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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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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It's Time to Rethink Russia's Foreign Policy Strategy

Dmitri Trenin April 25, 2019 Partner Posts
Russia's rapidly changing geopolitical situation necessitates a restructuring of its inconsistent foreign policy. Primarily, it must renounce any aspirations to military or political domination. The author describes the steps that the Russian government must instead take to promote stability and growth.
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A Brotherly Takeover: Could Russia Annex Belarus?

Artyom Shraibman January 29, 2019 Recommended Reads
As the Kremlin pushes for closer ties to Belarus, outside observers fear annexation. However, the process of unification between Russia and Belarus would be incredibly risky for Russia and is based on myths about modern Belarus.
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NATO Expansion: What Gorbachev Heard

Svetlana Savranskaya and Tom Blanton December 12, 2017 Recommended Reads
Newly declassified documents lend credence to claims that Western leaders repeatedly reassured their Soviet counterparts in the early 1990s that NATO would not budge "one inch eastward."
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Chaos and Order in a Changing World

Henry Kissinger August 02, 2017 Recommended Reads
In a recent speech, eminent statesman Henry Kissinger offered his views on how the West and NATO can deal with the growing challenges posed by Russia, China and the Middle East.
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Bigger, Not Better: Russia Makes the SCO a Useless Club

Alexander Gabuev June 23, 2017 Recommended Reads
Moscow's fears over Beijing’s rise have led it to cripple the Eurasian organization.
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Lessons from Russia's Operations in Crimea and Eastern Ukraine

Michael Kofman, Katya Migacheva, Brian Nichiporuk, Andrew Radin, Olesya Tkacheva and Jenny Oberholtzer May 01, 2017 Recommended Reads
Russia's military operation in 2014 to annex Crimea was a decisive and competent use of military force, while its campaign in the eastern part of Ukraine was ineffectually implemented but achieved its aim: political fragmentation of the country.
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Ukraine’s Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace

Nicolai N. Petro September 07, 2016 Recommended Reads
Amidst the brewing domestic political storm, the struggle for the right to define Ukrainian identity has become a “perpetual war, for perpetual peace,” a peace that can only come when all the enemies of Ukraine, at home and abroad, are fully vanquished.
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The Russian World in Moscow’s Strategy

Igor Zevelev August 22, 2016 Recommended Reads
The concepts of "compatriots" and "the Russian World" were created as tools to allow Moscow to honor post-Soviet borders and address the concerns of those who did not perceive them as fully legitimate. However, in 2014, these ideas were put to different purposes.
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False Alert: Is Russia Beefing Up Forces on NATO’s Border?

Ulrich Kühn July 08, 2016 Recommended Reads
While Russia has done an about-face on military reforms meant to switch from large divisions to smaller, more mobile brigades, Moscow is not (yet) creating additional armed forces.
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How Western aid enables graft addiction in Ukraine

M. Steven Fish and Neil A. Abrams May 05, 2016 Recommended Reads
Can Western aid actually support the cause of reform in Ukraine? Or is Western assistance enabling an entrenched elite to continue stealing and avoid building a functioning state?