INTERVIEW: Vladimir Putin and the “Cult of Death”

February 21, 2024

SmartHER With Expelled Foreign Correspondent David Satter

Podcasts link: Apple, Spotify, Direct Download (and anywhere podcasts are broadcast).

From reportedly poisoning those who oppose him to encouraging what our guest calls a “cult of death”, Vladimir Putin leads the country with the largest nuclear arsenal in the world—Russia.

The controversial Russian president finds himself in the center of three storylines during this news cycle:

This week marks two years since Russia invaded Ukraine under Putin’s direction, and ten years since Russia annexed Crimea (an area in southern Ukraine).

Last week, we learned of the murder Alexey Navalny, a high-profile opposition leader imprisoned under Putin’s regime.

Earlier this month, American host, Tucker Carlson, aired a high-publicized interview with President Putin, igniting headlines worldwide.

Joining us is journalist and author, David Satter, who worked as a correspondent inside Russia during the fall of the Soviet Union and rise of Putin. In 2013, David became the first U.S. correspondent expelled from Russia since the Cold War. With incredible perspective on Russian life, and invaluable sources, David explains what most Americans don’t understand about the Russian leader and the Russian way of life, adding context and insight about this news cycle.

This interview covers a lot of ground! Some key words:

Yevgeny Prigozhin: The former leader of the Wagner Group – a mercenary military force connected to the Russian government. Despite a strong relationship with President Putin in the past, Prigozhin became critical of the war in Ukraine and eventually led a revolt against Putin in 2023 that Putin deterred. Prigozhin died several months later, in a plane accident often suspected as a murder orchestrated by Putin.

Alexey Navalny: A high-profile opposition leader against Pres. Vladmir Putin, who not only pursued political office in Russia but published investigative work exposing what he believed to be the corruption of the Putin regime.

Malaysian Airlines Flight 17: A civilian flight traveling from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, July 17, 2014, carrying 283 people and 15 crew. The Boeing 777 flew over eastern Ukraine – an area of conflict between Russia and Ukraine – and a rocket shot it down, killing all 298 people on board. Later reports blamed Russia and Vladimir Putin.

Evan Gershkovich: An American journalist imprisoned in Russia. Gershkovich lived in Russia and reported for The Wall Street Journal. During a reporting trip on March 29th, Russian security forces arrested him; Pres. Putin said Gershkovich acquired classified information.

by Jenna Lee,