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Podcast: All The President's Men

Viktor Zolotov (top, center) is up. Vladimir Yakunin (bottom, left), Viktor Ivanov (bottom, center) and Sergei Ivanov (bottom, right) are down.
Viktor Zolotov (top, center) is up. Vladimir Yakunin (bottom, left), Viktor Ivanov (bottom, center) and Sergei Ivanov (bottom, right) are down.

Another shoe drops. Another Kremlin insider takes a fall. Another sign that these are far from normal times for Russia's ruling class.

The dismissal of Sergei Ivanov as Kremlin chief of staff was indeed a bombshell. Few Russian officials were closer to Vladimir Putin and few wielded as much influence.

But Ivanov's downfall didn't happen in isolation. He was the third member of Putin's innermost circle to go down in the past year.

And it came on the heels of high-profile corruption investigations targeting the Investigative Committee and Federal Customs Service, the establishment of a new National Guard, and a shakeup in the Federal Security Service (FSB).

So what are we witnessing? Normal cadre rotation? A shakeup ahead of the elections? Or a purge and the birth of a new elite?

On this week's Power Vertical Podcast, we take a deep dive into what is going on with the Russian elite.

Joining me are co-host Mark Galeotti, a senior research fellow at the Czech Institute of International Relations, a visiting fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations, and author of the blog In Moscow's Shadows; and Andrei Soldatov, editor in chief of the investigative website and co-author of the books Red Web: The Struggle Between Russia's Digital Dictators And The New Online Revolutionaries and The New Nobility: The Restoration Of Russia's Security State And The Enduring Legacy Of The KGB.

Also on the podcast, Mark, Andrei and I will discuss the meteoric rise of Viktor Zolotov, the chief of the new National Guard.


Power Vertical Podcast: All The President's Men
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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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