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Podcast: The Fake Cold War

(Cartoon by Sergei Elkin, RFE/RL)
(Cartoon by Sergei Elkin, RFE/RL)

From buzzing warplanes to trolling submarines to persistent nuclear posturing, Russia's provocative behavior presents a dilemma for the West.

Responding in kind to the Kremlin's provocations risks inflating Moscow's importance and giving Vladimir Putin the status he craves.

But not responding, and not attaching a cost to these actions, could just encourage more bad behavior.

Putin isn't strong enough for a real Cold War, so he's trying to create a fake one.

So how do you fight back in a Fake Cold War?

On this week's Power Vertical Podcast, we tackle this issue. Joining me are Mark Galeotti, a professor at New York University, an expert on Russia's military and security services and author of the blog In Moscow's Shadows; Kadri Liik, a senior policy fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations; and Agnia Grigas, a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council and author of the book Beyond Crimea: The New Russian Empire.

Also on the Podcast, Mark, Kadri, Agnia, and I look at the potential resumption of Syria's civil war, and what that means for Russian policy.


Power Vertical Podcast: The Fake Cold War
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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


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