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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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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Russia’s New and Unrealistic Naval Doctrine

Dmitry Gorenburg July 26, 2017 Recommended Reads
Russia's new naval doctrine reveals a wide gap “between aspiration and feasible plans.”
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The Russian Defense Budget and You

Michael Kofman March 17, 2017 Recommended Reads
Russia's 2017 defense budget is smaller than last year's, but the reduction is not quite as drastic as some interpretations indicate.
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Applying Lessons of US-Russian Space Cooperation to Revive Nuclear Security Partnership Between Moscow and Washington

Simon Saradzhyan and William Tobey March 14, 2017 Recommended Reads
The U.S. and Russia should infer lessons from their joint exploration of space to revive their nuclear security cooperation.
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Putin’s Great Patriotic Pseudoscience

Maria Antonova November 29, 2016 Recommended Reads
The rise of pseudoscience is connected to Russia's growing isolation and nationalism.
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America's Awesome Military

Michael O'Hanlon and David Petraeus September 30, 2016 Recommended Reads
U.S. defense experts call to maintain, if not increase, U.S. military budget while diverting funding to areas with most need.
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How Dangerous Is Russia?

Nikolas K. Gvosdev July 30, 2016 Recommended Reads
Russia’s military may have only a fraction of the U.S. military's capabilities and equipment, but that is still far more than any other post-Soviet state. It is even enough to pose a challenge to European militaries.
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Just How Dangerous Is Russia's Military?

Nikolas K. Gvosdev July 15, 2016 Recommended Reads
The Kremlin's lack of transparency leaves many wondering if Russia will continue down a path of military modernization in light of decreasing energy prices and the uncertainty of Western sanctions.
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False Alert: Is Russia Beefing Up Forces on NATO’s Border?

Ulrich Kühn July 08, 2016 Recommended Reads
While Russia has done an about-face on military reforms meant to switch from large divisions to smaller, more mobile brigades, Moscow is not (yet) creating additional armed forces.