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Podcast: Court Politics

Former Russian Economic Development Minister Aleksei Ulyukayev being escorted to court.

A sting operation, an oil deal, and a bag allegedly filled with cash -- or maybe just sausages or wine.

A sitting minister arrested for the first time since the 1950s, a highly publicized trial, leaked wiretaps, and a powerful witness who has repeatedly refused to appear in court.

And in the middle of it all is Rosneft CEO Igor Sechin, one of the most shadowy and feared figures in the Russian elite and a decades-long crony of Vladimir Putin.

The corruption trial of former Economy Minister Aleksei Ulyukayev and Sechin's role in putting him in the dock are providing a rare window into the high-stakes power struggles in Putin's inner circle.

Court politics, it appears, is back -- and back with a vengeance. And on this week's Power Vertical Podcast, we take a look at what's at stake.

Joining me is co-host Mark Galeotti,a senior research fellow at the Institute of International Relations in Prague, head of its Center for European Security, and author of the forthcoming book Vory: Russia's Super Mafia.


Power Vertical Podcast: Court Politics
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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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