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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Putin, Putinism and the Domestic Determinants of Russian Foreign Policy

Michael McFaul October 19, 2020 Partner Posts
For a complete understanding of Russian foreign policy today, individuals, ideas, and institutions—President Vladimir Putin, Putinism, and autocracy—must be added to the analysis. Putin's ideas about illiberalism, orthodoxy, sovereignty and the West shaped his decision-making in unique ways. 
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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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Belarus’s Protests Aren’t Particularly Anti-Putin

Rajan Menon August 19, 2020 Partner Posts
Although some Western experts have warned about a Russian military intervention in Belarus, Russia may sit largely on the sidelines in hopes that whatever government succeeds Lukashenko will be pro-Russian.
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Turmoil in Belarus: Looking Beyond the Horizon

Eugene Rumer August 17, 2020 Recommended Reads
Neither endorsing democracy nor threatening sanctions will advance democracy in Belarus, put an end to police brutality or deter Putin from sending his troops to Belarus to save its crumbling dictatorship—should he decide to do so.
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Belarus in Crisis: What Happens Now?

Nikolas K. Gvosdev August 14, 2020 Recommended Reads
Alexander Lukashenko gambled that his attempt to do the “Eurasian shuffle” would allow him to secure yet another installment in power. Instead, he is hoping that brute force can keep his regime from being overthrown.
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It’s Time to Rethink Our Russia Policy

Rose Gottemoeller, Thomas Graham, Fiona Hill, Jon Huntsman Jr., Robert Legvold and Thomas R. Pickering August 05, 2020 Recommended Reads
An open letter signed by 103 foreign-policy experts on how to reconsider America's approach to Putin—and whoever comes next.
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A Conversation Between Graham Allison and Angela Stent

Graham Allison and Angela Stent August 01, 2020 Recommended Reads
The U.S. leadership is slowly waking up to the reality of a Russia-China entente. This is an unnatural partnership. But U.S. policies have driven China and Russia closer, and Putin and Xi have managed their differences well.
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New Sanctions Challenge the Tenuous Ties Between America and Russia

Thomas Graham and Matthew Rojansky July 13, 2020 Recommended Reads
Rather than knee-jerk calls for more sanctions, restoring channels of communication with Russia may be a prudent step to protect U.S. interests and avoid continuing miscommunication. Russia may be suffering from severe economic and demographic constraints, calcified authoritarian politics, and hostile geopolitical surroundings, but the country is not going away.
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The Oil Price Crash: Will the Kremlin’s Policies Change?

Tatiana Mitrova July 08, 2020 Partner Posts
The coronavirus pandemic and the steep drop of oil and gas prices may pose a serious challenge to Russia’s economic model. Mitrova argues that current shocks to the Russian energy market could pale in comparison to long-term consequences.
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The State Department’s Compliance Report Plays the Blame Game, Despite Offering Little Evidence

Matt Korda and Hans M. Kristensen June 24, 2020 Recommended Reads
The report’s publication comes at a critical time, as the Trump administration has spent the past few years—and the past three months in particular—dismantling the last vestiges of U.S. commitments to the international arms control regime.
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Stay Out of the Regime Change Business

Benjamin Denison June 16, 2020 Recommended Reads
Pursuing short-term wins through covert regime change may ultimately undermine U.S. foreign policy.
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Decoding Russia’s Official Nuclear Deterrence Paper

Dmitri Trenin June 05, 2020 Recommended Reads
Russia's recently released Nuclear Deterrence Policy Guidelines suggest that the Kremlin may be preparing for a world without arms control.