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The Power Vertical

The Daily Vertical: Putin Isn't Russia

The Daily Vertical: Putin Isn't Russiai
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January 11, 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.

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by: George from: Belarus
January 11, 2016 11:36
To mention another magazine article, Bill Browder has written in Prospect (Jan. 2016) that one of Putin's motives in Syria is to worsen the immigrant crisis in Europe. He thinks the EU is so desperate to solve the problem that it might do a deal with Putin over sanctions and Ukraine. He also claims that Russian companies are 600 billion (dollars or Euros, not sure) in debt without previous facilities to borrow, on account of the sanctions.
He compares this with only 400 billion, which he claims is all Russia has to prop business up. I don't know what to make of all this but it's interesting and it might be worth a mention in your next Power Vertical.

by: Aziz from: Uzbekistan
January 11, 2016 12:45
putin is russia.

stalin is russia too. russian world is ivan the terrible and stalin, Nicholas I and brezhnev, peter the great and lenin.

british way is way of freedom, russian way is way of absolute totalitarianism and slavery.
In Response

by: GS from: United States
January 11, 2016 23:37
Correct. More precisely, the leaders are always adequate to the socially active parts of those led by them [the social passives do not count, except as the cannon fodder]. As Alexander Zinoviev put it in his "Yawning Heights", a leader of a rat pack cannot be a lion. The only thing it could be is a rat. And a pack led by a rat can consist only of the other rats, and not of anything else.

by: Kalev Kallemets from: Eesti
January 11, 2016 13:47
Similarly fiercly pro-China, but anti-communistChina channel- look https://www.youtube.com/user/NTDChinaUncensored

by: Alex from: Annapolis
January 11, 2016 15:12
Interesting how some Western journalists/analysts start equating the Kremlin with Russia. I wonder if this is because they are consuming so much state-run or pro-government media in Russia that they get contaminated by the psuedo-patriotism. Or an over-reaction to the hubris in conservative U.S. domestic politics. Or perhaps an envy/idealization of Russia's pseudo-macho leader, something that some American conservatives yearn for (without mentioning GWB's track record).

by: Peter from: US
January 11, 2016 15:55
Brian, you should have also said that while the Power Vertical blog is not Russophobic, it opposes a regime which attacks its neighbors. "Insecurity" is not the same thing as invasion. You missed the opportunity to make an important point.
Happy New Year!
In Response

by: Brian Whitmore from: Prague
January 11, 2016 16:27
Thanks Peter. I've made that point many times in the past and felt there was no need to belabor it. I though understatement was the best way to go here.

by: Vakhtang from: Moscow
January 11, 2016 17:34
Putin, in an interview with German journalists declared that finally happiness come to russian people because oil prices fell and introduced Western sanctions.
Now Russian can play on harmonica, dance, drink vodka and not to think about anything
it is clear that "our hero" is now in a special period
-andropause or "male climacteric"
and everything would be fine but this "block" at this period of time has a "leaking attic"..
Now he going to kill old men old women, women and children if they threaten to prosecutor bribe taker ...
Mankind in danger!
Putin has psychosis on the basis of andropause...

by: Neil Nelson from: UT, USA
January 11, 2016 19:00
A Russophobic charge is an excessive bias charge and noting that all bias is hard to avoid. A clear reason the Russophobic charge does not hold is that Brian invites debate from knowledgeable, independent speakers at his podcasts such as Marc Galeotti, a context in which excessive bias is easily exposed.

The individuals in the world public understand their role in international relations through the media. Brian is on the front line in a media war, part of a larger economic and military war the Russians with Putin as their leader have brought to us. Brian pushes the envelope but that is what is required.

Thank you Brian Whitmore.

by: orel from: USA
January 11, 2016 21:44
I know it's terribly rude for me to bring it up, but do you think that perhaps a teensy weensy bit of the "Nation"'s editorializing on Putin and Russia - particularly in the context of Putin's war on Ukraine - may reflect the influence of the editor's marriage to Steve Cohen, a very prominent critic of Ukraine ("Ukrainophobe?"), and one who has been referred to as "Putin's Pal" by another prominent publication?
In Response

by: Carlos from: NY
January 12, 2016 21:45
Orel, how can you be rude when you are stating the obvious? I'm pretty sure Steve C wrote the whole piece.
In Response

by: orel from: USA
January 13, 2016 14:46
Carlos.....thank you. I wholeheartedly agree.
But there are many things now-a-days that are considered rude, offensive, even "hateful" though obvious.....such is the nature of "political correctness": the truth can make you a skunk at a tea party.... And, of course, you're right - Cohen and his wife's magazine, have been providing aid and comfort to Putin's propaganda machine for a very long time. But poor Steve.....RT and John Batchelor are the only ones who seem to notice.
Hats off to RFERL for staying clear of PC.

by: Aj
January 11, 2016 22:52
Great response Brian. Most people in the West draw a distinction between Russia and the Kremlin, like Russian citizens and view the ordinary citizens as being much the same as they. However we are horrified and saddened to see how Putin's regime has destroyed their human rights and freedoms .It's tragic that they are continuously fed a steady stream of hate propaganda and lies about the West. A country so corrupt as Russia will eventually destroy itself.

by: Kevin from: Australia
January 11, 2016 23:04
Putin has penned his own legacy.

Russian and the people of Russia have still to pen there own. If they survive Putin in the months to come.

The Power Vertical only voices opinion of Putin and his bizarre deadly actions on everything he touches.
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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