Final Word from Thursday, October 3, 2013

In his "Power Vertical" Russian blog, Brian Whitmore talks about a growing creative class in Russia that is fed up with Putin's accumulation of power and is demanding a better future. The most prominent voice of this expanding "power horizontal" is Alexei Navalny, who did surprisingly well in the Moscow mayoral election. The closest the Czechs have to anyone of such influence is Andrej Babiš. He and Navalny use a similar vocabulary in bad-mouthing the power structure and in promising change, but otherwise Babiš is a far cry from a dissident of Navalny's stature. Babiš is closer to Mikhail Prokhorov, a rich industrialist who got along well enough with politicians in the '90s before entering politics himself. He even ran against Putin last year, but some critics say he is actually part of the controlled opposition keeping Putin in power. Most of Babiš's voters clearly want a Navalny, but will they get a Prokhorov instead? [Czech Republic Radio Free Europe RFE Vladimir]

Glossary of difficult words

power vertical - a term used primarily to refer to the consolidation of power under Putin;

to be fed up with - to be annoyed or upset at a situation or treatment; to be sick and tired of;

to bad-mouth - to criticize; to speak disloyally of;

a be a far cry from - to be very different from.


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