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

Eugene Rumer and Richard Sokolsky 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 misreading them means 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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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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Stay Out of the Regime Change Business

Benjamin Denison June 16, 2020 Recommended Reads
Pursuing short-term wins through covert regime change may ultimately undermine U.S. foreign policy.
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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.
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Build a Better Blob

Emma Ashford May 29, 2020 Recommended Reads
While some see the Blob as a bastion of foreign policy expertise, Ashford argues that portraying Washington's mainstream foreign policy community as "the only game in town" sets up a false choice between "hawkish liberal interventionism" and "Trumpian incompetence."
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Russia and Collective Security: Why CSTO Is No Match for Warsaw Pact

Dmitry Gorenburg May 27, 2020 RM Exclusives
The CSTO is too organizationally weak and insufficiently integrated to serve as a capability multiplier for its members, and the weakness of other member states' military forces make them of limited value to Russia as military allies.