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"Scandals are erupting in Washington..." (cartoon by Sergei Elkin, RFE/RL)

Videotapes of politicians caught in salacious acts. Dossiers of bribes and shady business deals. Tools of blackmail. Instruments of control.

Honey traps and money traps have long been key weapons in the Kremlin's arsenal.

They've long been used to discredit troublesome politicians at home and to recruit and develop networks of influence abroad.

On this week's Power Vertical Podcast, we look at how they're being adapted and upgraded for the digital age.

Joining me will be veteran Kremlin-watcher Donald Jensen, a former U.S. State Department official, a Senior Adjunct Fellow at the Center for European Policy Analysis, and a fellow at the Center for Transatlantic Relations in the Nitze School of International Studies at Johns Hopkins University; and Peter Pomerantsev, author of the widely acclaimed book Nothing Is True And Everything Is Possible: Inside The Surreal Heart Of The New Russia.


Power Vertical Podcast: Honey Traps And Money Traps
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Listen to or download the podcast above or subscribe to The Power Vertical Podcast on iTunes.

The Daily Vertical: Insecure Security
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The views expressed in this commentary do not necessarily reflect the views of RFE/RL.

The Daily Vertical is a video primer for Russia-watchers that appears Monday through Friday. Viewers can suggest topics via Twitter @PowerVertical or on the Power Vertical Facebook page.

A transcript of today's Daily Vertical can be found here.

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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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