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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Russia’s Response to US Withdrawal From Afghanistan: Criticism of US, Concerns About Security Environment

Mary Chesnut and Julian G. Waller September 14, 2021 RM Exclusives
While schadenfreude and strategic anti-U.S. messaging is the most visible aspect of Russia’s immediate response, Moscow’s more material concerns—including regional instability and the spread of radical Islamic terrorism—should not be understated.
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Why the US Should Rethink Its Russia-centric Ukraine Policy

Nicolai N. Petro September 09, 2021 RM Exclusives
Because the author considers the West’s Ukraine policies likely to end in backlash, he submits that they cannot be in the national interest of the United States.
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The Impact of September 11 on US-Russian Relations

Angela Stent September 08, 2021 Recommended Reads
U.S.-Russian cooperation in the initial stages of the Afghan war appeared to be transformative. Today, it is instructive to ask why the anti-terror partnership collapsed and what the Taliban’s victory might mean for future relations.
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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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Fact-Check: Has Russia’s GDP Per Capita Really Dropped By 30% Since 2013?

RM Staff August 25, 2021 RM Exclusives
This year, the FT wrote that Russia’s GDP per capita is 30% lower than in 2013—a surprising claim as neither Russia’s GDP nor its population had changed so drastically in that time. We find the number to be debatable.
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Afghanistan Has Never Been Moscow or Washington’s to Win or Lose

Sergey Radchenko August 16, 2021 Recommended Reads
Radchenko: When it comes to the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, Biden made the right call, even if the execution was far less impressive than the orderly Soviet pullout some 30 years ago. What is left in the wake of the U.S. withdrawal was never going to be pretty but nor did the Soviets leave a pretty sight. But this hardly changes the basic issue: Getting in was a mistake; getting out was the right thing to do. Because in the end Afghanistan was never Moscow’s, or Washington’s, to win or lose. 
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Afghanistan Is a Wake-Up Call for ‘Major Non-NATO Allies’

Nikolas K. Gvosdev August 16, 2021 Recommended Reads
From Afghanistan to Hungary, there is confusion about what alliance means and what steps the United States is prepared to take on behalf of those it considers allies. These matters need resolution because the United States cannot allow any doubt about what commitments it is prepared to enforce, especially with great power competitors more prepared to test any ambiguity in America’s stance.
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Will Russian Behavior Toward the US/West 'Improve' When Putin Is Gone?

Aleksandra Srdanovic August 11, 2021 RM Exclusives
A collection of views from leading policy experts on what we can expect on the global stage from a post-Putin Russia.
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‘Green Burden’: How Global Climate Policies Could Impact Russia

Danila Bochkarev August 04, 2021 RM Exclusives
European carbon taxes and a broader push for less fossil fuel could cost Russia’s economy billions of dollars, nudging Moscow to adopt new policies.
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Be Careful What You Wish For: Russia, China and Afghanistan after the Withdrawal

Jeffrey Mankoff July 29, 2021 RM Exclusives
Do Beijing and Moscow have sufficient influence to oversee a managed transition, contain any spillover of violence, and provide reassurance to anxious Afghanistan neighbors? The whole region is about to find out.