The World According To Moscow

January 29, 2016
The view from Putinland

The Power Vertical is hosted by RFE/RL’s Brian Whitmore and is syndicated by The Interpreter.

The international community should thank Russia for forcefully seizing Crimea. The United States seeks the dismemberment of Russia so it can take over its natural resources. And European leaders take their orders from Washington.

These are just a few of the comments Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev made this week in an interview with the mass-circulation tabloid Moskovsky Komsomolets.

And Patrushev, it is worth noting, is one of Vladimir Putin’s closest confidants.

It’s tempting to dismiss the nuttier statements of Kremlin officials as disingenuous and largely designed for domestic consumption.

But a recent report by veteran Kremlin-watcher James Sherr of Chatham House suggests that top Russian officials actually believe much of their own hype.

On this week’s Power Vertical Podcast, I’m joined by Sherr and Moscow-based foreign affairs analyst Vladimir Frolov, a columnist at, to discuss how Moscow’s world view is driving policy.

Also on the Podcast, James, Vladimir and I look at the current state of play in the diplomacy surrounding the conflict in eastern Ukraine.