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Podcast: War Porn

  • Brian Whitmore

It's saber-rattling! It's a psyop! It's Zapad!

They've been called pretext for mischief in the Baltics and Poland.

They've been called a stealthy way to occupy Belarus.

They've been called Kremlin saber-rattling, a message to the West, and very expensive and noisy psyop.

And they've been called routine military exercises that are nothing more than business as usual.

But whatever you call them, the joint Russian-Belarusian Zapad 2017 military exercises that will begin next week seem to have everybody's attention.

So what should we expect when we're expecting Zapad?

On this week's Power Vertical Podcast, we look ahead to next week's massive war games, Russia's largest since the end of the Cold War.

Joining me will be co-host Mark Galeotti, a senior research fellow at the Czech Institute of International Relations, head of its Center for European Security, and author of the blog In Moscow's Shadows; and military analyst Michael Kofman, a research scientist at the CNA Corporation and a fellow at the Wilson Institute's Kennan Institute.

Also on the Podcast, Mark, Michael, and I take a closer look at the capabilities of the Russian military that will be on display next week.

Enjoy...

Listen to or download the podcast above or subscribe to The Power Vertical Podcast on iTunes.

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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