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Podcast: The Left's Autumn Of Opportunity

Left Front leader Sergei Udaltsov speaks at an antigovernment protest in Moscow on June 12.
A new season of protests kicks off on September 15 with mass rallies planned for Moscow and other cities.

But in addition to the opposition's longstanding demands for early elections and a more competitive and pluralistic political system, a new element will be added to the protest mix in what promises to be a very hot autumn -- social issues.

In the coming months, the Russian authorities are due to implement a series of reforms of the country's creaking social welfare infrastructure, including its pension and health-care system. Utilities prices are expected to rise.

Additionally, Russia's entry into the World Trade Organization earlier this summer has sparked increasing anxiety among labor unions and rank-and-file workers.

The prevailing protest mood and the addition of social issues to the equation appears to present an opportunity for Russia's left wing political forces -- if they can seize it.

In this week's edition of the Power Vertical podcast, I discuss the state of the Russian left with my regular co-host Kirill Kobrin, managing editor of RFE/RL's Russian Service.


Power Vertical Podcast - 14 September, 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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