The Kremlin’s Gray Cardinal

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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. 

January 31, 2020