Wednesday, August 24, 2016

The Power Vertical

Podcast: Vladimir The Ideologue Vs. Putin The Pragmatist

So what do you think, Volodya?
So what do you think, Volodya?

Vladimir Putin has long shown himself to be ruthless and cynical. But also appeared pragmatic and rational.

But in his third term in the Kremlin, and particularly in the Ukraine crisis, Putin appears to have taken a decisive ideological turn.

And as the pressure mounts from Western sanctions and Russia becomes more isolated, speculation has intensified about whether Putin will seek an exit strategy from the Ukraine crisis, or whether he will escalate it yet again.

The answer largely depends on which Putin -- the pragmatist or the ideologue -- the West is dealing with.

On the latest "Power Vertical Podcast" I discuss this issue with co-host Mark Galeotti, a professor at NYU, an expert on Russia's security services, and author of the blog "In Moscow's Shadows"; and Kremlin-watcher Ben Judah, author of the book "Fragile Empire: How Russia Fell Out Of Love With Vladimir Putin."

Also on the podcast, Mark, Ben, and I discuss how attitudes in Europe about Russia are changing -- and changing dramatically


Power Vertical Podcast -- August 1, 2014
Power Vertical Podcast -- August 1, 2014i
|| 0:00:00

Listen to or download the podcast above or subscribe to "The Power Vertical Podcast" on iTunes.

Tags: Vladimir Putin,Power Vertical podcast,Ukraine Crisis

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
by: Johan Lundgren from: Sweden
August 01, 2014 22:15
Hi, just discovered this pod, quite nice, though a bit hyperbolic in the predictions of Russias imminent demise. I have a very minor request, could you ask you tech-people to give the mp3-file a comprehensible name? This programs file is called 1719485b-8cab-4ddc-985c-930250e33c5a.mp3 which understandably makes it a bit hard to tell what it is when looking through my list of downloads.

by: Ray Finch from: Lawrence, KS
August 02, 2014 12:53
Enjoyed the podcast; much food for thought. Significant difference, however, between your analysis and that which is expressed within the major Russian media. The Kremlin’s message is loud and clear: Russia is not about to submit to a US/Western model of global governance. It might just be rhetoric, but I can detect little concern among the Kremlin leadership for an “exit ramp” back onto the international system whereby Washington plays the major role. It may just be wishful thinking on your part that Putin and company share your rational/pragmatic of global governance and that history stopped after 1991. In future podcasts, instead of inviting guests who all share your views, you might think to invite a supporter of the Kremlin’s position.
In Response

by: Anonymous
August 02, 2014 19:34
this 2 .... "journalist"
are years and years that are speaking every week
about the imminent the dissolution of russia
or the inevitable fall out of putin
In Response

by: Anonymous
August 03, 2014 01:15
The Kremlins position is hard to support. Its mainly "Russia gets to do whatever it wants because " reasons"" and everyone else can take it or leave it. Even George W. Bush was able to be somewhat more multilateral than the Kremlin.

by: Kosta from: Bulgaria
August 02, 2014 15:33
The so called "west" LOST the "propaganda war"...Fact! And the "radio "refe-ala-bala-le" knows it...their controllers know it...the controllers' Controllers know it...And all of Ýou"are PANICED-it's unbelivable isnt it'-the ohhh so great nWo Plan is going down the drain...YES IT IS because it is the dumbest thing one can think of-establishing global forced uniformity inEverything ,a global psichopatical dictatorship for a small clique to rule for "eternity" !?! Amaizing isn't it-YES AMAIZINGLY INSANE I say....We are talking here about that "(in)sane monkey" Homo Sapiens right,not about your pet ant colony?
In Response

by: Don from: Tennessee
August 02, 2014 18:21
1. If you are going to comment in English, learn how to spell.
2. That done, learn correct grammar.
3. Back your "Facts" up with documentation.
4. Wait until you are of legal age (An adult) before you comment again.
In Response

by: Anonymous
August 03, 2014 01:13
How much does the comment farm pay you per hour?
In Response

by: Anonymous 2
August 03, 2014 16:06
So...whoever has an opinion contradicting yours or is not Pro-West like your ideals....

Are you telling me they should be ridiculed? Judged? That other Pro-Western commenters can say whatever they like without sources or whatnot and based on the propaganda bullcrap they've been raised on?

Funny stuff. Judge as you will, many Americans are not even aware of the rights and the liberties we have been given, and yet we criticize each other and believe our rights are limited to ourselves.

