“…seizing the assets of Putin and other Russians held abroad via the new sanctions law will help promote the necessary changes in Russia and bring closer the day these assets can be returned.



In his latest Daily Vertical, Brian Whitmore comments on recent complaints being voiced by Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev. And it will come as no surprise that Russia’s government head doesn’t like the European idea that where pipelines go in European territory should be decided by the Europeans. 

Speculation remains about whether Russia’s leader will run again for the presidency 


“Previously OSCE observers [had] reported seeing trucks full of cereals and grains on Russian-controlled territories in Ukraine moving towards the Russian-Ukrainian border and into the Russian Federation,” just as happened under Stalin.


Photo: Grain seized during 1932-33 famine


The war against ISIS and its planned Islamic Caliphate may be nearing the end of one phase but a longer and bloodier phase may be just beginning

A trial underway in Moscow is part of an ongoing battle between competing clans in the Russian power vertical. As Brian Whitmore points out in today’s Daily Vertical podcast, what the trial proves is that in Russia the one court that matters is the court of Vladimir Putin.


What is especially striking to the Moscow journalist is that Russia’s western neighbors from Finland and Estonia in the north to Ukraine in the south are actively building these barriers and that despite the expense and the likelihood that people will find ways around them, “by 2020, the western borders of Russia will be fenced off along their entire perimeter.”


Photo: Final days of the Berlin Wall

In just the last few days, Vladimir Putin seems to have managed a performance so convincing that Donald Trump actually believed Putin’s claimed innocence of meddling in the U.S. presidential elections. Putin may fool Trump – at least temporarily – but we don’t believe anyone in Ukraine is going to be buying Putin’s rather peculiar ideas of what an acceptable Donbas peacekeeping plan might be. 


“The Baku congress adopted what came to be called ‘The Shariat Project’ which listed 15 principles of the Islamic shariat that it said corresponded to communist doctrine, thus legitimizing Soviet power in Central Asia and encouraging a link between the Bolsheviks and Muslims in the Islamic world."


The papers of the Baku congress include this photo with the caption: “The leader of the correct solution of the national and colonial question was Comrade Stalin.”


The current strategy “will only succeed if the United States remains strong, united with our allies, and uncompromising in our principles. That means refusing to recognize the illegal annexation of Crimea and insisting on its return to Ukraine, however long it takes,” says Alexander Vershbow, formerly U.S. ambassador to the Russian Federation.

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