The Surkov ManifestoThe Power Vertical Podcast at CEPA add
It's a manifesto. It's an ideology. It's a warning to the West. It's a declaration that Putin will be in power forever. And it's an acknowledgment that Putin's days are numbered.
Or maybe it's just the Kremlin's post-modern Troller in Chief just being himself.
It, of course, is Vladislav Surkov's latest opus titled: Putin's Long State. It was published this week in Nezavisimaya Gazeta and it's got Kremlin-watchers talking.
So, let's talk about it.
On the latest Power Vertical podcast, Brian Whitmore sits down with CEPA's Editor in Chief, Donald N. Jensen.
The Baltic FrontThe Power Vertical Podcast at CEPA add
We can all learn a lot from the Baltic states. So let's learn. Listen to the Power Vertical podcast as Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linas Linkevičius discuses the Baltic Front with Brian Whitmore and CEPA President Peter B. Doran.
Danger on the High SeasThe Power Vertical Podcast at CEPA add
From the Baltic in the north to the Black in the south, Russia has ramped up its maritime military posture. Listen as LTG (Ret.) Ben Hodges navigates the choppy waters ahead on the latest Power Vertical podcast with Brian Whitmore.
Moscow ConfidentialThe Power Vertical Podcast at CEPA add
We've got spy cases. We've got escorts involved in high-stakes political intrigue. We've got great power competition in different corners of the globe. And we've got bickering over an arms control treaty.
No, it's not 1974. It just feels that way.
This week, the Power Vertical podcast is trying something a little different. Rather than doing a deep dive on one big topic for the whole program, Brian Whitmore and CEPA Editor in Chief Donald N. Jensen open up the grab bag—a Moscow Miscellaneous, if you will—a rapid-fire look at a series of things that have been happening recently.
Luka's GameThe Power Vertical Podcast at CEPA add
We've all seen this movie before. It's called the Aleksandr Lukashenka shuffle.
When the authoritarian Belarusian leader's relations with Russia get stormy, he begins flirting with the West, only to return anew to Vladimir Putin's embrace.
We've seen it for years. Everybody has always known what he's up to. And everybody played along with his little two-step.
But now, with reports that Russia is seriously considering an "Anschluss"—or formal annexation of Belarus—the game seems a lot more consequential, and a lot more dangerous.
Joining Brian Whitmore on the latest Power Vertical are CEPA Editor in Chief Donald N. Jensen and special guest Michael Carpenter, Senior Director of the Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement.
Autumn of the PatriarchThe Power Vertical Podcast at CEPA add
First Putin promised prosperity in exchange for freedom. Then Putin promised empire in exchange for prosperity. But with empire appearing to slip away, what will he have to offer?
Moscow's Asymmetric ComplexThe Power Vertical Podcast at CEPA add
The line between peace and war is blurred, as is the line between domestic politics and foreign affairs. The motherland is surrounded and besieged by enemies.
And in this environment, the best defense is a good offense. In this environment, the best strategy is to weaponize everything.
The concept of asymmetric warfare is not new to Russian military thinking. In fact, it has deep historical roots. What are they? And what can the West learn from them?
Listen to the latest Power Vertical Podcast as Brian Whitmore is joined by Krisztian Jojart, the Andrassy National Security Fellow at CEPA, an external fellow at the Budapest-based Center for Strategic and Defense Studies, and author of a forthcoming report on the Historical Roots of Russian Asymmetric Warfare. Also joining the podcast is report co-author Dorka Takácsy, the Szell Kalman Fellow at the Hungary Initiatives Foundation in Washington, and Donald N. Jensen, a senior fellow at CEPA and a lecturer at Johns Hopkins University.
Gunboat DiplomacyThe Power Vertical Podcast at CEPA add
Nearly five years ago Vladimir Putin's regime forcefully and illegally annexed Ukraine's Crimean peninsula. Today Russia is attempting to forcefully and illegally annex the international waters of the Sea of Azov.
At stake is southeastern Ukraine's access to the sea as well as Ukraine's economic viability and very sovereignty. But Moscow's gunboat diplomacy also has broader implications for international law, maritime rights, and Black Sea security.
Listen to the latest Power Vertical Podcast as Brian Whitmore navigates the choppy waters of the Sea of Azov with guests Stephen Blank, a senior fellow for Russia at the American Foreign Policy Council and CEPA Senior Fellow Donald N. Jensen.
Containing the ChaosThe Power Vertical Podcast at CEPA add
The West has seen Russia's strategy of chaos before. And it can fight back. Listen to the latest Power Vertical podcast as Peter B. Doran and Donald N. Jensen explain how.
Disarming DisinfoThe Power Vertical Podcast at CEPA add
With all the trolls, bots, cut-outs, fakes, psy-ops, active measures, and influence campaigns, the West is facing a stealthy and joined-up threat from the Kremlin and other hostile actors.
Some of it, we've seen before in the Soviet propaganda campaigns of the Cold War. Some of it is new, tailored to the era of digital news and social media.
So, how is the push-back going?
Find out on this week’s Power Vertical Podcast, where Brian Whitmore speaks to JD Maddox, a consultant to the U.S. State Department's Global Engagements Center and CEPA President Peter B. Doran.
Barbarians At The GatesThe Power Vertical Podcast at CEPA add
They're agile. They're mobile. And they're elusive. They're stateless, they're disruptive, and they're violent. They're the new barbarians. They're at the gates of Western civilization.
And in an era of heightened great power conflict and competition, they're changing the calculus, strategy, and rules of international politics. Are terrorists, pirates, and hackers the new Huns, Goths, and Vandals? And how do they play into the conflict between Russia and the West?
