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.
book review

Plokhy’s New Cuban Missile Crisis Book Offers Glimpse Into the Minds of Rank-and-File Soviet Officers

Simon Saradzhyan June 25, 2021 RM Exclusives
Harvard Professor Serhii Plokhy’s new book, “Nuclear Folly: A History of the Cuban Missile Crisis,” offers new insights into the experiences of lower-level officers who participated in the perilous events that brought us to the brink of nuclear war nearly 60 years ago.
book review

Stoner’s Quantitative and Qualitative Assessment of Russia’s New Strength

Paul Saunders May 05, 2021 RM Exclusives
Kathryn E. Stoner's effort to measure Russia’s power comprises the bulk of her new book and provides a generally helpful overview of the country’s capabilities despite some limitations.
article

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.
column

We Need to Have a Talk About Alexei Navalny

Terrell Jermaine Starr March 01, 2021 Recommended Reads
If Navalny is serious about challenging the current regime, Russians—and the outside world—have a right to know precisely whom we’re dealing with.
column

The Curious Case of ‘Russian Lives Matter’

Kimberly St. Julian-Varnon July 11, 2020 Recommended Reads
In Moscow, the Kremlin attacks U.S. racism while the liberal opposition ignores it, or worse.
book review

Belton: Russia’s Kleptocracy Is a Tool for Undermining the West

Lynn Berry June 17, 2020 RM Exclusives
Through interviews with key figures, Belton sheds new light on Putin and argues that the kleptocracy of the Putin era was about far more than just lining pockets: It was about buying influence and threatening the West.
article

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.
book review

Anders Aslund Examines Russia’s ‘Authoritarian Kleptocracy’

Chris Miller September 18, 2019 RM Exclusives
Corruption is a feature, not a bug, of the Russian political system, and self-enrichment is crucial to understanding why Russia’s leaders make the decisions that they do, Aslund argues in his new book.
book review

How Much Did Orthodox Church Help Revive Russia’s Military and Nuclear Complex?

Dmitry Gorenburg April 23, 2019 RM Exclusives
A highly readable and informative new book sheds light on a woefully understudied topic—the relationship between Russia’s Orthodox Church and its military—while raising many questions worthy of further study.
book review

Russia’s ‘Peripheral Authoritarianism’ as Described by Grigory Yavlinsky

RM Staff March 22, 2019 RM Exclusives
In his new book, one of post-Soviet Russia’s most enduring liberal politicians describes the emergence of his country’s current system of governance and predicts its impending doom.
explainer

25 Years of Nuclear Security Cooperation by the US, Russia and Other Newly Independent States: A Timeline

Mariana Budjeryn, Simon Saradzhyan and William Tobey June 16, 2017 RM Exclusives
At a time when the U.S. and the newly independent states of the former Soviet Union still saw each other as mortal enemies, they found the courage, creativity and capacity for trust to work together in the name of preventing nuclear catastrophe.
explainer

For Russia and America, Election Interference Is Nothing New: 25 Stories

Arjun Kapur and Simon Saradzhyan March 22, 2017 RM Exclusives
As headlines scream about Russia’s “unprecedented” interference in U.S. politics, it’s helpful to get some historical perspective on how often countries try to tinker with each other’s elections.