Tuesday, August 30, 2016

The Power Vertical

The Daily Vertical: Putin Smells Blood

The Daily Vertical: Putin Smells Bloodi
February 09, 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.

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

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Comment Sorting
by: Peter from: US
February 09, 2016 15:11
Danish FM Jensen's comments were disappointing. She linked EU sanctions against Russia not to Russia's aggression nor to Russia's own obligations under Minsk-2, but rather to the "Special Status Law" regarding Donbas in the Verkhovna Rada. In other words, from her point of view, unless Ukraine makes unreciprocated concessions, the EU will overlook military aggression and breach of international law.

Remember that the EU sanctions against Russia don't actually help Ukraine. Rather they're in place to show that the Europeans actually care about their much-vaunted "European Values". It would be a huge disappointment and a backwards step into the age of Bismark if the EU repeals sanctions against Russia before *RUSSIA* completes its obligations under Minsk-2 to withdraw its military from Donbas and return control of the border to Ukraine.
In Response

by: Neil Nelson from: UT, USA
February 09, 2016 17:03
I see that Kerry just could not maintain a consistent by-name. Old habits die hard. We also get Konstantin in addition to Peter by Kerry today. And, of course, Kerry (aka. Peter, aka. Konstantin) has to flood the comments area three posts at a time.

And we get all these wild claims without supporting evidence.
In Response

by: Neil Nelson from: UT, USA
February 09, 2016 17:10
After reading these posts more carefully, I am not seeing the markers for another Kerry episode and apologize to Peter and Konstantin for my prior mistake.

by: Konstantin from: Los Angeles
February 09, 2016 15:12
Russia rely mainly on three things, accompanied by evil details of all times canning, brutality and intimidation, like 12 SS, (now GRU), lead 1-2 Thousand prisoners of war to place of mass executions, killing for example "violators" and lying about "Red Cross" humane prison camps ahead.
Through all history Varag lure strongest World powers into
"imperial" kinship", for all to long using Brits too and lie.
For instance, at the time they marry one of their princesses to "Karl" the Great, King of Franks, white Tatars, they unleashed genocide against white Tatars in Volga region.
For instance, at the time they lied to Brits and Germanics about their kinship, they unleashed genocide against Ukrainians, Baltic, Finland and Caucasians, where ancestry of Saxons came from, and betrayed Georgia the same, where ancestry, first settlements and Civilizations of Europe and Britain came from.
For instance, as Russian invaded Afghanistan and unleashed total genocide, pro-red USA movie makers hypnotized Americans by a phrase "Afghanistan-Bananistan" and exhibited in the West brilliant "Eggs of Faberge" of Romanovs...
Russia corrupt the West and rotate millions of intellectual and best to exploit slaves with the West, mainly USA.
It started age of Antichrist in Spring of 1947, sentencing my mother and me to death, because I refused be plagiarized slave of Russia, and put Stalin, who was against it, under house arrest, inviting British and USA diplomats with offer to plagiarize even children like me and our nations.
They also requested reverse of restoration of CIS - to create Russian colonial empire. Since than they moving around the World human slaves, only in 1956 they moved from Hungary to USA 200,000 best Hungarians, intellectuals and specialists.
It is how Russia stay at the top.
USA slaves plagiarized, exploited, create technologies, and than Russia is helped to implement last tested models, as USA move to markets the next one.
This corruption is so strong, that USA elite making a President out of KGB-Gan'ka or his twin-brother, which burglarized with his army "Logic Arrays (PAL)" from me, concepts and solutions,
move it to USA with whole army of plagiarists and Intellectual slaves, killed my mother and tried kill me - while USA elite know he will kill USA, World democracy, kill and enslave all, starting with Caucasian race and Human Civilization.
They still doing it!
My apartment surrounded by armies of Russian spies-plagiarists and telepaths - they squeeze any thought or idea, even as small as rotating and mirrors for gardening, sailing it to World elites and claming gratitude to Great Russia, as "Giver to World nations".
USA is part of it, they keep us immobile, using infections, poisons, telepaths, let us not have resources or rent different apartments. My leg is still black from "Bulgarian pin" hit in 2008,
it is also in pain from tortures in Russian KGB prisons, recalled by Russian telepaths. I can't go away for long, Russians and their USA partners using "NLW" and telepaths hit my bladder and shrink vanes and arteries, following me on roads and public places...

