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Podcast: Russia's 'Culture Wars'

Gay rights activists take part in a rally against laws restricting the rights of homosexuals in downtown Moscow on March 10.
A global pop star sued for spreading "gay propaganda" in St. Petersburg. A "zombies" march in Siberia banned after being condemned by the church. A call by a militialike group to deploy brigades of Christian vigilantes to patrol holy sites and defend them against enemies of the faith endorsed by a leading Orthodox Church official.

Russia's culture wars are heating up.

An emboldened Orthodox Church has become markedly more assertive in defending what it considers traditional values. Meanwhile, much of Russian society has become more cosmopolitan, more tolerant, and bolder in its own right.

In this week's edition of "The Power Vertical Podcast," I discussed the deepening schism in Russian society with my regular co-host, Kirill Kobrin, managing editor of RFE/RL's Russian Service.

Also on the podcast, Kirill and I explore a much-discussed new report on the clans and personalities that make up the current Russian political elite.

The Power Vertical -- August 24, 2012
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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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