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Podcast: Putin's Sword And Shield

Meet the new KGB. Same as the old KGB?
Meet the new KGB. Same as the old KGB?

The sword and shield of the regime are coming back. Or so it seems.

The daily newspaper Kommersant reported this week that the Kremlin is about to hatch a plan to establish a powerful new Ministry of State Security that would absorb most of Russia's security services and effectively resurrect the Soviet-era KGB.

If the report is true -- and nobody has denied it yet -- it would mark a sharp departure for Vladimir Putin, who until now had preferred to play divide and rule with Russia's myriad security services and law-enforcement agencies.

On this week's Power Vertical Podcast, we discuss the causes and implications of such a major overhaul of Russia's security architecture.

Joining me are co-host Mark Galeotti, an expert on Russia's security services, a senior fellow at the Institute of International Relations in Prague, and author of the blog In Moscow's Shadows; and Andrei Soldatov, co-author of the book The New Nobility: The Resurrection Of Russia's Security State And The Enduring Legacy of the KGB.


Power Vertical Podcast: Putin's Sword And Shield
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NOTE TO LISTENERS: The Power Vertical Podcast, and all other Power Vertical products, will not appear next week as I will be attending a conference in Tbilisi. All Power Vertical products will return to their regular schedule on October 3. The next Power Vertical Podcast will be on October 7.

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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