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The Power Vertical

The Daily Vertical: The Gun To Ukraine's Head

The Daily Vertical: The Gun To Ukraine's Headi
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March 01, 2016
The Daily Vertical is a video primer for Russia-watchers that appears Monday through Friday.
By Brian Whitmore

The Daily Vertical is a video primer for Russia-watchers that appears Monday through Friday. Viewers can suggest topics via Twitter @PowerVertical or on the Power Vertical Facebook page. 

A transcript of today's Daily Vertical can be found here.

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by: Marco
March 01, 2016 13:02
Someone should pull the trigger.

So it was never about Ukraine, it was all about hurting Russia. When Russia is hurt, Europe is hurt too, since Russia is part of Europe. The division of Europe and Russia is only benefitting the U.S.

Europe said nothing when the U.S destroyed the Middle East and North Africa, but now when Europe is being flooded by Muslim refugees, which will cripple Europe... perhaps Europe is waking up ? I doubt that very much.

The sanctions in place against Russia's financial institutions and energy sector is meant to divert Europe from the Russian energy market towards Shale Gas that is flooding the market in the U.S.

by: Westerner from: Australia
March 01, 2016 13:07
Isnt it logical to conclude that the separatists are increasing there attacks as a direct result of Kiev refusing to allow elections and refusing to change to constitution to allow for increased autonomy. The way you presented this 'news' piece wasn't very balanced..
In Response

by: BS Buster
March 01, 2016 23:28
The counter-Euromaidan side in Donbas is counter-attacking, as provocations have been launched from the Kiev regime forces.

by: AJ ( Canada )
March 01, 2016 14:14
Thanks Brian for highlighting what's going on in occupied eastern Ukraine and the blindness of EU leaders to it. Look forward to your commentaries every day

by: Marvin McCardle from: San Tan Valley
March 01, 2016 16:15
Brian, I agree with you about Russia's aggression. What is wrong with Germany and France. Are they so afraid of Putin that they look the other way when Russia is clearly the aggressor. What ignorance on their part. Putin should be told in no uncertain terms to get out of Ukraine and then maybe Ukraine can control the situation.
In Response

by: BS Buster
March 01, 2016 23:29
never mind the Western aggression in the way it has intervened.

by: Ulrick from: Norway
March 01, 2016 17:39
As always a good description of the situation. And except from the trolls that have also found their way into these blogs - and who everyone else hopefully have learned to just ignore by now - as I have also stated elsewhere, there are several things that the West could do – and several that they shouldn’t. First, the sanctions on Russia should ideally be increased – but as that seems impossible with the Western governments we have, they should at least remain as is. Secondly, the West should refrain from all their messages about lifting the sanctions against Russia, as well as about cooperating with them. Third, they should retain the focus on Ukraine and not fall prey for Moscow’s diversions – t.ex. Syria. That the West by now already talks about lifting sanctions against Russia – while Moscow has not made even the slightest move to indicate that they will step out of Donbas or end their occupation of Crimea – is completely outrageous. Now they are more focused on the lack of progress in the Ukrainian government than on the Russian aggression. I certainly do not indicate in any way that the lack of progress in Ukraine is of no significance – on the contrary. However, it seems for me that the Western world uses that as an excuse to normalize their relationship with Russia. But the question is, which kind of “normalized relationship” can be expected with a mafia state like Russia? They are totally unreliable and cannot be counted on in any way. They only follow the rules when they are to their advantage; and if the West keeps signalling its weakness towards Moscow, the Russian government will continue laughing at the sanctions and “threats” from the Western world – well knowing that the West won’t increase the sanctions in any way – regardless of what Russia does. That picture has become obvious long ago. That the West still speaks about “retaining the ceasefire” – while it has evidently been broken for long – speaks for itself.
So – if the West could at least state to Russia that no sanctions will be lifted within any foreseeable future – and stop sending ambiguous signals that encourage Moscow to continue their aggression (and probably getting appetite for more) – we will already have gone some way. But, of course, sanctions should instead be increased, ideally.
In Response

by: BS Buster
March 01, 2016 23:30
Ulkrick if anyone is a troll it's the likes of you.

by: Bo from: Czech Kingdom
March 01, 2016 20:56
Well said as usual. I don't know who's worth more contempt: whether the Russian mafia or their spineless cowardly European counterparts. It is sickening seeing their head in the sand strategy failing. It's the ultimate hypocrisy that is the worst about all this.

by: Ken McGraw from: Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA
March 01, 2016 22:17
Brian, What is up with that crazy shirt? Seriously, I look forward to your cutting analysis each day. But I also look forward to seeing a respectable polo. I can only guess what you'll be in tomorrow...

On a truly serious serious note, I had a theory that you were messing with Kremlin pencilnecks and coneheads with your "untraceable" polo effect, but now that hypothesis is shot. Please explain.
In Response

by: BS Buster
March 01, 2016 23:31
RFE/RL thinking types can be quite geeky in appearance.

by: Kirill from: Moscow
March 02, 2016 05:47
OK, our government is bad because it holds a gun to Ukraine's head. Everybody knows that. How many rebel fighters and civilians on their side have been killed since Minsk 2 is not important (when was it, only the "right" Ukrainian lives count). OK
Only the vehicles you chose to show as "tanks" in your video (sorry, it's just a coincidence that you say "move tanks" as this picture is shown, and I'm just a troll) are not tanks. They are MTLBs - "small truck light armor" in Russian. There was a big debate under the CFE Treaty, mayirestinpeace, whether to count them as fighting vehicles. The consensus was that they are not.

by: Ben W. from: Washington
March 02, 2016 11:53
Just look at our primaries in order to understand how corrupt the American electoral system. Just the illusion of choice. That's all it is. Bernie has taken Clinton to the cleaners in all states with the popular vote and yet he hasn't won any state.

Because we are heavily sedated and taught to think this is normal politics. Where I think we are at is that the people don't trust the current government but they think by voting for new people to fix it is going to work. People are still trapped in the illusion.

The main question is what is the point of voting at all? People have called out the RNC and DNC on their shit but nothing happens. Why people go back is probably because of young ignorance and the sense that this is the norm and this is what your supposed to do. The only alternative is not voting, sadly.

by: Lewis from: United States
March 02, 2016 12:00
I am more than wiling to admit that without Russia doing most of the heavy lifting (I'm talking about the brave men and women doing the actual fighting and dying) the outcome of the WW-2 could have been a toss up. The UK itself would have fallen eventually and it would have been the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and very little else to take on the Axis powers. I do believe it would have ended in a stalemate in the end without the united allies, the Free French, the Polish remnants, etc.

And I want to make clear. I'm an ex pat immigrant, born in the UK and living in the US now. I'm not a mindless American that believes our national sh.. doesn't stink. The US has serious problems, but so does many other nations too. But to be honest, I can say the US isn't the same country I immigrated to, it isn't even close to being what it was even 10 years ago...

There's no doubt if the original founders were alive today, they would shake their collective heads, told everyone living here that we are ignorant, brainwashed, fat, lazy, self centered and cowardly. The state, the government and it's citizens is everything the founding fathers were not. Hell, if the UK was even more pathetic, I'd move right back to inverness. Anyway, cheers and thanks for being someone reasonable! 
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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