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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Will Russia’s Upcoming Duma Elections Change Anything At All?

Andrei Kolesnikov September 15, 2021 Partner Posts
The authorities are faced with the fiendish task of convincing democratic-minded voters that there is no point in voting, while making every effort to boost turnout among the conformist, state-dependent electorate.
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30 Years After End of Soviet Union, Its Main Lesson for Russia Remains ‘Reform or Else'

Sergei Guriev August 31, 2021 RM Exclusives
Rapid economic growth requires reforms; reforms frighten entrenched elites; lack of economic growth will eventually force the regime to change—though whether this means more democratization or more repressiveness remains to be seen.
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Why Russia Is Unlikely to Use Zapad-2021 to Intervene Militarily in European Countries

Simon Saradzhyan August 31, 2021 Partner Posts
As Russia prepares to hold exercises in its western regions again, we hear warnings that Moscow will use the wargames as cover for aggression against another country; however, the conditions necessary for a Russian military intervention are absent.
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Does the Collective Security Treaty Organization Have a Future?

Kirill Krivosheev July 09, 2021 Partner Posts
The CSTO still has a chance to prove itself—if it can demonstrate effective and coordinated work after the impending withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan.
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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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Declassified Sources on Gagarin

Asif Siddiqi April 12, 2021 Partner Posts
Collectively these 20 declassified documents provide an extraordinary peek into the preparations and implementation of the flight of Yuri Gagarin, the first Soviet cosmonaut, who flew into space on April 12, 1961.
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Is the “Resource Curse” Irreversible? Experiences of the Russian Regions

Delgerjargal Uvsh April 05, 2021 Partner Posts
The experiences of Russia’s oil- and gas-producing regions after the collapse of the Soviet Union suggests that political elites can make a difference in reversing the “resource curse” if their abundant revenues from natural resources decline.
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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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Navalny and Next: Possibilities, Prognosis and Perceptions in Russia

Sean's Russia Blog March 27, 2021 Partner Posts
Sean Guillory moderates a roundtable discussion with Ilya Budraitskis, Svetlana Erpyleva, and Greg Yudin on Alexei Navalny, the Russian opposition and the prospects of political pluralism in Russian society.
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Five Years After Russia Declared Victory in Syria: What Has Been Won?

Thomas Schaffner March 18, 2021 RM Exclusives
Has the intervention paid off or has Obama’s 2015 prediction that the operation would end in a “quagmire” for Russia come true? An assessment of some key costs and benefits generated by Russia’s intervention in Syria.
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Andrea Lee's "Russian Journal": A Tapestry of the Late Soviet Era

Kimberly St. Julian-Varnon February 19, 2021 Partner Posts
As part of the Kennan Institute's Black History Month programming, Kimberly St. Julian-Varnon reflects on a travelogue from the 1970s by Andrea Lee titled "Russian Journal," which is a fast-paced tour through Brezhnev's so-called “stagnant” Soviet Union.