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Podcast: The State Of The President

A boy in Vladivostok sleeps as his tablet computer shows Vladimir Putin's annual state-of-the-nation address on December 12.
There was a lot of anticipation for President Vladimir Putin's state-of-the-nation address this week, his first since returning to the Kremlin in May.

Some media speculated he would reshuffle the government. Some reported that he would use the speech to unveil a rebranded "Putin the Wise Patriarch." Other Kremlin-watchers thought the address would signal a pivot to more liberal policies.

But what everybody got instead was boilerplate.

In the latest edition of the Power Vertical podcast, I discussed Putin's big speech and why it fell flat with co-hosts Kirill Kobrin of RFE/RL's Russian Service and NYU Professor Mark Galeotti, author of the blog "In Moscow's Shadows." Why did Putin pass up an opportunity to take the political initiative?

Also on the podcast, we discuss a recent gaffe by Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, who was caught by a live microphone insulting agents of the Investigative Committee.

Power Vertical Podcast: The State Of The President
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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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