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Podcast: The Pardon Heard Around The World

Former oligarch Mikhail Khodorkovsky (left) and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Former oligarch Mikhail Khodorkovsky (left) and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
It caused Russian markets to rally. It has been called "a landmark event" and a development of "colossal significance."

And it happened so fast, I had to entirely change my plans for this week's podcast.

It, of course, is the sudden release of jailed former oil executive Mikhail Khodorkovsky after more than a decade as Russia's most famous political prisoner.

On the latest Power Vertical Podcast, I discussed Khodorkovsky's release and what it might portend with Kirill Kobrin, editor of the Moscow-based history and sociology magazine "Neprikosnovenny zapas" and NYU Professor Mark Galeotti, an expert on Russia's security services and author of the blog "In Moscow's Shadows."

The discussion went on in real time, as Khodorkovsky's release was unfolding -- so please bear with us.

Also on the podcast, Kirill, Mark, and I took a look at Vladimir Putin's quixotic bid to claim the mantle of the "world conservativism's new leader."

Power Vertical Podcast -- December 20, 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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