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A cynical old-fashioned geopolitical struggle or clash of values? By whatever name, the battle for influence between Russia and the West on the Eurasian landmass has not abated, despite all eyes being on the Syria conflict.

Across the former Soviet neighborhood -- from Georgia, to Moldova, and of course, to Ukraine -- the Kremlin continues to deploy a variety of tools including corruption, coercion, and active measures to keep these countries in its orbit and prevent them from moving West.

On the latest Power Vertical Podcast, we take stock. Joining me are co-host Mark Galeotti, a professor at NYU, an expert on Russia's security services, and author of the blog In Moscow's Shadows; and Moscow-based political analyst Vladimir Frolov, president of the LEFF Group and a columnist for

Also on the podcast, Mark, Vladimir, and I discuss the potential for blowback from Russia's Syria intervention.


Listen to or download the podcast above or subscribe to The Power Vertical Podcast on iTunes.​

About This Blog

The Power Vertical
The Power Vertical

The Power Vertical is a blog written especially for Russia wonks and obsessive Kremlin watchers by Brian Whitmore. It offers Brian's personal take on emerging and developing trends in Russian politics, shining a spotlight on the high-stakes power struggles, machinations, and clashing interests that shape Kremlin policy today. Check out The Power Vertical Facebook page or


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