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The Daily Vertical: Putin And The Ghosts Of Kremlins Past


A man looks at a collage by Andrei Budayev showing President Vladimir Putin and Soviet dictator Josef Stalin shaking hands.

The ghosts of all the dead Kremlin leaders -- as well as one who's still alive -- weigh like a nightmare on the brain of the current one. (The views expressed in these commentaries do not necessarily reflect the views of RFE/RL.)

Vladimir Putin is haunted by his predecessors.

He's spooked by how one of them came to power, through a revolution in the streets.

He's haunted by another, whose example he could never live up to.

He's afraid of turning into one, who was overthrown in a palace coup, and another who presided over a geriatric ossified regime and a stagnant economy.

He's afraid of turning into another, who inadvertently sparked the disintegration of his country.

The ghosts of all the dead Kremlin leaders -- as well as one that's still alive -- weigh like a nightmare on the brain of the current one.

In a special six-part series, The Daily Vertical took a closer look at Putin and the ghosts of Kremlins past.

Here's a recap:

Leninphobia (read transcript)

The Daily Vertical: Putin's Leninphobia
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0:00 0:02:07 0:00

Stalin Envy (read transcript)

The Daily Vertical: Putin's Stalin Envy
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0:00 0:01:44 0:00

Khrushchev Fears​ (read transcript)

The Daily Vertical: Putin's Khrushchev Fears
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0:00 0:01:38 0:00

Brezhnev Schizophrenia (read transcript)

The Daily Vertical: Putin's Brezhnev Schizophrenia
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0:00 0:01:41 0:00

Force Of Light, Force Of Darkness (read transcript)

The Daily Vertical: Force Of Light, Force Of Darkness
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0:00 0:01:49 0:00

I'm Not Yeltsin! (read transcript)

The Daily Vertical: I'm Not Yeltsin
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0:00 0:02:03 0:00

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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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