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Podcast: The Iron Fist And The Velvet Glove

Pussy Riot's Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, Bolotnaya defendant Stepan Zimin, opposition leader Aleksei Navalny and Greenpeace activist Paul Ruzycki
The Investigative Committee drops piracy charges against Greenpeace activists. Pussy Riot member Nadezhda Tolokonikova gets transferred to a new prison following a hunger strike. Aleksei Navalny's sentence gets suspended. Top officials float an amnesty for defendants in the Bolotnaya case.

Is the Kremlin softening its crackdown? Or is it just changing its tactics?

In this week's Power Vertical Podcast, I discuss this issue 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 this week's suicide bombing in Volgograd and its implications as the Winter Olympics in Sochi approach.


Power Vertical Podcast -- October 25, 2013
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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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