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The Morning Vertical, October 20, 2017


A tent city has appeared in Kyiv for the first time since the Euromaidan.

Protesters are demanding that President Petro Poroshenko enact anticorruption reforms or step down.

Pro-Western politicians are squabbling. Judicial reform is stalled. Pessimism and tension are rising.

Welcome to the growing pains of something I call Ukraine's Third Revolution.

On today's Power Vertical Podcast, we take a look at Ukraine's efforts to move from oligarchic pluralism to real pluralism (for a teaser, check out today's Daily Vertical, featured below).

Joining me will be co-host Mark Galeotti, a senior research fellow at the Institute of International Relations in Prague and author of the blog In Moscow's Shadows; and RFE/RL's Kyiv correspondent, Christopher Miller.

Also on the Podcast, Mark, Chris, and I will talk about the changing tactics in both Kyiv and Moscow toward the war in the Donbas.

So be sure to tune in later today....


Vladimir Putin has threatened U.S. media operating in Russia, saying Moscow would retaliate if U.S. officials put restrictions on Russian media in the United States.

Putin also accused the United States of building up military forces in the Baltics, but said that it wasn't something of concern to Moscow.

Putin also said Moscow will respond "immediately and symmetrically" if the United States withdraws from a key Cold War arms-control treaty.

Some European Union leaders have raised objections to Russia's plan to build a new gas pipeline to Germany at a summit in Brussels, but the bloc is divided on the matter and took no action, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker says.

A bipartisan trio of U.S. senators has introduced legislation to regulate paid political ads that appear on Facebook, Google, and other social media in an effort to prevent foreign interference in U.S. elections, with special emphasis placed on alleged actions by Russia.

Three Russian Navy ships have arrived in the Philippines and two others are expected over the weekend to deliver donated military equipment, officials say.

Lawmakers in Ukraine have approved a long-awaited law reforming the health-care system replacing broken-down Soviet-era arrangements with a Western-style, tax-funded health-care insurance system.

Protesters calling for Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko to enact anticorruption reforms or step down notched a small victory as parliament sent a bill on lifting lawmakers' immunity from prosecution to the Constitutional Court for review.

Ukrainian parliament speaker Andriy Parubiy has called on law enforcement authorities to "immediately and objectively investigate" a deadly traffic accident in the eastern city of Kharkiv.

The European Court of Justice has upheld sanctions imposed by the European Union on former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych and his son Oleksandr.


Why The Opposition Loses

In his column for, Oleg Kashin explains why Russia's liberal opposition always loses.

Pussy Riot's Most Unlikely Ally

Also in, political analyst Nikolai Mitrokhin explains how an Orthodox Christian activist became a supporter of Pussy Riot.

Sobchak's Life In The Media Spotlight

RBK has produced an interesting social video looking at Ksenia Sobchak's life in the media spotlight.

Sobchak And Navalny

In, Ignat Kalinin and Andrei Vinokurov argue that Sobchak is really competing with opposition leader Aleksei Navalny.

What Lenin Can Teach Putin About Ukraine

Serhiy Plokhy, a professor of history at Harvard University and author of the book Lost Kingdom, has a piece in The Guardian arguing that Vladimir Putin could learn a lot from how Vladimir Lenin handled Ukraine a century ago.

Russian Women And Harassment

In an op-ed for The Moscow Times, playwright Natalia Antonova explains why Russian women don't want to talk about Harvey Weinstein.

'Rehabilitation' In The North Caucasus

Meduza has a piece on how authorities in the North Caucasus are reintegrating former militants into civilian life -- and then coming after their relatives.

Belarus And Russia After Zapad

Arseny Savitski of the Minsk-based Center for Strategic and Foreign Policy Studies looks at the crisis in Belarusian-Russian relations in the aftermath of the Zapad 2017 military exercises.

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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