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Weak Strongman: Discussing the Limits of Putin's Power with Timothy Frye

April 12, 2021

Russia is often seen as a country that was led astray by a former KGB officer, Vladimir Putin. Informed by his training and character, it is often implied, he turned himself into an all-powerful ruler and turned Russia into the autocracy it is today. But what if he simply was helpless to do any better and is not in fact all-powerful?

The Kennan Institute's Maxim Trudolyubov discusses constraints on Putin's ability to execute authority with Timothy Frye, whose book, Weak Strongman: The Limits of Power in Putin’s Russia, will be out this month. Timothy Frye is Professor at the Department of Political Science at Columbia University, New York, and a co-Director of the International Center for the Study of Institutions and Development (ICSID) at the Higher School of Economics in Moscow.

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Kennan Institute

The Kennan Institute is the premier U.S. center for advanced research on Russia and Eurasia and the oldest and largest regional program at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. The Kennan Institute is committed to improving American understanding of Russia, Ukraine, and the region through research and exchange.  Read more