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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Georgian Democracy Stumbles Onward After Parliament Deal

Terrell Jermaine Starr April 26, 2021 Recommended Reads
A six-month stalemate over vote-rigging accusations has been partially, but messily, resolved.
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Unplugging the Baltic States: Why Russia’s Economic Approach May Be Shifting

Emily Ferris July 01, 2020 RM Exclusives
The probability of Russia resorting to a Crimea-style intervention in the Baltics remains low. As a key energy supplier and major trading partner for the region, Russia has more to gain by using economic levers as opposed to military ones to retain influence.
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Russia and Collective Security: Why CSTO Is No Match for Warsaw Pact

Dmitry Gorenburg May 27, 2020 RM Exclusives
The CSTO is too organizationally weak and insufficiently integrated to serve as a capability multiplier for its members, and the weakness of other member states' military forces make them of limited value to Russia as military allies.
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After the Colored Revolution

Sean's Russia Blog February 19, 2020 Partner Posts
In this episode of Sean's Russia Blog, host and Eurasia expert Sean Guillory speaks with Vasili Rukhadze, a visiting lecturer of political science at the University of Pittsburgh, about post-color revolution regimes.
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The Collapsing Russian Defense Budget and Other Fairy Tales

Michael Kofman May 22, 2018 RM Exclusives
Recent reports claiming Russia slashed defense spending by 20 percent from 2016 to 2017 are wrong, the author argues. They stem from a government decision to pay down old debt, not actual cuts to spending.
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NATO Expansion: What Gorbachev Heard

Svetlana Savranskaya and Tom Blanton December 12, 2017 Recommended Reads
Newly declassified documents lend credence to claims that Western leaders repeatedly reassured their Soviet counterparts in the early 1990s that NATO would not budge "one inch eastward."
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Entanglement: Chinese and Russian Perspectives on Non-nuclear Weapons and Nuclear Risks

James M. Acton, Alexey Arbatov, Vladimir Dvorkin, Petr Topychkanov, Tong Zhao and Li Bin November 08, 2017 Recommended Reads
A new report offers Russian, Chinese and U.S. assessments of the growing risk of military conflicts going nuclear.
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25 Years of Nuclear Security Cooperation by the US, Russia and Other Newly Independent States: A Timeline

Mariana Budjeryn, Simon Saradzhyan and William Tobey June 16, 2017 RM Exclusives
At a time when the U.S. and the newly independent states of the former Soviet Union still saw each other as mortal enemies, they found the courage, creativity and capacity for trust to work together in the name of preventing nuclear catastrophe.
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Lessons from Russia's Operations in Crimea and Eastern Ukraine

Michael Kofman, Katya Migacheva, Brian Nichiporuk, Andrew Radin, Olesya Tkacheva and Jenny Oberholtzer May 01, 2017 Recommended Reads
Russia's military operation in 2014 to annex Crimea was a decisive and competent use of military force, while its campaign in the eastern part of Ukraine was ineffectually implemented but achieved its aim: political fragmentation of the country.
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Russian Defense Spending: Tricky Math

Olga Oliker April 26, 2017 RM Exclusives
With Russia flexing its military muscle, analysts are increasingly interested in how much Moscow is spending on weapons. This explainer lays out the factors that make those numbers hard to crunch.
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Russia's Military: Assessment, Strategy and Threat

Alexander Golts and Michael Kofman June 24, 2016 Partner Posts
A report providing a quantitative and qualitative assessment of the Russian armed forces in the context of Russia’s reemergence on the geopolitical stage.