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 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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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 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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Should U.S. Missile Defenses Be a Part of Arms Control Negotiations With Russia?

Steven Pifer January 26, 2021 Recommended Reads
The Biden administration should consider whether the benefits to United States and allied security of limiting all nuclear weapons, including non-strategic nuclear arms, would justify accepting some constraints on missile defense.
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In the Chaos of Syrian Geopolitics, Russia Remains Dominant

Kamal Alam May 15, 2020 Recommended Reads
Recent talk of a rift between Moscow and Damascus may ignore Russia’s historic role in Syria.
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The Golunov Case Exposes Russia’s ‘Submerged State’

Alexey Yeremenko June 13, 2019 Recommended Reads
The 'submerged-state' is the level of government most often interacted with by investors and is capable of derailing the policies of the ‘outer state.’
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Understanding Methods of Elite Repression in Russia

Nikolai Petrov June 04, 2019 Recommended Reads
The targets of elite repression in Russia show that these people were chosen not for their corruption or violating some informal rules, but rather to send signals to certain groups within the elite.
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Mixed Messages on Trump’s Missile Defense Review

Matt Korda and Hans M. Kristensen January 17, 2019 Recommended Reads
Despite the document’s assertion that “Missile Defenses are Stabilizing,” the Missile Defense Review promotes a posture that is anything but.
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How the Kremlin Corralled the FSB

Andrei Soldatov May 31, 2018 Recommended Reads
When the FSB failed to predict the mass protests of 2011 and proved unable to respond to them, Putin's trust in the agency began to wane.
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Russian-Speaking’ Fighters In Syria, Iraq And At Home: Consequences And Context

Cerwyn Moore and Mark Youngman November 20, 2017 Recommended Reads
A key aspect of IS’s strategy has been the mobilization of supporters across Russia and the former Soviet Union. However, Russia’s domestic terrorism threat extends beyond both IS and returnees from Syria and Iraq, with domestic recruits and Turkic and Central Asian networks adding to a complex security picture.