The Power Vertical Podcast at CEPA

And so it begins. This week, columns of tanks, troops, and military hardware paraded through Moscow as Vladimir Putin looked on from Red Square, flanked by World War II veterans in medals and uniforms — but not in masks — as throngs of not-socially-distanced Muscovites lined the streets.

Xi Jinping and Emmanuel Macron were supposed to be there, but took a pass. But hey, at least Alyaksandr Lukasnenka showed up this year.

And next week comes the main event, as Russians go to the polls to vote on constitutional amendments that could keep Putin in power until 2036.

The bread-and-circuses spectacle of this week’s parade and the tightly choreographed political theater of next week’s constitutional referendum are designed to establish a fresh veneer of legitimacy to effectively turn Putin into Russia’s forever ruler.

Listen to the Power Vertical Podcast as Vladimir Kara-Murza, Chairman of the Boris Nemtsov Foundation and Vice President of the Free Russia Foundation, joins Brian Whitmore, Maria Snegovaya, and Donald N. Jensen to consider if the Kremlin’s plans will work.

Intro Audio Clip: “Message from the President to the Federal Assembly” by the President of Russia under CC BY 4.0. 

Photo: “Parade in honor of the 75th anniversary of the Great Victory” by the President of Russia under CC BY 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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June 26, 2020

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.