by: Konstantin from: Los Angeles
February 09, 2016 15:14
Russia in 1954 offered restore, also, Brit-Germ-Vienna colonial empires, it is why they since Brezhnev invading CIS nations.
British getting worry about such development lately, Germans not sure, but waiting, Vienna still on it, being once also "empire" of parasites, not unlike Russia, "strana rabov, strana skotov".
All of the above allows Russia pull strings all over the World,
even against the obvious threat that Europe and USA will fall,
if Ukraine, largest country in Central Europe, will fall to Russia.
(My posts on Facebook, under name Konstantin Benidze).

by: Yoshua
February 09, 2016 18:05
The lifting of the sanctions would be devastating for the Russian economy at this point with the oil price at rock bottom. If Europe would flood the Russian market with cheap agricultural products, the Russian agriculture business which has been protected by Russian sanctions would take an enormous hit.

The low oil price will force Russia to become a self-sustained economy and therefor Russia will escalate the conflict in Ukraine every time Europe starts to talk about lifting the sanctions... to force Europe to extend the sanctions.

The cream and cherry on top is that the West will be forced to keep a defunct Ukraine alive with loans and paying for its energy bills... which leads to Ukraine fatigue in Europe... the option would be to let Ukraine collapse and cause a new Chernobyl.

by: mf from: USA
February 09, 2016 19:52
Putin is slowly but surely setting Europe on fire.

Nonetheless, calls for continuing reform in Ukraine are warranted. There is no point in supporting Ukrainian Oligarchs, giving them more money to steal. The reason to support Ukraine is that Ukraine is now the only hope of continuing reform in this entire region, but if this reform is stalled, there is no point. A conflict between Russia and Ukraine becomes a conflict between two states with a different flavor of fascism.

As with Hitler in the 1930-ies, Putin will push until he falls down. Since he is quite old, his successor might be worse, coming in the middle of deepening chaos in Russia. Then, there will be a real problem.

by: mark from: fellows
February 09, 2016 21:59
Rather ironic that the main drag on Putin's strategy comes from the price of oil, not the sanctions. Indeed, with the US election still almost a year away, there will be little will in the White House to defend Kyiv, or even pursue a coherent foreign policy.

And if Putin faces economic decline at home, he may need yet another diversion to keep his television viewers away from the fridge.

by: Lev Havryliv from: Sydney
February 10, 2016 04:24
Europe must not fall for the duplicity and machinations of Putin concerning Ukraine.

Putin's aim is to destroy Ukrainian sovereignty and reduce Ukraine to colonial status and international isolation.
In Response

