Putin’s Muddled Message

January 15, 2016

The Power Veritcal podcast is hosted by RFE/RL’s Brian Whitmore and is syndicated with permission by The Interpreter.

When a Russian leader speaks to a foreign media outlet, it is usually aimed at sending a clear and specific message.

But Vladimir Putin’s lengthy, wide-ranging, and often contentious interview with the mass-circulation German tabloid Bild this week was a discombobulated mishmash of conciliatory, unyielding, and sometimes disturbingly over-the-top rhetoric.

Putin apparently wants to reengage the West, but he wants to do so without making any concessions — or even a change in tone.

On the new Power Vertical Podcast, we unpack Putin’s mixed and muddled message to the West and what it portends.

Joining me are co-host Mark Galeotti, a professor at New York University, an expert on Russia’s security services, and author of the blog In Moscow’s Shadows; and Moscow-based foreign affairs analyst Vladimir Frolov, president of the LEFF Group and a columnist for Slon.ru.