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.
article

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.
article

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.
article

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.
article

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.
article

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.
article

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.
article

Dueling for the Soul of Russia

Peter Rutland February 03, 2021 Recommended Reads
Navalny’s battle of wills with Putin is not likely to end well – at least in the short term. But his very existence serves as a moral rebuke: a symbol of the Russia that might yet be.
article

The Russian Military is Facing a Looming Demography Crisis

Ethan Woolley February 01, 2021 Partner Posts
When the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, the newly formed Russian Federation’s demography essentially walked off a cliff.
article

Navalny’s Bravery Is Unlikely to Shift Putin’s Entrenched Power

Jeff Hawn January 25, 2021 Recommended Reads
While Alexei Navalny’s return to Russia following his poisoning with Novichok five months prior was a brave act, it has almost no chance of immediately deposing the current regime.
article

Trump and Putin's Pandemic Duet: Trump's America Is Far More out of Tune

Judyth Twigg and J. Stephen Morrison August 21, 2020 Partner Posts
Russian president Vladimir Putin and President Donald Trump share a playbook that has led each country into deep turmoil. But Trump's policies have led America's coronavirus outbreak to far outstrip Russia’s.
article

Exposing Putin's Hidden Riches Won't Stop Russia's Election Meddling

Lincoln Pigman August 19, 2020 Future Policy Leaders
The deep flaws in one of Washington’s more popular plans to stop Russia’s election meddling shows just how much work remains to be done on deterring foreign adversaries from undermining the integrity of U.S. elections.
article

How Improved US-Russian Relations Could Weaken Putin’s Case for Remaining in Kremlin Until 2036

Paul Saunders July 08, 2020 RM Exclusives
A more nuanced understanding of Putin’s possible motives for the amendments to Russia's constitution—and how the U.S. could shape them in its policy toward Russia—could facilitate Russia’s leadership transition rather than hinder it.