Accessibility links

Breaking News

The Morning Vertical, September 4, 2017


So we've had laws requiring NGOs that receive foreign funding to register as "foreign agents."

We have laws providing for the banning of foreign NGOs deemed "undesirable organizations."

We have broadly interpreted laws providing for the prosecution of "extremism" and "insulting religious believers."

And now, the Kremlin mouthpiece Izvestia is reporting that the Federation Council is drafting legislation prohibiting so-called "undesirable behavior." (The Izvestia piece is featured below.)

Under the law, foreigners who behave in a way that harms Russia's national security could be expelled. And Russians who behave in a way that harms national security could be prosecuted.

On today's Power Vertical Briefing, we look at what this might mean, so be sure to tune in. I also give my initial take on the potential legislation on today's Daily Vertical.


U.S. authorities have taken control of three Russian diplomatic facilities in the United States after Russian staff complied with a 48-hour deadline to vacate the sites.

Russia is urging the United States to return Russian diplomatic facilities it says U.S. authorities have "seized" in San Francisco and Washington, D.C., calling it an "openly hostile act."

A former Soviet military officer and Washington lobbyist who attended a meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump's son during the 2016 campaign has denied working for Russian military intelligence but said he saw documents with damaging information about rival Hillary Clinton at the meeting.

Leaders from the so-called BRICS countries -- Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa -- are meeting in the southeastern Chinese city of Xiamen on September 3-5.

A new development bank established by Russia, China, India, and Brazil is providing three of those countries with $1.4 billion in loans.

The Kremlin says Russian President Vladimir Putin will not attend the United Nations General Assembly later this month.

The brother of former Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili is facing deportation from Ukraine on allegations that he was in the country illegally, a move that comes amid a fierce standoff between the ex-head of state and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko.

Georgian troops have joined counterparts from the United States and other countries for the start of the Agile Spirit 2017 military drills -- the seventh time the maneuvers have been held.


In case you missed it, the latest Power Vertical Podcast, Active Measures, looks at Russia's political war in Europe and at new revelations about Moscow's cyberattacks on the United States.


And, on this week's Power Vertical Briefing, we look at reports that Russian lawmakers are drafting a new law on "undesirable behavior."


New ECFR Report: Controlling Chaos

Mark Galeotti of the Institute of International Relations in Prague has a new report for the European Council on Foreign Relations (discussed on the latest Power Vertical Podcast): Controlling Chaos: How Russia Manages Its Political War In Europe.

New RUSI Report On Russian Armed Forces Coming Soon

The Royal United Services Institute, or RUSI, will release a new report on September 12 written by Igor Sutyagin and Justin Bronk: Russia's New Ground Forces: Capabilities, Limitations And Implications For International Security.

The War On 'Undesirables'

According to a report in the Kremlin mouthpiece Izvestia, the Federation Council is drafting legislation prohibiting "undesirable behavior." The legislation would provide for the deportation of foreigners and the prosecution of Russians who act in a manner that harms national security.

Book Review: Red Famine

The Evening Standard reviews Anne Applebaum's book Red Famine.

Responding To Russian Hacking

Former Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves has an op-ed in the Financial Times calling for a tough response to Russian hacking and attempts to interfere in Germany's election.

Political Attitudes In Belarus

Deutsche Welle's Russian Service has a piece on the political attitudes and loyalties of Russian speakers in Belarus.

The Military Balance In Europe

Wesley Morgan, Politico's military affairs correspondent, argues that the U.S. Army is "unprepared to deal with Russia in Europe."

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