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Podcast: Murder Inc.

The victims (clockwise from top left): Anna Politkovskaya, Aleksandr Litvinenko, Natalya Estemirova, Galina Starovoitova, Vladislav Listyev, and Boris Nemtsov

They've been gunned down in stairwells. They've been shot dead on Moscow streets. And one was even poisoned with a rare radioactive isotope in the heart of London.

Political assassinations have become a regular feature of post-Soviet Russia -- from television anchor Vladislav Listyev back in 1995 to former deputy prime minister and opposition leader Boris Nemtsov in 2015.

And today marks the 10th anniversary of one of the most shocking: the 2006 killing of investigative journalist Anna Politkovskaya.

What accounts for the proliferation of assassinations over the past two decades? Are they localized acts of violence? Or is there a method to the madness?

On this week's Power Vertical Podcast, I discuss the phenomenon of assassinations in Russia with co-host Mark Galeotti, a senior research fellow at the Institute of International Relations in Prague, a visiting fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations, and author of the blog In Moscow's Shadows.

Also on the podcast, Mark and I look back at a week that saw Russia's relations with the West sink to new lows.


Power Vertical Podcast: Murder Inc.
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Listen to or download the podcast above or subscribe to The Power Vertical Podcast on iTunes.

NOTE TO LISTENERS: The Power Vertical Podcast will take a two-week hiatus as I will be on the conference circuit in the United States and Europe. But Mark Galeotti and I will record a special podcast from the Warsaw Security Forum, where we both will be speaking, for October 28.

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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