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Podcast -- Beyond Protests: The Opposition's Growing Pains

Opposition supporters stand in front of the stage during the "March of Millions" protest rally in Moscow on September 15.
For more than nine months now it's been a regular feature of the Russian landscape. Tens of thousands of people gather in Moscow, St. Petersburg, and other cities.

They carry signs with clever -- and often hilarious -- antigovernment slogans. They chant things like "Russia Without Putin" and "Free Pussy Riot." They listen to fiery speeches by Aleksei Navalny, Sergei Udaltsov, and other opposition figures.

And then everybody goes home until the next protest is called.

Now, there is a growing sentiment among the Russian opposition that street protests like the September 15 March of Millions have reached the point of diminishing returns. Can the opposition move beyond street protests?

A key test will come next month when it will hold online primaries to elect a new Coordinating Council to organize its future activities.

In the latest edition of the Power Vertical podcast, I discussed the primaries and what they mean with my co-host Kirill Kobrin, managing editor of RFE/RL's Russian Service.

Also on the podcast, Kirill and I discussed the ongoing "cold war" in the Russian elite and the possibility of a government shake-up.


Power Vertical Podcast -- September 28, 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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