Wednesday, August 31, 2016

The Power Vertical

The Daily Vertical: The Mask Is Off

The Daily Vertical: The Mask Is Offi
January 26, 2016
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.
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.

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
by: Vakhtang from: Moscow
January 26, 2016 11:52
Dear Mr.Whitmore, you are behind the times!
Today, it is an honor to be a corrupt man in Russia.
All new generation wants to become corrupt and old die with the last words: "Forgive me my dear family that I could not be corrupt"
Mothers tells daughters:"You hook or by crook must to marry a corrupt, this happiness and joy!"
Fathers say sons:"You have to be corrupt it is the only right decision in Russia!"
Some people dream of renaming the street Tverskaya into Corruption one and Red Square into Square Corruption..
And of course it is necessary to rename the country
It was Russia then become Corrupssia...

I'm a corrupter, my name is Corrupter
I am from Corrupssia, street Corruption, meet my wife Corruption Ivanovna...
Putin is a corrupt?
come on, man..
here "Alive and Dead" is corruptionists....

by: Mehdi from: UK
January 26, 2016 12:17
Regardless what CIA of US says, in the UK pro Russian and pro Putin sentiment is very much on the rise amongst the population, whilst anti US feelings continue to increase with the not incorrect suspicion that almost all the vast amounts of blood spilled to date in North Africa and Middle East has been due to US policy of meddling, policing and generally enforcing directly and indirectly its 'democratic' world view on states and regions that aren't and possibly never will accept.

by: Nick from: USA
January 26, 2016 12:22
If you are a so-called "democrat" and still support Obama after he has killed hundreds of thousands of Syrians, tens of thousands of Libyans, thousands of Yemenis and Ukrainians, then I am very ashamed that I am a US citizen.... I don't care WHAT you say about other countries or other leaders, I care that our American President is a bloodthirsty war monger who is out to steal the world's natural resources. Outside of turning himself in to the Hague for war crimes trials there is NOTHING positive that Obama could possibly do or say that I want to hear about. I'm sick of him, and I'm even sicker of those who support him. I prefer to not associate with murderers and people who like them...
In Response

by: AJ ( Canada )
January 26, 2016 13:44
After reading your comments about Obama and the USA I have no doubts that you really are sick with a sickly twisted sense of values or another Russian troll on Putin's payroll
In Response

by: LH from: Denmark
January 26, 2016 17:00
AJ - you're completely correct - the countless number of Russian trolls on these pages become more and more desperate as the masks fall off the kleptocracy - and reveals its real nature. Of course - those trolls become unemployed when the regime finally crumbles - hopefully as soon as possible. The longer that regime remains in power, the more people we will see killed in the Donbas, and the more Russians get their lives destroyed - also those Russians who _can_ see through the propaganda and illusions created by the dictatorship. Yes, the mask is falling off - there is no reason to have even the slightest belief that this regime is by any measures respectable. But unfortunately in the West we have a bunch of politicians who still pretend that something worthwhile can come out of dialogue with these criminals. Until the West takes off its blinders and starts realizing that this nasty regime has no place in a civilized world, we will continue seeing increasingly cruel developments both within Russia as well as everywhere they are interfering. The sooner the Russians wake up and starts realizing that their Dear Leader is essentially a mafia boss - enriching himself and his cronies at the cost of the normal Russian citizens, the better.
In Response

by: jmundstuk from: Oakland, CA
January 26, 2016 19:28
In Response

by: Neil Nelson from: UT, USA
January 26, 2016 15:06
Nick, I responded to a post with the same text a few weeks ago but it had a different by-name.
In Response

by: Benjamin from: US
January 26, 2016 21:53
Neil, are you still writing here something and trying to blame some people on being a troll? Ha-ha-ha. You just yesterday made some attempt to justify the US warmongers, and illegal overthrowing and killing of other countries' leaders. Such a way you have proved your role as a true troll of warmongers.

If you missed it, I wrote there: Do you know that the logic on which your ideology is based - the logic of a killer, who thinks, "I do not like you, so I'm going to kill you!" Some warmongers in the US administration, too, have same mindset: if they don't like some leaders of some countries, they think they have right to overthrow or kill them (like Muammar Gaddafi). Today any educated person knows that such a criminal ideology is completely contrary to all international laws and conventions.

Neil Nelson, until this moment I thought that you have at least some knowledge in the legal field and some political impartiality. But now I realized that you are a troll, paid by warmongers. Sorry, but I find no other explanation to your ideology. Good luck!
In Response

by: Neil Nelson from: UT, USA
January 27, 2016 16:57
Benjamin, I have never written that anyone is a troll. I just stated a fact. You can find the same post with very minor modifications at the following pages.
John D. US, Boston 2015-11-18 22:29:00
Dana US 2016-01-01 11:48:00
Nick USA 2016-01-26 12:22:00

The appearance is that someone is keeping the post in a file, updating it as time goes on, and posting it every few weeks using a different name.

My response to you yesterday, January 26, 2016 14:40 is here

Your argument appears to be that since Syria has recognized international borders and that Assad has been the recognized leader of Syria that according to international law we should not work to have him removed from power, that we must appeal to the UN who then will decide if Assad will go.

