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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.




Jan 24, 2022

Putin’s threatened invasion is already hitting the Ukrainian economy hard

By Anders Åslund

While the world waits to see if Vladimir Putin will proceed with his threatened invasion of Ukraine, Russia’s menacing military posture is already hitting the Ukrainian economy hard.

Conflict Corruption


Jan 24, 2022

Iran’s new president just met with Vladimir Putin in Russia. What to make of it?

By Mark N. Katz

Despite the high-profile nature of this summit, little of substance seems to have been agreed upon.

Iran Middle East


Jan 23, 2022

Disarming Putin’s history weapon

By Bohdan Vitvitsky

Ever since 2014, Russian President Vladimir Putin has weaponized history as part of his hybrid war against Ukraine and sought to whitewash what is a deeply troubling Russian record of atrocity and oppression.

Conflict Disinformation


Jan 23, 2022

Ukraine Crisis: Putin the gambler may have gone too far to back down

By Timothy Ash

Russian President Vladimir Putin has gained the world's attention with his threat to launch a full-scale invasion of Ukraine but he may now feel he must act or risk a serious loss of credibility on the international stage.

Conflict European Union

Inflection Points

Jan 23, 2022

Putin is threatening not just Ukraine but post-Cold War principles. And the stakes are generational.

By Frederick Kempe

Unless Biden can shift the tide, Putin will continue his long campaign to reverse the post-Cold War principles under which countries in the world navigate the future together.

Conflict Crisis Management

New Atlanticist

Jan 22, 2022

Experts react: Six options for Europe as it searches for a response to Russian aggression

By Atlantic Council experts

How can Europe hang together and maximize its impact? Our experts weigh in as the crisis over Ukraine heats up.

Conflict Crisis Management

Britain Debrief

Jan 22, 2022

#BritainDebrief – Are we on the brink in Ukraine? A debrief from Tom Tugendhat, MP

By Ben Judah

Tom Tugendhat, MP, Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman, joins #BritainDebrief for a look at Britain's policies towards Ukraine and how realistic the threat of war in Ukraine is.

Conflict Crisis Management


Jan 22, 2022

Stop asking what Putin wants and start asking what Ukrainians want

By Mychailo Wynnyckyj

Fears of a major European war have sparked endless speculation over what Putin may want and how the West should react, but Ukraine itself has been largely reduced to the status of bystander in its own national drama.

Civil Society Conflict

New Atlanticist

Jan 21, 2022

What if Russia invades Ukraine (again)? Consider these options for sanctions escalation.

By Brian O’Toole, Daniel Fried

Whatever Putin’s intentions, the Kremlin’s anti-Ukrainian propaganda has not been so loud since 2014. The United States and its allies need to respond in order to prevent a major military escalation at worst and at least blunt Putin’s effort to gain political advantage through intimidation.

Crisis Management Economic Sanctions

New Atlanticist

Jan 21, 2022

SpeedRead: The military steps Biden can take to force Putin to back off

By Jorge Benitez

The White House should deal with the Kremlin-manufactured crisis with the bipartisan strategy that successfully won the Cold War: deterrence.

Conflict Crisis Management