He was supposed to be untouchable. He was supposed to be immortal. He was supposed to be eternal.
Few members of the Russian elite looked as unassailable as Vladimir Yakunin.
He's been personally close to Vladimir Putin for decades, going back to the Ozero dacha collective in the 1990s. He ran the massive state company Russian Railways and had close ties to the Russian Orthodox Church. He was a key member of the Kremlin's inner sanctum. He was consistently ranked among the most powerful men in the country.
When somebody like Yakunin takes a fall, it's a sure sign that all is not well inside the "Collective Putin."
On the latest Power Vertical Podcast, I unpack Yakunin's departure, and what it portends, with co-host Mark Galeotti, a professor at New York University, an expert on Russia's security services, and author of the blog In Moscow's Shadows.
Also on the podcast, Mark and I discuss the tumultuous six months since Boris Nemtsov was assassinated.
Listen to or download the podcast above or subscribe to The Power Vertical Podcast on iTunes.