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The Morning Vertical, November 11, 2016


How will the election of Donald Trump change the geopolitical equation in the post-Soviet space? It's been a question that's been on my mind all week. It is a question that is on a lot of people's minds -- from Tallinn to Tbilisi. And it's a question we'll explore on this week's Power Vertical Podcast.

Joining me will be co-host Mark Galeotti, a senior research fellow at the Institute of International Relations in Prague and a visiting fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations, and Natalia Churikova, managing editor of RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service and host of the program European Connect.

So be sure to tune in later today.


Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has said that Donald Trump's approach to foreign policy is "phenomenally close" to that of Vladimir Putin.

The office of Moscow's mayor has rejected a request by opposition groups to stage a November 20 protest against what they call the "mass annihilation of residents" in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo.

The Russian military says it has evidence of the use of chemical weapons by rebels in Syria's besieged city of Aleppo.

The Ukrainian military and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe have reported a sharp increase in fighting in the country's east in recent days.

A massive cyberattack hit at least five of Russia's largest banks, officials reported on November 10.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov says Russian diplomats spoke with the teams of both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton during the U.S. presidential election campaign.

A Russian police official has been elected as a vice president for Interpol for the first time.


Operation Successor?

An article by political commentator Valery Solovei, a professor at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations, which claimed that Vladimir Putin will step down and turn power over to a successor, was pulled down from Moskovsky Komsomolets's website shortly after publication. Solovei is reputed to be well informed about the inner workings of the Kremlin. RFE/RL's Russian-language television program Current Time got a look at the piece and summarizes its arguments.

Putin's World

In a piece for The Daily Beast, Michael Weiss looks at Russian active measures in Montenegro, Hungary, the Baltic states, and the Middle East and argues: "It's Putin's World Now."

The New Geopolitics

David M. Herszenhorn has a piece in Politico looking ahead at the geopolitics of the U.S.-Russian relationship following the victory of Donald Trump.

Another 'Saboteurs' Case

Halya Coynash of the Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group takes a look at the case of the three people Russia's Federal Security Service claims to have arrested for planning acts of sabotage on the annexed Crimean Peninsula.

Interpol Hаш?

Interpol has elected a Chinese president and a Russian vice president. Foreign Policy's The Cable blog takes a look at the new leadership of the international police organization.

Europe Ponders Life Without America

Former Belgian Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt has a piece for Project Syndicate on what Europe can do to defend itself if the United States becomes less engaged in the continent's security.

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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