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The Power Vertical

The Power Vertical is a blog and podcast for Russia wonks and Kremlin watchers by Brian Whitmore. It covers 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.

Host and Eurasia Center Senior Fellow Brian Whitmore invites guest experts to deliver their insights and analysis in this weekly podcast. The Atlantic Council and the Charles T. McDowell Center for Global Studies at the University of Texas at Arlington co-sponsor this production.

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The Eurasia Center’s mission is to enhance transatlantic cooperation in promoting stability, democratic values and prosperity in Eurasia, from Eastern Europe and Turkey in the West to the Caucasus, Russia and Central Asia in the East.


Atlantic Council President and CEO Fred Kempe speaks to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy with Atlantic Council Chairman John F. W. Rogers

Inflection Points

Jun 4, 2023

Dispatch from Kyiv: Ukraine deserves NATO membership and even more robust weapons

By Frederick Kempe

An Atlantic Council delegation's trip to Kyiv this week highlighted how important additional support is to Ukraine.

Conflict Eastern Europe


Jun 1, 2023

The fight against courtroom corruption continues in wartime Ukraine

By Olena Halushka

Despite the existential challenges created by Russia's full-scale invasion, Ukraine continues to make progress toward the reform of the country's deeply discredited judicial system, writes Olena Halushka.

Civil Society Conflict

Issue Brief

Jun 1, 2023

Autonomy and asymmetry: The future of Norway’s defense 2022-2042

By August Cole

August Cole provides an in-depth examination of Norway's potential defense strategies, the implications of autonomous drones and artificial intelligence, and the necessary transformation of military norms in response to the threats from Russia and beyond.

Defense Policy Eastern Europe
Caption: Men are seen on the roof of a damaged apartment block following a reported drone attack in Moscow, May 30, 2023. (Source: Reuters/Maxim Shemetov)

New Atlanticist

Jun 1, 2023

Russian War Report: Moscow is on edge after the latest drone attack

By Digital Forensic Research Lab

Drone strikes in Moscow have the Kremlin on high alert. In Georgia, the pro-Russia Prime Minister blamed NATO for Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Conflict Disinformation

New Atlanticist

Jun 1, 2023

China stands to gain from a weakened Russia. The West should prepare now.

By Andrew A. Michta

A protracted war of attrition in Ukraine serves Beijing’s interests in that it will lead to the long-term weakening of Russia, thereby fundamentally shifting the Sino-Russian power balance in China’s favor.

China Politics & Diplomacy


May 30, 2023

Ukraine’s Diia platform sets the global gold standard for e-government

By Anatoly Motkin

Ukraine's Diia app is widely seen as the world's first next-generation e-government platform, and is credited with implementing what many see as a more human-centric government service model, writes Anatoly Motkin.

Civil Society Conflict


May 30, 2023

Russia’s new reality: Less Peter the Great, more Putin the Pariah

By Peter Dickinson

The invasion of Ukraine has left Russia greatly diminished on the world stage and earned Putin a place in infamy alongside history’s greatest criminals. Instead of emulating Peter the Great, he has become Putin the Pariah, writes Peter Dickinson.

Conflict Disinformation

New Atlanticist

May 30, 2023

China is trading more with Russia—but so are many US allies and partners

By Josh Lipsky, Niels Graham

A number of countries have increased their trade with Russia since its full-scale invasion of Ukraine in early 2022, including non-aligned countries and even some EU members.

China Economic Sanctions


May 27, 2023

Exploring the secrets of Ukraine’s successful wartime diplomacy

By Yuna Potomkina

Over the past 15 months, Ukraine has built an international coalition of partners prepared to arm the country against Russia's invasion. This unprecedented diplomatic success offers important lessons, writes Yuna Potomkina.

Conflict Defense Technologies


May 27, 2023

Ukraine must reduce role of state in the economy to boost EU integration

By David Clark

Ukraine has conducted a number of nationalizations as part of the war effort but the state should now be looking to reduce its role in the Ukrainian economy in order to advance the process of EU integration, writes David Clark.

Conflict Corruption