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The Briefing: The Magician's Successor And The Savchenko Endgame

The conclusion of Nadia Savchenko's trial is one of this week's big stories.

A surprising name is floated to head Russia's electoral commission. The Kremlin cuts defense spending by the largest amount in over a decade. And Russia and Ukraine brace for the conclusion of the trial of Nadia Savchenko.

On this week's Power Vertical Briefing, we look at three developing stories: human rights ombudsman Ella Pamfilova's potential appointment as head of Russia's Central Electoral Commission to replace Vladimir Churov; the Defense Ministry's announcement that military spending will be cut by 5 percent; and the conclusion of the trial of Ukrainian air force pilot Nadia Savchenko.

Joining me is RFE/RL Senior Editor Steve Gutterman.


NOTE: The Power Vertical Briefing is a short look ahead to the stories expected to make news in Russia in the coming week. It is hosted by Brian Whitmore, author of The Power Vertical blog, and appears every Monday.

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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