Analysis

This listing contains all the analytical materials posted on the Russia Matters website. These include: RM Exclusives, commissioned by Russia Matters exclusively for this website; Recommended Reads, deemed particularly noteworthy by our editorial team; Partner Posts, originally published by our partners elsewhere; and Future Policy Leaders, pieces by promising young scholars and policy thinkers. Content can be filtered by genre and subject-specific criteria and is updated often. Gradually we will be adding older Recommended Reads and Partner Posts dating back as far as 2011.
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The HMS Defender Incident: What happened and What Are the Political Ramifications?

Dmitry Gorenburg July 01, 2021 RM Exclusives
Inadvertent escalation poses the greatest risk of a political confrontation between Russia and NATO resulting in armed conflict, and as long as one or both sides believe that it is beneficial to use their military forces to make political points, we should expect more incidents of this type to take place.
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Will Russia Invade Ukraine (Again)?

Simon Saradzhyan April 14, 2021 Recommended Reads
Not a day goes by without dire warnings of an imminent Russian military invasion of Ukraine, but Putin is unlikely to order an offensive against Ukraine unless Zelensky makes the first military move on the Donbass chessboard.
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Russia-Ukraine War Alert: What’s Behind It and What Lies Ahead?

Dmitri Trenin April 13, 2021 Recommended Reads
Going overkill in terms of military maneuvers on the Ukrainian border now may avoid the need to do terrible things at a later point.
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Russia's Military Buildup Near Ukraine Is an Intimidation Tactic

Michael Kofman April 03, 2021 Recommended Reads
Russia's military posturing appears to be primarily coercive and demonstrative in nature.
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Opportunities in Ukraine Too Limited to Provide White Supremacists With Military Training

Huseyn Aliyev November 12, 2020 RM Exclusives
Ukraine is likely to serve as a hypothetical “dreamland” for foreign white supremacists. However, the likelihood of international far-right visitors acquiring actual military training or battlefield experience is minimal.  
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Contending With—Not Accepting—Spheres of Influence

Steven Pifer March 05, 2020 RM Exclusives
While Washington does have to deal with Russia's efforts to establish a sphere of influence in its neighborhood, that doesn't mean the U.S. should accept the legitimacy of those efforts.
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Pompeo’s Visit Lets Post-Soviet States Leverage US Backing Against Russia, China, But Real Support Remains Limited

Nikolas Gvosdev February 07, 2020 RM Exclusives
American policies designed to challenge Russian dominance in Eurasia have either proceeded as a result of autopilot within the bureaucracy or because Congress has imposed them via veto-proof majorities.
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Ukraine Election Bodes Ill for Corruption Fight, and for Kiev’s Ties to West

Tony Barber March 26, 2019 RM Exclusives
As Ukrainians prepare to vote for a president March 31, none of the top three candidates boasts solid pro-reform credentials. That poses big challenges for the country’s future stability and its pro-Western stance.
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Gangster Geopolitics: The Kremlin’s Use of Criminals as Assets Abroad

Mark Galeotti January 17, 2019 RM Exclusives
Since the worsening of relations with the West in 2014, the Kremlin has increasingly adopted a “mobilization state” approach, turning to any available foreign-policy levers. Gangsters are no exception.
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Putin's Pivot: 4 New Features of Russian Foreign Policy

Daniel Treisman March 14, 2018 RM Exclusives
The annexation of Crimea in 2014 signaled a new phase of Russian foreign policy, characterized by risk taking, neglect of exit strategies, outsourcing and saber rattling. But can the success of these tactics last?
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Russian Military Buildup in the West: Fact Versus Fiction

Michael Kofman September 07, 2017 RM Exclusives
Until 2014 Russia was largely cutting the number of troops on NATO's borders to move them elsewhere. The war with Ukraine changed that, reawakening Moscow to the possibility of a large-scale war on its western front.
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Ukraine’s Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace

Nicolai N. Petro September 07, 2016 Recommended Reads
Amidst the brewing domestic political storm, the struggle for the right to define Ukrainian identity has become a “perpetual war, for perpetual peace,” a peace that can only come when all the enemies of Ukraine, at home and abroad, are fully vanquished.