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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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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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.
explainer

Who ‘Defeated’ ISIS? An Analysis of US and Russian Contributions

Domitilla Sagramoso May 06, 2020 RM Exclusives
There can be little doubt that the U.S. and its allies played a much bigger role in subduing the terror group than Russia. But ISIS has plenty of life in it yet and any alleged victory is fragile.
Competing Views on Russia

2020 US Presidential Candidates on Russia: What Have They Said So Far?

Daniel Shapiro, Thomas Schaffner and Angelina Flood March 17, 2020 RM Exclusives
Updated! With the primaries underway, it is worth remembering what the candidates have said about their would-be Russia policies if elected. (Originally published May 23, 2019.)
issue brief

Why Does Congress Not Care About Normalizing Relations With Russia?

Daniel Shapiro and Arthur Martirosyan February 26, 2020 RM Exclusives
There are several major reasons why, whether under the Clinton, Bush, Obama or Trump administrations, Capitol Hill has been reluctant to normalize relations with Russia and even at times hit the brakes on reset attempts.
explainer

Is 'Escalate to Deescalate' Part of Russia’s Nuclear Toolbox?

Kevin Ryan January 08, 2020 RM Exclusives
Russia's political leaders deny the existence of a supposedly new plan to use limited nuclear strikes in a local/regional conflict to shock an adversary into suing for peace. Has the U.S. misunderstood Russian intentions and plans?
Competing Views on Russia

George Kennan on Russia: Insights and Recommendations

RM Staff August 21, 2019 RM Exclusives
From the 1939 Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, which will see its 80th anniversary this week, to the beginning of the 21st century, Kennan's views on America's Cold War rival went far beyond the "containment" policy for which he is perhaps best known.
survey

Expert Survey: Is Nuclear Arms Control Dead or Can New Principles Guide It?

RM Staff July 30, 2019 RM Exclusives
With the INF Treaty's end in sight, what arrangements could emerge from the rubble of U.S.-Russian arms control and what should be their guiding principles? Eight leading international experts weigh in.
Competing Views on Russia

Esper on Russia: Pentagon Nominee Sees Moscow as ‘Strategic Competitor,’ ‘Potential Adversary’

RM Staff July 17, 2019 RM Exclusives
U.S. Defense Secretary nominee Mark Esper often pairs Russia with China in his remarks, classifying both among America’s biggest security challenges. Now updated with statements from Esper's Senate confirmation hearing.
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Optimism for Improved US-Russian Relations Is Necessary, But Should Remain Cautious

Paul Saunders July 03, 2019 RM Exclusives
From Russiagate and bilateral trade to Ukraine and strategic stability, few components of a possible U.S.-Russia agenda provide much ground for optimism.