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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Will Russia’s Upcoming Duma Elections Change Anything At All?

Andrei Kolesnikov September 15, 2021 Partner Posts
The authorities are faced with the fiendish task of convincing democratic-minded voters that there is no point in voting, while making every effort to boost turnout among the conformist, state-dependent electorate.
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30 Years After End of Soviet Union, Its Main Lesson for Russia Remains ‘Reform or Else'

Sergei Guriev August 31, 2021 RM Exclusives
Rapid economic growth requires reforms; reforms frighten entrenched elites; lack of economic growth will eventually force the regime to change—though whether this means more democratization or more repressiveness remains to be seen.
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What Did Biden Achieve in Geneva?

Joseph S. Nye, Jr. July 08, 2021 Recommended Reads
Even if formal cybersecurity treaties are unworkable, it may still be possible to set limits on certain types of civilian targets, and to negotiate rough rules of the road.
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US SolarWinds Response Unlikely to Change Russia’s Behavior, Highlights Need for Improved Cyber Defense

Paul Kolbe April 27, 2021 RM Exclusives
However powerful our offensive cyber capability is, it has deterred neither China’s sustained campaign to erode our advantages nor Russia’s asymmetric use of low-cost tools to extract high-value intelligence, propaganda and political advantage.
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Declassified Sources on Gagarin

Asif Siddiqi April 12, 2021 Partner Posts
Collectively these 20 declassified documents provide an extraordinary peek into the preparations and implementation of the flight of Yuri Gagarin, the first Soviet cosmonaut, who flew into space on April 12, 1961.
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In the Wake of SolarWinds: Making and Breaking a Rules-Based Global Cyber Order

Anatol Lieven April 07, 2021 RM Exclusives
Few things have been more damaging to U.S. and European hopes of a “rules-based global order” than the perception that the U.S. both makes the rules and breaks them whenever it sees fit, including in cyberspace.
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Is the “Resource Curse” Irreversible? Experiences of the Russian Regions

Delgerjargal Uvsh April 05, 2021 Partner Posts
The experiences of Russia’s oil- and gas-producing regions after the collapse of the Soviet Union suggests that political elites can make a difference in reversing the “resource curse” if their abundant revenues from natural resources decline.
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Punitive Response to SolarWinds Would Be Misplaced, But Cyber Deterrence Still Matters

Erica D. Borghard March 31, 2021 RM Exclusives
The pursuit of deterrence strategies to address other types of malicious behavior in cyberspace, beyond espionage, is not a fool’s errand. Deterrence is not a one-size-fits-all concept in cyberspace—or in any other domain.
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US Response to SolarWinds Cyber Penetrations: A Good Defense Is the Best Offense

Paul Kolbe March 25, 2021 RM Exclusives
A carefully calibrated shot across the bow is appropriate in response to SolarWinds, but such responses will not stop cyber espionage or assaults. Russia is but one wolf in a growing pack of cyber predators, and the U.S. is simply too fat and easy a target.
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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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Andrea Lee's "Russian Journal": A Tapestry of the Late Soviet Era

Kimberly St. Julian-Varnon February 19, 2021 Partner Posts
As part of the Kennan Institute's Black History Month programming, Kimberly St. Julian-Varnon reflects on a travelogue from the 1970s by Andrea Lee titled "Russian Journal," which is a fast-paced tour through Brezhnev's so-called “stagnant” Soviet Union.
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Dueling for the Soul of Russia

Peter Rutland February 03, 2021 Recommended Reads
Navalny’s battle of wills with Putin is not likely to end well – at least in the short term. But his very existence serves as a moral rebuke: a symbol of the Russia that might yet be.