“The US Treasury has now introduced the element of unpredictability in dealing with Russia, which could ultimately prove to be its secret weapon.”

The West has “intentionally chosen a policy of balancing on the edge of war,” a particularly dangerous approach given that “neither side can make concessions to the other without a loss of face. Therefore,” [Boris] Shmelyov says, “we must hope for the best but prepare for the worst.”


Analyst: “…with his control of the national police force, Avakov can gain from Tymoshenko many concessions for his fellow party leaders. They could compete in the elections as a bloc of parties, or become members of Tymoshenko’s Fatherland party.”


Quite a surprise - Brian Whitmore is closing down shop at the old popcorn stand and moving on to a new one. Even more surprising, he will take the Power Vertical along with him to a new home in Washington, D.C. where he’ll have a new employer. Whitmore will be missed – but if we understand the situation correctly, he will soon reappear in a format little changed from the current.


“The tragedy in Kemerovo is the apotheosis of legal nihilism imposed from above. In a country where the Constitution is not observed, rules from the ministry of emergency services aren’t going to be observed either. The legal order rots from the head; but judging from the stenogram of the meeting with Putin, it will be cleansed from the other end.”


Photo: President Vladimir Putin meeting with local citizens, March 27, 2018 [Photo courtesy Wikipedia]




In the very near term, writes Alina Polyakova, technological advancements in artificial intelligence and cyber capabilities will open opportunities for malicious actors to undermine democracies more covertly and effectively than what we have seen so far. An all-out attack on Western critical infrastructure seems inevitable. This piece originally appeared on Lawfare.



Three well-known analysts look at the possible future for Russia’s puppet states in eastern Ukraine

Empire building – or perhaps more correctly stated as rebuilding – continues to be a bloody business.


Most Russians believe their elections are unfair, but they don't care. Very few Russians believe elections are a realistic means of changing anything. Polls show that Russians generally favor "reform" but only when the concept is expressed vaguely.

Photo: Russian President Vladimir Putin watches honor guards pass as he attends a wreath-laying ceremony to mark the Defender of the Fatherland Day at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier by the Kremlin wall in central Moscow in February 2016.

On this anniversary, most Russian commentators, of course, are focusing on Lenin’s desire to put his government beyond the reach of German forces. As the Muscovite state approaches its pseudo-elections, the historiosophical meaning of the transfer of capitals may be more important.



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