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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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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Potential Fruits of the Biden-Putin Summit

Simon Saradzhyan June 04, 2021 RM Exclusives
At the Putin-Biden summit, both sides will likely be looking for low-hanging fruits—issues they can easily agree upon that stand to advance U.S. and Russian interests with minimal concessions. In our latest exclusive, Simon Saradzhyan considers low-hanging fruits, like scientific cooperation, and more ambitious topics, such as rules of the road in the cyber domain.
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Can the Biden Administration Get Russia Policy Right?

Thomas Graham March 18, 2021 RM Exclusives
Whether the administration’s initial posture toward Russia will hold as it formulates the details of its policy remains to be seen. As always, there will be surprises, and Russia is a player on many issues the Biden administration will soon have to confront.
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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.
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Putin, Putinism and the Domestic Determinants of Russian Foreign Policy

Michael McFaul October 19, 2020 Partner Posts
For a complete understanding of Russian foreign policy today, individuals, ideas, and institutions—President Vladimir Putin, Putinism, and autocracy—must be added to the analysis. Putin's ideas about illiberalism, orthodoxy, sovereignty and the West shaped his decision-making in unique ways. 
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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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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.
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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.
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Russia’s Constitutional Amendments Keep Several Futures Open for Putin

Marlene Laruelle June 25, 2020 RM Exclusives
The aim of the amendments is to keep Putin’s—and Russia's—portfolio of possibilities as wide as possible while reinforcing Russia’s sovereignty from the international scene and the country’s self-reliance.
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Kto-Kogo: Putin vs. COVID-19

Thomas Graham May 07, 2020 RM Exclusives
Some believe the pandemic and the oil price collapse will erode the Russian president's power or end his presidency. But with the skill he has shown, and the luck that has favored him for 20 years, he could emerge from this crisis even stronger.