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Podcast: A Toxic Trail

(Cartoon by Oleksiy Kustovskyi, RFE/RL)
(Cartoon by Oleksiy Kustovskyi, RFE/RL)

What has long been suspected now has an official imprimatur.

Nine years ago, Russian agents assassinated a U.K. citizen in the heart of London, most likely with the explicit approval of Vladimir Putin.

That was the conclusion of a British inquiry into the death of Russian spy-turned-whistleblower Aleksandr Litvinenko, who was poisoned in London in November 2006 after drinking tea laced with polonium, a rare radioactive isotope.

So what happens now?

On the new Power Vertical Podcast, we discuss the fallout and implications of the Litvinenko investigation.

Joining me are Mark Galeotti, a professor at New York University, an expert on Russia's security services, and author of the blog In Moscow's Shadows; Karen Dawisha, director of the Havighurst Center for Russian and Post-Soviet Studies at the University of Miami, Ohio, and author of the highly acclaimed book "Putin's Kleptocracy: Who Owns Russia?"; and journalist Oliver Bullough, author of the book, The Last Man In Russia and the Struggle to Save a Dying Nation.

Also on the Podcast, Mark, Karen, Oliver, and I look at Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov's latest antics and what they signify.


The Power Vertical Podcast: The Toxic Trail.
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About This Blog

The Power Vertical
The Power Vertical

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


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