On this week’s Power Vertical Podcast, Brian Whitmore speaks with former U.S. State Department official Jakub Grygiel, author of the new book Return of the Barbarians: Confronting Non-State Actors from Ancient Rome to the Present, to find out.
The Lessons Of WarThe Power Vertical Podcast at CEPA add
A Russian invasion masquerading as a popular uprising. An unexpectedly robust Ukrainian defense. A frozen stalemate with no end in sight.
So what exactly has Moscow learned after more than four years of war in the Donbas?
On this week’s Power Vertical Podcast, we take a look at how Russian military thinkers view the war and what that means for the future.
Joining me are Krisztian Jojart, the Andrassy National Security Fellow at CEPA, an external fellow at the Budapest-based Center for Strategic and Defense Studies, and author of the forthcoming report Lessons From Ukraine: Implications for Russian Military Thinking; and veteran Kremlin-watcher and former U.S. State Department official Donald Jensen, a senior fellow at CEPA and a lecturer at Johns Hopkins University.
The Autumn of Russia’s DiscontentThe Power Vertical Podcast at CEPA add
Elite tension, protests, and duels: Listen to the latest on Russia with Brian Whitmore, Donald N. Jensen, and Maria Snegovaya.
Power PoliticsThe Power Vertical Podcast at CEPA add
Don't look now, but the energy game is changing.
Shale, LNG, and renewables are upending the old rules that have long governed the market. And as energy markets change, the geopolitics of energy won't be far behind. This has deep and profound implications for energy exporters like Russia, which has long relied on hydrocarbons to fuel its hegemonic ambitions.
On this week’s Power Vertical Podcast, Brian Whitmore discusses what it all means with Agnia Grigas, a senior fellow at The Atlantic Council and author of the books The New Geopolitics of Natural Gas and Beyond Crimea: The New Russian Empire.
Transatlantic TurbulenceThe Power Vertical Podcast at CEPA add
Throughout the Cold War, it was understood that the United States would bear the brunt of the burden for Europe's defense. And after the collapse of the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact, the issue of European defense and security was put on the back burner as military budgets shrank across the continent.
Now, with a resurgent and revanchist Russia, European security is front and center again. But the question remains: who will bear the burden? And what is the future of Atlanticism?
On the latest Power Vertical Podcast, Brian Whitmore discusses the current turbulence in the transatlantic relationship with Elisabeth Braw, a London-based adjunct fellow at CEPA.
Once Upon A Time In RussiaThe Power Vertical Podcast at CEPA add
Half a century ago this week, Soviet and Warsaw Pact troops invaded Czechoslovakia and crushed the Prague Spring. And 27 years ago this week, a hardline coup against Mikhail Gorbachev failed, precipitating the collapse of the Soviet Union.
Seventy-nine years ago this week, the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany signed the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact, dividing Eastern Europe between Hitler and Stalin. And 29 years ago this week, an estimated two million Soviet citizens joined hands to form a human chain spanning 675 across the three Baltic states, marking the 50th anniversary of the Hitler-Stalin pact and protesting the Soviet occupation of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania.
What do these anniversaries, and how they are observed – or not observed – tell us about today’s Russia?
On this week’s Power Vertical Podcast, I take a look back – and a look ahead with former U.S. State Department official Donald N. Jensen, a Senior Fellow at CEPA and a lecturer at Johns Hopkins University.
The Art of the FakeThe Power Vertical Podcast at CEPA add
So you thought cyberattacks, disinformation campaigns, troll farms, and bot armies were a problem—well, you ain't seen nothing yet.
According to a new report, advances in artificial intelligence, automation, and machine learning, together with the growing availability of big data, open the door to a frightening brave new world in which adversaries like Vladimir Putin's Russia can take political warfare against the West to a whole new level.
Welcome to the world of deep fakes, virtual interactive worlds, and weaponized big data.
On this week’s Power Vertical Podcast, we discuss what is coming in political warfare.
I’m joined by Dr. Alina Polyakova, a fellow at the Brookings Institution, an adjunct professor of European studies at the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University, and co-author of the report The Future of Political Warfare: Russia, The West, and the Coming Age of Global Digital Competition; and former U.S. State Department official Donald Jensen, a senior fellow here at CEPA, a lecturer at Johns Hopkins University, and author of the forthcoming report Putin's Strategy of Chaos.
Eastern ExposureThe Power Vertical Podcast at CEPA add
One is a rising power that believes time is on its side. The other is former empire desperate to revive its past imperial glory. They share opposition to the Western-led liberal world order. But their geopolitical interests clash in Central Asia, the Far East, and elsewhere.
So are Russia and China allies? Frenemies? Competitors? Or all of the above? And what does it mean going forward?
On this week’s Power Vertical Podcast I take a close look at the Sino-Russian relationship with Stephen Blank, a senior fellow on Russia at the American Foreign Policy Council.
The Challenge of PutinismThe Power Vertical Podcast at CEPA add
The restoration of empire. A multipolar world led by great powers. Spheres of influence. Personalized rule. An authoritarian and patrimonial state. Support for so-called traditional values. And something called sovereign democracy.
All of these things have been associated with something we have come to call Putinism. But does it all add up to an ideology?
High AnxietyThe Power Vertical Podcast at CEPA add
Despite Vladimir Putin's falling approval ratings, the mood in Moscow these days is triumphant—and not just because of Russia's surprisingly strong showing in the World Cup. With Putin about to get his long-sought one-on-one meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump, many in the Russian foreign policy elite think they are about to get a lot of things on their wish list.
So, are they? On this week’s Power Vertical Podcast, we look ahead to the Helsinki summit. Joining me are former U.S. State Department official Donald N. Jensen, a Senior Fellow here at CEPA and a lecturer at Johns Hopkins University; and Stephen Blank, a senior fellow for Russia at the American Foreign Policy Council.