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The Morning Vertical, November 3, 2017

Your daily roundup.


They won't be talkin' bout a revolution.

They won't be saying they want a revolution.

And the revolution will not televised -- or even commemorated.

A century ago next week, the world witnessed its first colored revolution.

Its color was red, it happened in Vladimir Putin's hometown -- and Russia would rather just not talk about it.

On this week's Power Vertical Podcast, we look at the Kremlin's evasive approach to the centenary of the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution and what this says about its approach to -- and use of -- history.

Joining me will be co-host Mark Galeotti, a senior research fellow at the Institute of International Relations in Prague, head of its center for European Security, and author of the forthcoming book The Vory: Russia's Super Mafia, which will be published next year; and journalist Anna Arutunyan, author of the book The Putin Mystique.

Also on the Podcast, Mark, Anna, and I will discuss Putin's remarks this week at a new memorial to victims of Stalinist repressions.

Be sure to tune in later today!


British authorities have begun investigating whether Russia attempted to influence the British vote last year on leaving the European Union.

The United States and Russia are pushing competing plans at the United Nations to extend the work of a UN investigative body charged with determining who is responsible for chemical weapons attacks in Syria.

The Russian Defense Ministry says Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and U.S. Ambassador to Russia Jon Huntsman discussed bilateral relations and international security issues during a meeting.

The St. Petersburg city legislature has backed a plan to find a new site for Russia's oldest university, currently located in the city's historic downtown area.

Russian hockey player Alex Ovechkin, the captain of the National Hockey League (NHL) team the Washington Capitals, has announced he is starting a movement in support of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The Kremlin has rejected opposition politician Aleksei Navalny’s claim that President Vladimir Putin and his administration are coordinating efforts to thwart his campaign for the March 2018 presidential election.

The leader of Russia's North Caucasus region of Chechnya, Ramzan Kadyrov, has called for the body of the founder of the Soviet Union, Vladimir Lenin, to be removed from the mausoleum on Moscow's Red Square and buried.

Ukrainian prosecutors intend to ask the U.S. Justice Department for permission to interview President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, following his indictment earlier this week, an official said.

A Kyiv court has released the 29-year-old son of Ukraine’s powerful interior minister after his arrest the day before by anticorruption officials on embezzlement charges.

Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka has met with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko for talks in the United Arab Emirates.


I'll be on the road next week for a series of speaking engagements in Warsaw.

The main event will be the Warsaw Security Forum, where I'll be speaking on the panel From Great Expectations To Great Disappointments: What Is The Future Of Russia's Relations With The West?"

I will also be giving a lecture at The College of Europe as part of the event: The Geopolitics Of (Dis)Information: Digital Communications, Weaponization Of Information And Popular Geopolitics In Europe And Its Neighborhood.

And finally, I'll be moderating a panel on the politics of memory and disinformation in Central and Eastern Europe at a public debate sponsored by the International Republican Institute and the Wilfried Martens Centre for European Studies.


Can Putin Save Britain From Brexit?

Mark Galeotti has an op-ed in The Guardian on "how Putin could yet save Britain from Brexit."

Hacks, Tweets, And Bots

In his column for, Moscow-based foreign affairs analyst Vladimir Frolov gives his take on the U.S. investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

Pragmatism And Populism In Ukraine

Brian Mefford, a senior nonresident fellow at the Atlantic Council’s Eurasia Center, argues that pragmatism is prevailing over populism in Ukraine.

Russia And California's Separatists

In Think Progress, Casey Michel looks at allegations of Russian involvement in the CalExit campaign.

Moving Russia's Oldest University

Delovoi Peterburg looks at a proposal to move St. Petersburg State University out of its historic location in the city center.

Putin's Rich Pals

On the Carnegie Moscow website, political analyst Tatiana Stanovaya looks at Russia's "non-system" elite -- the wealthy businessmen close to Putin who don't hold official posts, but who have a lot of influence.

New SRB Podcast

The latest SRB Podcast, hosted by Sean Guillory of the University of Pittsburgh's Center for Russian and Eastern European Studies, looks at American History Through Russian Eyes. Sean's guest is Ivan Kurilla, a professor of history and international relations at the European University at St. Petersburg specializing in U.S.–Russian relations during American antebellum and Civil War periods.

NOTE TO POWER VERTICALISTAS: I will be travelling next week for a series of public speaking engagements (see item above). No Power Vertical products will appear from Monday, November 6 to Friday, November 10. The regular schedule resumes on Monday, November 13.

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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