He's one of the longest serving foreign ministers in the world.
For more than a decade, he's been the respectable face and silver-tongued voice of Vladimir Putin's regime abroad.
But after nearly 13 years as Russia's top diplomat, Sergei Lavrov appears to be getting fed up. He's visibly irritated. He's been losing his cool in public and using some colorful language in the process.
And perhaps most importantly, he appears to have been marginalized and excluded from the decision-making process in Moscow.
The story of the incredible shrinking foreign minister isn't just about Lavrov. It's about the downgrading of the Foreign Ministry as a whole, as well as the foreign policy professionals in the Putin regime.
On this week's Power Vertical Podcast, we take a look at the deprofessionalization of Russian politics and foreign policy, what is causing it, and what it portends.
Joining me is co-host Mark Galeotti, a senior research fellow at the Institute of International Relations in Prague, a visiting fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations, and author of the blog In Moscow's Shadows; and veteran Kremlin-watcher Donald Jensen, a former State Department official, a fellow at the Center for Transatlantic Relations in the Nitze School of International Studies at Johns Hopkins University and a senior fellow at the Center for European Policy Analysis.
Listen to or download the podcast above or subscribe to The Power Vertical Podcast on iTunes.