Accessibility links

Breaking News

The Morning Vertical, August 18, 2016


It's quite telling that there are no official events planned in Russia to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the failed hardline coup in August 1991.

It's telling that Moscow authorities have denied permission for a human rights group to hold a march in the center of the city to commemorate this historic event and to lay wreaths at a monument to the three men who were killed.

It's telling that, as Masha Gessen notes in a piece featured below, this out-of sight-out-of-mind monument to these three men is in disrepair while the famous statue of Soviet secret police founder Feliks Dzerzhinsky has been restored and is displayed in a park near the Kremlin.

It's all very telling, of course.

But it's not at all surprising at all.


Municipal authorities in Moscow have denied permission for a commemoration march to mark the 25th anniversary of the failed hard-line coup attempt against Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev.

Russian officials say four suspected members of an illegal armed group were killed by security forces in an operation at an apartment building in St. Petersburg.

A court in St. Petersburg has jailed three members of the banned Islamic organization, Hizb ut-Tahrir.

Authorities in Moscow say two unidentified men armed with guns and axes attacked a police post outside of Moscow.

Authorities in Ukraine say they have detained an Uzbek citizen believed to have been fighting alongside Russia-backed separatists in Ukraine's eastern region of Donetsk.

Two Interior Ministry officials from Chechnya have been detained in Moscow on suspicion of extortion.

Russia's media watchdog has blocked five websites calling for boycotting Russia's September 18 State Duma elections.

The Conflict Intelligence Team open-source research organization is reporting that two Russian officers have been killed in Syria.


Sanctions? What Sanctions?

The Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project has a new piece out looking at how, despite sanctions, international trade continues with Russian-annexed Crimea.

The Crimea Psy-Op

Writing on his blog, Anton Shekhovtsov looks at Russia's allegations of a terrorist plot in Crimea as being a psy-op.

Does Propaganda Work?

Theodore P. Gerber, director of the Center for Russia, East Europe, and Central Asia at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and Jane Zavisca, a professor of sociology at the University of Arizona, have a scholarly article in The Washington Quarterly that asks: "Does Russian Propaganda Work?"

The Fall of the Cronies

Writing on his blog, In Moscow's Shadows, Mark Galeotti looks at the different ways three Putin cronies -- Vladimir Yakunin, Viktor Ivanov, and Sergei Ivanov -- were treated as they were dismissed.

The State Of Nord Stream

In a piece for EUobserver, Sijbren de Jong of The Hague Center for Strategic Studies asks: "Is Nord Stream 2 Dead?"

The Internet And The Coup

Historian and journalist Natalia Konradova has a piece in openDemocracy on how an infant version of the Internet helped avert the Soviet hard-line coup of August 1991.

A $240-Billion Boondoggle

Writing on Mikhail Khodorkovsky's Open Wall web portal, Ilya Klishin looks at Russia's proposed $240 billion transport proposal using dirigibles.

August 1991

In an op-ed in The New York Times, journalist Masha Gessen, author of The Man Without a Face: The Unlikely Rise of Vladimir Putin, asks if the Soviet Union ever really ended.

Putin's Useful Sympathizers

Andrey Makarychev, a visiting professor at the University of Tartu's Skytte Institute of Political Studies and Stefano Braghiroli, a post-doctoral researcher at the University of Tartu's Institute of Government and Politics, have a scholarly article in the journal PONARS Eurasia looking at anti-status-quo groups on the far left and far right that have been courted by the Kremlin.

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


Latest Posts

Latest Podcast