From Interference Abroad To Repression At Home: Examining Vladimir Putin's Power Plays

Aug 24, 2020

A bipartisan report from the Senate Committee on Intelligence reveals new details about Russia’s involvement in the 2016 election. The report provides the most detailed account yet of President Trump’s relationships in Russia. Plus, the most prominent opponent of Russian President Vladimir Putin has allegedly been poisoned. We’ll talk to experts about Putin’s grip on power.


Masha Gessen, staff writer at The New Yorker. Author of 11 books, including “Surviving Autocracy” and “The Future Is History: How Totalitarianism Reclaimed Russia.” (@mashagessen)

Mark Mazzetti, Washington D.C. investigative correspondent for The New York Times. Won a Pulitzer Prize in 2018 for reporting on Donald Trump’s advisers and their connections to Russia. (@MarkMazzettiNYT)

From The Reading List

The New York Times: “A Republican-led Senate panel details the 2016 Trump campaign’s Russian ties.” — “A report released Tuesday by a Republican-controlled Senate panel that spent three years investigating Russia’s 2016 election interference laid out an extensive web of contacts between Trump campaign advisers and Russian government officials and other Russians, including some with ties to the country’s intelligence services.”

The New Yorker: The Suspected Poisoning of Alexey Navalny, Putin’s Most Prominent Adversary” — “Alexey Navalny, the anti-corruption blogger who for years has been Vladimir Putin’s only formidable opponent — which is to say, his only adversary who has remained in Russia, stayed active, and maintained prominence despite repeated attacks from the authorities — has been hospitalized in an intensive-care unit in the Siberian city of Omsk. He is in a coma. He fell ill aboard a plane, which then made an emergency landing. His assistant and press secretary, Kira Yarmysh, suspects Navalny has been poisoned.”

The New York Times: Trump and Miss Moscow: Report Examines Possible Compromises in Russia Trips” — “Two decades before he ran for president, Donald J. Trump traveled to Russia, where he scouted properties, was wined and dined and, of greatest significance to Senate intelligence investigators, met a woman who was a former Miss Moscow.”

The Washington Post: As it turns out, there really was collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia” — “The investigation by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III ended anticlimactically. Although Mueller’s report detailed evidence of Russian interference and the Trump team’s welcome receipt of help from Moscow, there was insufficient evidence on the so-called ‘collusion’ — that is conspiracy — to rise to the level of criminality. However, thanks to the misleading spin from Attorney General William P. Barr, the extent of the cooperation — collusion, in laymen’s terms — was obscured.”

The New Yorker: Why America Feels Like A Post-Soviet State” — “I’ve been plagued by a nauseating sense of recognition lately. Story after story of the pandemic response in the United States reminds me of the country that I spent most of my professional life writing about: the Soviet Union and also the Russian state that was born after its collapse but which couldn’t shake many of its traits.”

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