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 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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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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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.