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ON MY MIND

So we're in uncharted territory and, at this point, I have more questions than answers.

Will the election of Donald Trump as the 45th U.S. president lead to the collapse of the post-Cold War international order? Will he weaken or rewrite the transatlantic alliance?

As Peter Baker notes in a piece featured below (and Kurt Eichenwald noted in a piece included in yesterday's Morning Vertical), there are certainly fears to this effect in Europe.

Will Trump recognize Russia's annexation of Crimea, abandon Ukraine and Georgia, and give Russia a free hand in the former Soviet space?

His campaign rhetoric suggests he might. And the Georgians and Ukrainians are justifiably nervous about this.

Would he defend NATO allies like the Baltic states in the case of Russian aggression? His campaign rhetoric suggests he might not. Which is, no doubt, causing some sleepless nights in Tallinn, Riga, and Vilnius.

Trump may yet turn out to be a more conventional president in foreign policy than his statements during the election campaign suggest.

Or not.

At this point, we just don't know.

IN THE NEWS

Vladimir Putin has congratulated U.S. President-elect Donald Trump on his victory in the U.S. election.

But the Kremlin made a point of saying he waited until it was official.

Marie Yovanovitch, the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, says the results of the election won't affect Washington's relations with Kyiv.

The European Union has added six new deputies in Russia's State Duma -- all from Crimea -- to its sanctions list over Moscow's seizure and illegal annexation of the Ukrainian territory.

A member of Russia's presidential council for human rights said activist Ildar Dadin, who claims to have been tortured and beaten in prison, refused to be transferred to a different facility.

An employee of the Russian Consulate in New York was found dead there early on November 8 with a head wound, though police were still trying to determine his exact cause of death.

Activists in the Russian region of Tatarstan have urged the head of soccer's world governing body, FIFA President Gianni Infantino, to help save a grove of trees that is being cut down in order to build a stadium parking lot for the 2018 World Cup.

WHAT I'M READING

Applause In The Duma

State Duma deputies broke out into applause at the announcement that Donald Trump was elected president of the United States.

"Colleagues, three minutes ago Hillary Clinton conceded defeat in the U.S. presidential election and three minutes ago Donald Trump began his victory speech as president elect," Duma speaker Vyacheslav Volodin announced.

How RT Covered The Trump Victory

In a piece in the Daily Beast, Michael Weiss looks at how RT covered the Trump victory

"The Russian government’s English-language propaganda channel wasn’t exactly giddy at the prospect of President Trump. But boy, did they love the idea of Hillary Clinton going down," Weiss writes.

Is It The End Of The World Order As We Know It?

In The New York Times, Peter Baker looks at the implications of a Trump presidency for the post-Cold War international order.

"Global markets fell after Tuesday’s election and many around the world scrambled to figure out what it might mean in parochial terms," Baker writes.

"For Mexico, it seemed to presage a new era of confrontation with its northern neighbor. For Europe and Asia, it could rewrite the rules of modern alliances, trade deals, and foreign aid. For the Middle East, it foreshadowed a possible alignment with Russia and fresh conflict with Iran."

A Boost For Putin?

In a commentary for CNN, veteran Kremlin-watcher Edward Lucas calls Trump's victory a big boost for Putin.

"A Trump presidency will shake to its foundations a US commitment to European security that dates back to 1941," Lucas writes.

"Putin...has received the biggest boost of his 17 years in power. His big goal has always been to rewrite the rules on which European security is based. From a Western point of view, this post-1991 settlement seems set in stone, and unquestionably good. Big countries pursue their national interests with restraint, in a multilateral framework. Small countries get a say in what happens. Disputes are settled in court or over the negotiating table, not by force of arms. From the Kremlin's point of view, this security order is intolerable."

Trump's Cabinet

Politico looks at who is likely to be in Trump's Cabinet.

The Balkan Coup Plot

Writing in Foreign Policy, Daniel Serwer and Sinisa Vukovic of the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies note that while "in the U.S., the Kremlin is hacking emails...[in] the Balkans, it’s staging coups."

"Americans looking for a glimpse at what it looks like when the Kremlin really, really wants to mess with an election and its aftermath need only look at recent events in this part of southern Europe," they write.

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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