by: Lasse from: Norway
February 10, 2016 11:11
Completely correct. And as usual the EU continues to come out with misplaced and untimely comments, which only encourages Putin to continue his terror - on Ukraine, his own citizens etc. That anyone at all still believes that there is any chance whatsoever for a meaningful and constructive arrangement with Putin's crime syndicate, is beyond my understanding. The spineless EU politicians are saying - it is not the intention to make Russia crumble, but to find a constructive cooperation - again shows their lack of understanding of the situation. No constructive cooperation will be possible as long as the current regime prevails. Russia _will_ collapse - in one way or another. The question is only when, and how much pain it will cost before it happens. The longer Putin and his thugs are allowed to control the game, the longer the pain - for the Russian population as well as for the neighboring countries which are living in constant anxiety as long as the menace continues to threaten on the other side of the border.
So - as hard as it may sound - the only way to remove Putin and his kleptocracy from the top, _is_ a collapse. Until then, they will continue hanging in the nails, keeping their grip on the power - with a continually increasing oppression of the citizens, and steady growth of aggression towards its neighbors. If the sanctions are lifted, resources will start rolling into his (and his cronies') pockets again - giving fuel for renewed investment in destabilization and aggression, and for maintaining their grip on the power. In the end, we will have the same outcome - their draining of the country for its resources to fill their own pockets and financing their military adventures will crush the economy and eventually the country. The question is just how much time it will require, and how many lives will be devastated or terminated in the process. So the untimely and inappropriate statements from the spineless western politicians are only preventing the inevitable process rather than stimulating it - and thus drawing out the suffering of the Russian population as well as the surrounding countries. The more signals the western world sends to Russia of this kind, the more it tells Putin's gang that they can get away with whatever they like. So what will be the next they want to annex and destabilize - again with a western world standing at the sideline, discussing back and forth what to do with the problem, without ever agreeing? The prospects are grim as long as we have politicians who don't possess the required determination and decisiveness to counter the Russian aggression appropriately.
In Response

by: Friend of Bosnia
February 11, 2016 01:30
Couldn't agree with you more.
Now as to which country they will want annex and destabilize next, it could be the Baltic sztsates because they view them as their property, exactly as they view Ukraine, Moldavia and Georgia as their property. It could be Poland (and the current rightist, authoritarian, antidemocratic government will only be too happy to oblige), Hungary (same attitude of right-wing authoritarian antidemocratic ruler Viktor Orbán); or they are already helping Assad re-establish his misrule, at least over part of Syria (allowing him, and actualy helping him to commit genocide; and that thjere are malevolent stupid people who actually see Assad as teh lesser evil; He's already much more eviul than Milosevic was, and that's saying something). Or help the Serbs to complete the Reconquista of the Western Balkans - that is, the elimination or expulsion from Bosnia-Herzegovina and teh Sandzak of all Bosniaks, to the last man, woman and child. Let's not forget that the same people who were Milosevic's minions in the 1990's still hold power in Serbia, and that the current Serb ruler Vucic said exactly after the act of genocide the Serbs committed at Srebrenica that "for one killed Serb, we will kill 100 Bosniaks". I don't believe in his promise that he wants Serbs and Bosniaks to "live in peace for 100 years" (and then, what?). And it will be easy for them, because tehy will just smear the Bosniaks as "IS" or just as "terrorists" (unspecified) and have more connivance from the West than they had in the 1990s; I think Bulgaria and Romania or the EU as a whole will not oppose Russian military aircraft from flying over their territories to bomb the Bosniaks into submission, exactly in teh same way they are bombing the FSA into submission.
If my Bosniak brothers and sisters were keen observers of what's happening, they would look to Syria, see their own diminishing future reflected there, and gather their wits about them.
God help the freedom-loving people in Syria. God help the Bosniaks. They have only Him above them, they stand alone. Alone against Serb and Russian aggression.
As we know, at least what politics are concerned, nothing good has ever come from Moscow. Not in times of Peter the Great, Catherine II, Alexander III, Lenin, Stalin, Khrushchev, Brezhnev, and certainly not from Putin. So it has been and so it will be, until the end of time.
And I say this not because I dislike the Russians (I don't) but because their politics has always been horrible, and always will be.
In Response

by: Friend of Bosnia from: * *
February 11, 2016 01:05

by: JLNancy
February 10, 2016 11:53
Re Minsk 2 - It was never implemented.
On more than one occasion, Russia agreed to truces and cease-fires with Ukraine while Russian-backed forces continued to press their offensive.

