Power Vertical Podcast Ep. 57

The Gray Cardinal has left the building. Vladislav Surkov, architect of Russia’s so-called “sovereign democracy,” with its fake political parties, manufactured social movements, and feigned elections, announced his resignation this week.

And Surkov’s departure from the Kremlin came at a time when the Russian Constitution is being overhauled with amendments to make Orthodox Christianity the official religion, to enshrine Russia’s status as a “victorious power” in World War II, and to incorporate the office of a “Supreme Leader.”

As Russia’s political system is being redesigned to keep Vladimir Putin in power indefinitely, the regime’s legitimizing myth and its means of propagating that myth also appear to be in flux. Sovereign democracy appears to be out. The 19th Century formula of Orthodoxy, Autocracy, and Nationalism appears to be in.

Listen to episode 57 of the Power Vertical Podcast as Brian Whitmore is joined by Donald N. Jensen and special guest Leon Aron, a resident scholar and director of Russian studies at the American Enterprise Institute.

Intro Audio Clip: Sounds from the Moscow Metro by  sharabanov under CC BY 3.0. 

Photo: Photo of the Kremlin by Adam Jones. 

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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January 31, 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.