Power Vertical Podcast Ep. 32

Vladimir Putin is trying to make the world safe for dictators. And in the process, he is making a lot of unsavory friends in a lot of unlikely places.

From the Middle East to sub-Saharan Africa to Latin America, the Kremlin leader has been scouring the world, scouting troubled countries, and building up an axis of rogues. In some cases he is rekindling old Soviet alliances; and in others he is building new ones.

In some cases, as with Syria’s Bashar al-Assad, Putin has been successful in propping up a strongman. In others, like with Sudan’s Omar al-Bashir, he has ultimately failed. And in still others, like with Venezuela’s Nicolas Maduro, the jury is out and his patrons appear to be hanging on to power by a thread.

On the latest episode of the Power Vertical podcast, Brian Whitmore is joined by CEPA’s Donald N. Jensen to consider if Putin’s ploy to build influence by being the best friend of the world’s autocrats is working and what can be done to counter it.

Photo: “Vladimir Putin held talks with President of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela Nicolas Maduro at his Novo-Ogaryovo residence” by the Kremlin under CC BY-ND 4.0. 

WP Post Author

Brian Whitmore

Brian Whitmore is Director of the Russia Program at the Center for European Policy Analysis. Before joining CEPA he was Senior Russia Analyst at Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. He also worked as a foreign correspondent for The Boston Globe in Moscow and Prague; as a graduate instructor in the Department of Government and International Studies at the University of South Carolina; and as a visiting lecturer in the History Faculty at Mechnikov National University in Odessa, Ukraine and the International Relations Faculty at St. Petersburg State University.

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May 3, 2019

The Power Vertical is a CEPA podcast covering the Kremlin for Kremlin watchers. All opinions are those of the guests and do not necessarily represent the position or views of the institutions they represent or the Center for European Policy Analysis.