Re Minsk 2 -Immediately after the agreement, Russian military and Moscow-backed terrorists invaded and took over Debaltsev in Donbas. (then forcibly evacuated Ukrainian occupants from homes there, as they did in other E. Ukrainian areas, “ You have to go, you have to leave, we have to make room for the Russians, You can’t live here anymore”);;

Re Minsk 2 - Russia's efforts to keep Ukrainian military off balance extended to the manipulation of diplomacy and cease-fires to gain military advantage on the ground. RU backed military ignored and mocked the agreed cease fire (“You cease, we fire.”);

Re-Minsk 2 - - RU-backed militants and RU terrorists NEVER withdrew their RU armaments, but just HID them better!!! (Note - Among the tactical methods and armaments RU provides in eastern Ukraine:
- Multiple drones at different altitudes over the same area to search for Ukrainian government troops, then target them with artillery and rocket launchers. (The approach delivers rapid large fire strikes "with an intensity and speed of target location in such an attack last summer near the eastern city of Shyrokine near Mariupol.)
- Russian-supplied artillery shells and rocket-fired sub-munitions with devastating effect against Ukraine's personnel and armor units. They use scatterable land mine munitions that hit tanks at their most vulnerable points and thermobaric warheads, which ignite and kill everything within several acres. (One three-minute combined rocket and thermobaric attack wiped out two Ukrainian mechanized battalions in Zelenopillya.)
- Russia's T-90 tanks, impervious to most shoulder-fired anti-tank missiles and can fire a spray of pellets at incoming warheads to disable their guidance systems and send them flying out of control into the sky or the ground.);
Re Minsk 2 - where captive Ukrainian soldiers and civilians (journalists, researchers, volunteers even pregnant women) were to be freed per the agreement and yet are not released..

How appropriate was it to allow an aggressor state like RU broker any Minsk agreement deal that was based on false premises and designed for RU to carry out its war on Ukraine where this aggressor RU state insisted they still had a position to dictate while at the same time denied their involvement..

Clapping for Putin’s winning *patience* and cleverly pinpointing a young democracy in a current convoluted political situation and, subsequent, dramatics (within the even more so, Moscow-FSB-agent-infested-Ukrainian-government-structures), while ignoring Putin’s ultimate goal of Ukrainian destabilization, brings to mind French writer Marquis de Custine, who quotes (in his book ‘La Russie) a Ru civil servant who proclaimed proudly:

“Russia lies, denies the facts, makes war on evidence, and wins!”
In Response

by: Friend of Bosnia
February 11, 2016 01:41
Thank you for your appraisal.
Wha we will see eventually is a repeat of the unprincipled Munich, er, Dayton Treaty. What we wil see is Ukraine as a second Bosnia-Herzegovina.
Even though I think the Serbs want even more than they already have, else they wouldn't continue t make life miserable for Bosniaks, 20 years after the armistice. So it will be with Ukraine, Russia will continue to make life miserable for the Ukrainians, long after the war will have ended, and long after Putin will be gone for it is a foregone conclusion that under his successor (Shoigu seems to me most likely) things will not be better.
Things may actually get worse. Sinced the Western governments will be weaker and more incihernet than they already are, it will be easy for the Russians to annex most of the Ukraine (the Western, Catholic, formerly Austro-Hungarian part will then be divided between Poland, Hungary and Slovakia), the Baltic countries (which Russia regards as its property), and to help Serbia get their Greater Serbia - at the expemnse of the Bosniaks and Kosovo Albanians, who will be forced to flee their native countries, or killed to the last man, wo,an and child.
The only prespective they have is to die with their boots on, as gallantly as the Jewish fighters of the Warsaw Ghetto in 1944.

by: Fred Eidlin from: Guelph, Ontario, Canada
February 10, 2016 22:54
Patience is certainly at the heart of Russian strategy. At least since Minsk II, the Russians have been seeking to maintain the status quo with minimum conflict until a settlement satisfactory to them can be achieved. The Kremlin assumes that: (1) the post-Maidan regime will self-destruct; (2) NATO and the EU will grow tired and disillusioned with Ukraine; (3) the West will realize that there can be no solution of the Ukraine problem without Russian participation; and (4) The unviability of the dangerous geopolitical vision that led to this crisis in the first place will become increasingly apparent.

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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