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

Khodorkovsky Marks the Spot: Russia’s Turning Point From Economic Freedom to State Control

Sergei Guriev May 28, 2020 RM Exclusives
Mikhail Khodorkovsky’s sentencing 15 years ago this month signaled the end of Russia's market reforms and the beginning of ever-increasing state control.
article

The Golunov Case Exposes Russia’s ‘Submerged State’

Alexey Yeremenko June 13, 2019 Recommended Reads
The 'submerged-state' is the level of government most often interacted with by investors and is capable of derailing the policies of the ‘outer state.’
article

Understanding Methods of Elite Repression in Russia

Nikolai Petrov June 04, 2019 Recommended Reads
The targets of elite repression in Russia show that these people were chosen not for their corruption or violating some informal rules, but rather to send signals to certain groups within the elite.
article

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."
article

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.
article

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.
article

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.
article

How the Kremlin Corralled the FSB

Andrei Soldatov May 31, 2018 Recommended Reads
When the FSB failed to predict the mass protests of 2011 and proved unable to respond to them, Putin's trust in the agency began to wane.
article

Why Putin Tolerates Corruption

Ivan Krastev May 15, 2016 Recommended Reads
Unlike for Xi Jinping, there is little incentive for Putin to begin an effective anti-corruption campaign, and compelling reasons not to.
article

How Western aid enables graft addiction in Ukraine

M. Steven Fish and Neil A. Abrams May 05, 2016 Recommended Reads
Can Western aid actually support the cause of reform in Ukraine? Or is Western assistance enabling an entrenched elite to continue stealing and avoid building a functioning state?
article

Russia’s Master Plan to Seize the Arctic

Vladislav Inozemtsev May 02, 2016 Recommended Reads
For now, the Northern Sea Route remains a bluff, like, in general, all of Russia’s plans to develop the Arctic.
article

The Myth of Arctic Shipping: Why the Northern Sea Route Is Still of Limited Geo-Economic Importance

Andreas Raspotnik and Kathrin Stephen September 08, 2013 Recommended Reads
Despite media claims, China's use of trans-Arctic shipping does not indicate a shift toward the increased importance of the Northern Sea Route.