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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Should U.S. Missile Defenses Be a Part of Arms Control Negotiations With Russia?

Steven Pifer January 26, 2021 Recommended Reads
The Biden administration should consider whether the benefits to United States and allied security of limiting all nuclear weapons, including non-strategic nuclear arms, would justify accepting some constraints on missile defense.
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The Paradox of American Russophobia

Sean Guillory July 03, 2019 Recommended Reads
The Russian government’s use of Russophobia to chastise critics is nothing new, but this doesn’t mean Russophobia doesn’t exist. It’s a way of “displacing an internal conflict to an external object symbolically related to the conflict.”
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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."
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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.
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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.
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Russia May Have Violated the INF Treaty. Here's How the United States Appears to Have Done the Same.

Theodore A. Postol February 07, 2019
The death of INF involved violations on both sides, as Russia developed a cruise missile that allegedly broke weapon range rules while the U.S. built missile interception facilities in Eastern Europe with defense and attack dual-capability.
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Killing the INF Treaty was a Gift to Russia

Jon Wolfsthal February 07, 2019
Withdrawing now from the INF Treaty is a fundamental mistake of the Trump presidency, absolving Russia of its arms violations and removing the most effective tool for decreasing the likelihood of nuclear crisis.
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Mixed Messages on Trump’s Missile Defense Review

Matt Korda and Hans M. Kristensen January 17, 2019 Recommended Reads
Despite the document’s assertion that “Missile Defenses are Stabilizing,” the Missile Defense Review promotes a posture that is anything but.
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Putin Deepens Confusion About Russian Nuclear Policy

Abigail Stowe-Thurston, Matt Korda and Hans M. Kristensen October 25, 2018 RM Exclusives
Rather than strengthening deterrence, ambiguity surrounding U.S. and Russian nuclear thresholds is causing both sides to make dangerous assumptions about one another’s intentions.
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Russian Nuclear Forces: Buildup or Modernization?

Hans M. Kristensen September 14, 2017 RM Exclusives
Russia is not increasing its nuclear arsenal, though some commentators keep saying it is. What's important, however, is to monitor how Russia is modernizing its strategic nuclear forces.
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Russian Military Buildup in the West: Fact Versus Fiction

Michael Kofman September 07, 2017 RM Exclusives
Until 2014 Russia was largely cutting the number of troops on NATO's borders to move them elsewhere. The war with Ukraine changed that, reawakening Moscow to the possibility of a large-scale war on its western front.
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The Russian Defense Budget and You

Michael Kofman March 17, 2017 Recommended Reads
Russia's 2017 defense budget is smaller than last year's, but the reduction is not quite as drastic as some interpretations indicate.