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.
Listen to or download the podcast above, or subscribe to The Power Vertical Podcast on iTunes