That only we should speak, that only we should have a say. What bullcrap. The world doesn't work that way. I'm confident that if you're beyond the age of 16 you'll already know that.

You know what they call people who talk to themselves? That depends, and is rather subjective based on the audience who sees or hears you talk to yourself.

How you view other's opinions--negatively or positively--reflects your thinking and your ideals.

Apparently they aren't that positive.

by: DarwinWasRight from: Moscow, Russia
August 02, 2014 18:20
It was foreseeable back in 1999 that something like this was bound to happen. Putin is neither pragmatic nor rational. He is a psycho and the only reason why he invaded Crimea and (let's be truthful here) Eastern Ukraine, is for the same reason Clinton had an affair with Monica Lewinsky: he did it because he could.
Like all psychos, Putin wants to be loved and admired.

If Obama called him and said, "Vlad, it does not really matter what you do in Ukraine, I personally think you are the greatest person who ever lived on earth", Putin would become more ... flexible. Putin wants power, admiration and respect. There is nothing more than that.
In Response

by: V. Putin from: Moskva, RSFSR(+Crimea!)
August 03, 2014 17:12
If Obama called me and said that, I would roll my tanks all the way to Uzhhorod! MWA HA HA!!!

Then I would send Barry an autographed compilation of my best topless poses as a thank-you.

by: Konstantin from: Los Angeles
August 03, 2014 04:39
They were invading E. Europe and Russia "Brigants" for 11
Centuries, moving with total genocide, leaving alive few
gang-rape women and children as Russian serfs.
Periodically they were stopped, mixed with
other people, specially Tatars-Mongols,
made a modern power by Georgian
King and his nephew, Peter the I,
But they returned to the old way.
They put on throne Katrina the II,
with Prussians into both Capitals,
push Prussia invade all Germany,
and divided half Europe and Asia,
unleashing pre-"Yoke" genocides.
Periodically Russia falls, saved by
neighbor nations to rebuilt, betray
them again and lives as "Brigants".
Putin has influence with them only
if they restore bestial repopulation
Euro-Asia, making Russians serfs,
but applying modern World security
Russia playing the game of stealing,
expanding and precedent "churkas".
If Putin leaning to people and justice,
"Brigants" can find another "Ataman".
Thus the very question: IDEOLOGUE
vs. PRAGMATIST, is realistic question:
Weather Civilization press all "Brigants"
give up on their expansion of race wars
against other nations to stop expansion,
Or bow under swine's piggery, having an
impudence call "ideology" mix of Russian
vulgarity (mochit' v tualetah) with a caning
Julia Ioffe romantics of Old imperial Glory
of two-faced "Stervyatnik c lentochkamy".

In Response

by: Konstantin from: Los Angeles
August 10, 2014 07:30
Putin is also at the cross-roads of history and his life.
Not only the gang and the Ataman, but pressure by Lemurs,
with WW2 program of Nazi "Ananerbe" on children on once
occupied by Nazis territories, taken by Prussians from Moscow,
to continue "Termidors" - makes Russia to make all other nations mortal enemies of Moscow, even Siberians, so that
after division of Europe among Empires, only Austrian and German friends would remain for CIS nations.
Putin is cracking-up.
Wake-up Putin!
Dropping of a bird is not a sign from above, just the birds sense over-worked brain, close to micro-stroke,
and try to save a man, like little angels.
It happened to me during most torturous Russia-USA, using "lemurs" and "Non Lethal Weapons",
to brake me days and nights in Los Angeles for years.
If I felt bad and almost had strokes, often a bird would fly too close to my head,
touching it with a wing, thought without droppings.
I think it is a way to save people - from above.
On another hand, Putin deserve a drop, so he got it too..

by: Mamuka
August 04, 2014 17:04
As I listened to the Podcast and thought about the speakers ideas that Putin might give in to economic pressure, I thought about Nazi Germany and how Hitler was able to wage war for five years in an even more restrictive economic climate. In short, even though Putin might indeed be looking for the "way out" of Donbass, there could be a long way to go before Russia faces severe economic problems.

by: Eugenio from: Vienna
August 08, 2014 08:06
Interestingly enough, West-Europeans are joining the Donbass Self-Defenses too: two Spaniards recorded a VIDEO explaining their reasons for joining the anti-junta forces (the video is recorded in the language of Beavus and Butthead so that even the most primitive biological species could understand what is going on :-))).

Latest Podcasts

About This Blog

The Power Vertical is a blog written especially for Russia wonks and obsessive Kremlin watchers by Brian Whitmore. It offers Brian's personal take on 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