region.

Karasin also said Russia will “continue sparing no effort, nerves, financial expenses” to make sure its neighbors “do not feel endangered.”

"As a large state and a powerful country, Russia is constantly responsible for stability on its borders and everything that is under way along its borders," he added.

Under the "strategic partnership," Russian and Abkhaz forces in the territory will turn into a joint force led by a Russian commander.

 

19:16 November 21, 2014

POWER VERTICAL PODCAST: A YEAR OF LIVING DANGEROUSLY

On this week's Power Vertical Podcast, we use the one-year anniversary of the Euromaidan uprising to look at how it changed both Ukraine and Russia. My guests are Sean Guillory and Alexander Motyl.

Latest Podcasts

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