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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.


New Atlanticist

Oct 3, 2023

Mass still matters: What the US military should learn from Ukraine 

By Andrew A. Michta

The overarching lesson from the unfolding war in Ukraine is simply the scale of what’s required to fight a modern state-on-state war.

Conflict Defense Industry


Oct 3, 2023

Mixed messaging from Moldova on energy sector reforms

By Suriya Evans-Pritchard Jayanti

Recent steps by the Moldovan authorities cast doubt on Chisinau’s commitment to energy market liberalization, escaping Russian energy dominance, and anti-corruption imperatives, writes Suriya Jayanti.

Conflict Corruption


Sep 30, 2023

Ukraine’s soccer stars help to keep Russia’s invasion in global spotlight

By Renat Zihanshyn, Oleksandra Gaidai

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy appointed soccer legend Andriy Shevchenko as an advisor on September 26 in recognition of the role played by Ukrainian footballers in keeping Ukraine's struggle against Russian aggression in the global spotlight.

Civil Society Conflict


Sep 30, 2023

Can US Abrams tanks help Ukraine achieve a battlefield breakthrough?

By Olivia Yanchik

The first US M1 Abrams tanks arrived in Ukraine in late September, writes Olivia Yanchik. Will these American tanks help Ukraine to achieve a breakthrough against Vladimir Putin's deeply entrenched Russian invasion force?

Conflict Defense Industry

New Atlanticist

Sep 29, 2023

Jets and rockets are important, but Ukraine also needs faster munitions deliveries

By Thomas S. Warrick

Today’s battlefield chews up ammunition and equipment at extraordinary rates. The US “arsenal of democracy” needs to start working overtime.

Conflict Defense Industry
A satellite image shows smoke billowing from a Russian Black Sea Navy HQ after a missile strike, as Russia's invasion of Ukraine continues, in Sevastopol, Crimea, September 22, 2023. PLANET LABS PBC/Handout via REUTERS THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES. MANDATORY CREDIT. DO NOT OBSCURE LOGO

New Atlanticist

Sep 28, 2023

Russian War Report: Competing claims about the possible death of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet commander

By Digital Forensic Research Lab

Following an attack by Ukrainian forces on the Russian Black Sea Fleet in Crimea, rumors swirled about the potential death of Russian Admiral Viktor Sokolov.

Conflict Infrastructure Protection

In the News

Sep 28, 2023

Soofer featured on RealClearDefense

By Atlantic Council

Robert Soofer and co-authors warn against the risks of targeting civilian populations in the event of a nuclear event.

China Conflict


Sep 27, 2023

Ukraine’s counteroffensive is making real progress on the Crimean front

By Peter Dickinson

Ukraine's escalating attacks in Crimea are steadily undermining Russia's invasion and are a reminder that the Ukrainian counteroffensive is not limited to the relatively static front lines of the war, writes Peter Dickinson.

Conflict Defense Policy


Sep 26, 2023

Ukraine’s drone army is bringing Putin’s invasion home to Russia

By Mykola Bielieskov

Ukraine's increasingly formidable drone army is enabling Kyiv to bring Vladimir Putin's invasion home to Russia and strike strategic targets throughout the Russian Federation, writes Mykola Bielieskov.

Conflict Defense Industry

New Atlanticist

Sep 22, 2023

Financing Ukraine’s defense is a down payment for peace in Europe, says Dutch deputy prime minister

By Katherine Walla

“If we lose the war in Ukraine, we’re all lost. No peace and security on this continent,” Sigrid Kaag argued at the Transatlantic Forum on GeoEconomics. "This is something we have to keep financing."

China Economic Sanctions