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Podcast: The Political Games

Sports seems to be the last thing to come up in discussions about the Sochi Olympics.
Sports seems to be the last thing to come up in discussions about the Sochi Olympics.
In less than a month, the most expensive Olympic Games in history will start. But in the run-up to Sochi, there has been little discussion about sports.

Instead, the focus has been on politics, human rights, and the ever-present threat of terrorism.

What will LGBT activists -- and athletes -- do at the Games? How will the Russian authorities respond? Will Chechen militant Doku Umarov pull off a terrorist attack as he has pledged to do? And how will the Sochi Olympics, which have been shrouded in controversy almost from the outset, make Russia look to the world?

Such questions are overshadowing ones about who will take home the most Olympic gold.

In the latest "Power Vertical Podcast," we discuss the upcoming Sochi Olympics and what they might portend politically. Joining me were co-hosts Kirill Kobrin, editor of the Moscow-based history and sociology magazine "Neprikosnovenny zapas," and Mark Galeotti, a professor at New York University and author of the blog "In Moscow's Shadows."


Power Vertical Podcast -- January 10, 2014
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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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