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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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.
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Grand Illusions: The Impact of Misperceptions About Russia on U.S. Policy

Carnegie Moscow Center July 08, 2021 Partner Posts
Getting Russia right—assessing its capabilities and intentions, the long-term drivers of its policy and threat perceptions, as well as its accomplishments—is essential because the alternative of misreading them is a recipe for wasted resources, distorted national priorities, and increased risk of confrontation.
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The Prospects for US-Russia Climate Engagement Under Moscow’s Chairing of the Arctic Council

Katarina Kertysova May 19, 2021 RM Exclusives
Russia will take over the Arctic Council's rotating chairmanship at a time when the organization grapples with multiple challenges and Russia-West relations have hit another historic low.
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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.
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Emulation and Military Change in Russia

Emmanuel Dreyfus October 23, 2020 RM Exclusives
Western models have inspired the creation of Russia's Special Operation Command, Military Police and the development of private military companies, as have centuries-old Russian military traditions.
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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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Russian Moves in Afghanistan Are About Regional Stability, Not Revenge on US

Artemy M. Kalinovsky July 22, 2020 RM Exclusives
U.S. politicians may feel betrayed by Russia’s engagement with the Taliban, but to understand what Russia is up to, they need to stop imagining that Moscow’s every move is somehow intended to undermine the U.S.
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A Farewell to the Open Skies Treaty, and an Era of Imaginative Thinking

Bonnie Jenkins June 16, 2020 Partner Posts
President Trump announced that the United States would withdraw from the 1992 Open Skies Treaty (OST). The OST allows for members to conduct unarmed surveillance flights in each others’ air space. The treaty was designed to enhance mutual understanding, build confidence and promote openness and transparency of military forces and activities.
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New Document Consolidates Russia’s Nuclear Policy in One Place

Olga Oliker June 04, 2020 RM Exclusives
Russia’s new nuclear deterrence strategy document confirms that its policy is not “escalate to de-escalate,” but the document isn't likely to put the debate to rest.
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The Risks of Autonomous Weapons Systems for Crisis Stability and Conflict Escalation in Future US-Russia Confrontations

Burgess Laird June 02, 2020 RM Exclusives
Autonomous weapons systems could foster crisis instability, conflict escalation in contests between the U.S. and Russia in multiple ways. Policymakers must consider if the putative advantages of such systems are worth the potential risks they may raise.