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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Displaced Conflict: Russia’s Qualified Success in Combatting Insurgency

Mark Youngman and Cerwyn Moore April 29, 2021 RM Exclusives
In both Syria and the North Caucasus, Russia claims success in fighting insurgency and terrorism. Closer examination, however, shows this “success” carries major caveats and is more illusory than it first appears.
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The Second Nagorno-Karabakh War, Two Weeks In

Michael Kofman and Leonid Nersisyan October 14, 2020 Recommended Reads
Azerbaijan and Armenia have now spent more than two weeks at war. Initial Azerbaijani tactical successes have failed to lead to an operational breakthrough and the conflict may settle into a war of attrition.
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Time For Russia and Other Great Powers to Move From Words to Actions to End Karabakh War

Simon Saradzhyan October 08, 2020 Partner Posts
Russia remains the only country capable of single-handedly compelling Armenia and Azerbaijan to end the conflict in Karabakh. Yet, it has so far been unwilling to back its calls with the deeds needed to compel both sides to lay down arms, even if only temporarily.
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When the Chips Are Down: Russia’s Stance in the Current Azeri–Armenian Confrontation

Neil Melvin October 06, 2020 Recommended Reads
Kremlin faces a strategic juncture in its post-Soviet policy for the South Caucasus, the traditional balancing act is no longer capable of ensuring Russia's leading regional role as the South Caucasus become another zone for Turkey–Russia proxy competition.
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Rebuttal: Ukraine Is Emerging as Critical Node for White-Supremacy Extremists

Mollie Saltskog and Colin P. Clarke September 24, 2020 RM Exclusives
The authors argue that the transnational threat of violent right-wing extremism emanating from the conflict in eastern Ukraine has not waned, even as the number of ultranationalist foreign fighters there has.
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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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How Big Is Russia’s Win in Syria?

Michael Sharnoff November 06, 2019 RM Exclusives
While Russia has collected a number of short-term dividends from the U.S. troop withdrawal, this “victory” is far from winning Moscow the war in Syria.
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The US, Not Russia Is the New Spoiler in the Arctic

Elizabeth Buchanan May 15, 2019 Recommended Reads
While Pompeo delivered a doomsday sermon on the region becoming an "arena for power and for competition," Lavrov articulated the need for "deeper state-to-state cooperation."
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Not All Is Quiet On the Arctic Front

Elizabeth Buchanan March 25, 2019 Recommended Reads
2019 presents four clear windows for increased competition in the Arctic.
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How Not to Compete in the Arctic: The Blurry Lines Between Friend and Foe

Stephanie Pezard February 27, 2019 Recommended Reads
Recent U.S. strategic documents portray Russia as a competitor of the United States and an unambiguous rival. Yet in the Arctic, Russia is also a neighbor with whom trivial matters need to be discussed and de-conflicted before they become nontrivial.
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Gangster Geopolitics: The Kremlin’s Use of Criminals as Assets Abroad

Mark Galeotti January 17, 2019 RM Exclusives
Since the worsening of relations with the West in 2014, the Kremlin has increasingly adopted a “mobilization state” approach, turning to any available foreign-policy levers. Gangsters are no exception.
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Terror Threat from Russian-Speaking Jihadists Won’t End with World Cup, and the West Should Care

Jean-François Ratelle June 13, 2018 RM Exclusives
The war in Syria has greatly expanded Russian-speaking extremist groups’ transnational networks in Europe and beyond, posing an international counterterrorism challenge for years to come.