Appealing to the UN puts the question to the Security Council where Russia will decide against forcing Assad out. And so we have that an appeal to the UN is an appeal to Russia. This gets us outside of law as we would like it to be and into political and other contests between nations. Should Russia, particularly after taking Crimea, decide against removing Assad apparently for the reason that Russia can maintain some power and influence in Syria and while it has been bombing non-ISIL rebels who the US argues should be part of a new government. One of the corner-stones of law is to protect the weak and not where we stand aside and let the weak be killed or made refugees.
In Response

by: Benjamin A from: The World
January 28, 2016 12:04
"Neil Nelson," if I use the same thoughts and quotes again and again - it's my personal right. On the other hand I see that you check each of the phrases, and go through all the RFE/RL archives on daily basis - that's a sign that you are sitting at the editorial desk of RFE/RL and follow the phrases of all readers, and pretend being as one of the readers. I am totally confident of it.

About the fact that some members of the UN Security Council can block the recommendations of the other members - that perfectly falls into the international rules set by the UN. No one can set its own rule in this regard. Sometimes, the US, too, exercises its right, and blocks the reasonable proposals of other members. Therefore, your attempt to blame Russia on this issue - nonsense!

Now, according to your logic, it turns out that the US can bypass the UN Security Council and decide the fate of some "bad leaders", and overthrow them, kill them, arm the opposition forces against them, etc. Then, according to your logic, if Russia or China would decide that Obama is a "bad guy," so they have right to arm the American oppositions (or Mexican-americans, or African-americans) and overthrow the US government, too, and even kill Obama. It sounds really attractive... But it would be the law of the jungle, not the civilized world. But, in fact, over the past few decades, the United States have been demonstrating exactly the same example to the world. And you're now supporting and justifying such a criminal policy, clarifying the fact who you really are... Here ends our discussion, because I can not have any respect for the individuals such as you...
In Response

by: Neil Nelson from: UT, USA
January 28, 2016 15:38
Benjamin, Thank you for allowing me the last word.

I am located in southern Utah and have no affiliation with RFERL. But I am an old hand at spidering and getting the content out of web pages. You then drop the posts into a MySQL DB and can easily search the posts for phrases. RFERL emails a page link when you comment and so you just copy all those from your email app and voila, you have the miracles of the technology. On Linux the page copy command is

wget --limit-rate=20k -A html -K -nd -o log_file -O filename_to_save_to target_url

The UN Security Council can be used to block UN action when action needs to be taken. Do we take action to stop the killing and the creation of refugees from Syria or do we stand by? We take action.

Indeed, every nation and person can cause considerable harm and every nation and person can act to have a better world. You say the US will do all these terrible things but you do not say how we are going to address the killing and creation of refugees from Syria.

by: Jt from: Berlin
January 26, 2016 13:37
Does the BBC report say how huge role has the UK played in that enrichment frenzy? Don't play innocent, since the west has fed the beast for quite a long time, as long the money kept pouring.

by: Yoshua
January 26, 2016 15:09
The mask is off and soon the gloves will come off too ? It's a race against time: Who will collapse first... Russia or Europe ?

Will there be a colour revolution in Russia ? What do the Russians have to hope for ? A return back to the mafia rule of the 90's ? The KGB made sure that the 90's was as traumatic as possible before they took control of the power and restored order.

Ukraine had a colour revolution... how did it turn out for them ? Do they have peace and prosperity in Ukraine today ? Is Ukraine the dream scenario ?

Well... the West has intervened in other places... how did it turn out for Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Libya ? What exactly do the West have to offer ?

I'm afraid that Russians will stick to what they got right now. A corrupt elite or not... why risk everything for an uncertain future ? Things would have to get really bad before they start to rebel.

by: johnjo, Dublin
January 26, 2016 18:46
Russian Trolls are very busy here, even the foreign ones.

by: Mehdi from: UK
January 26, 2016 22:41
Today, in order to defend or justify the destructive policies of the US warmongers you really have to be a PAID TROLL. Today, beyond the pages of the RFE/RL it is very difficult to find the Westerners, including ordinary Americans, who would support the policy of the US or UK Zionists. Because today Putin's rating even in the US is much higher than of Obama's, or in the UK it's higher than of Cameron's. This clearly shows who's a paid Troll and who is a sincere fighter for justice.

by: Dana D from: US
January 26, 2016 22:42
We all know that the system in the US it completely and totally corrupted; it is a waste of time to even consider any kind of reform from within. Every single candidate works for the bankers, and every single vote is counted by Wall Street corporations.

The best alternative is to wait and prepare for the inevitable economic collapse that comes when the US empire can no longer pay its bills. When the world rejects the dollar once and for all then there will be a chance...

by: James from: United States
January 26, 2016 22:53
My fellow Americans, let's be honest. Killing innocent people and ruining their countries in the name of corporate greed is why they hate us as much as they do. Military personnel need to know WHO they're really fighting for... We don't want they to lose their life for the profits of dirty corporatocrats.

Imagine in Libya all the tanks destroyed by our warplanes just because local soldiers were at duty trying to uphold the law and order of their country. In each and everyone of the tanks there were people just like us that turned to ashes instantly. Unjust wars mandated through lies about a regime killing its own people. We can not be hijacked by the propaganda machine of bloodthirsty war-makers.

Latest Podcasts

About This Blog

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