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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A Demographic Trap and Low Growth Are Putin’s Biggest Challenges

John Dizard January 17, 2020 Recommended Reads
Despite Western expectations of reports of doom and gloom from Russia, the country is in fact adopting expansionary economic and social policies that appear to be financially sustainable.
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Groupthink Resurgent

George Beebe December 22, 2019 Recommended Reads
As our debacles in Vietnam and Iraq demonstrate, expert consensus is not always a recipe for success. Perhaps it should come as no surprise that American policy toward Ukraine has also been steeped in illusions.
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Why Putin Sounds Alt-Right Though He Really Isn’t

Leonid Bershidsky November 06, 2019 Recommended Reads
Bershidsky argues that "Putin sees Trump, Brexiters, the European far right and alt-right as his natural allies against the established global order, one of steady alliances and stable multilateral organizations."
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The Golunov Case Exposes Russia’s ‘Submerged State’

Alexey Yeremenko June 13, 2019 Recommended Reads
The 'submerged-state' is the level of government most often interacted with by investors and is capable of derailing the policies of the ‘outer state.’
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Putin Wants to Dissolve the Russian People and Elect Another

Alexander Baunov February 06, 2019 Recommended Reads
Vladimir Putin's popular support is waning as he approaches Russia's 2024 presidential transition. In his efforts to seek out a new base, talk of stability goes out the window.
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Putin Doesn’t Sweat His Unpopularity

Nate Reynolds November 28, 2018 Recommended Reads
Russian President Vladimir Putin's dip in popularity will mostly prove that he is far more resilient than the West would like to think.
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Why Putin Is Losing Popular Support

Denis Volkov September 11, 2018 Recommended Reads
Recent plans to increase the retirement age have only intensified the downward trend in approval for Putin and Russia's institutions.
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Is Russia Really 'Fascist'?

Marlene Laruelle September 05, 2018 Partner Posts
Scholar Timothy Snyder, among many others, has described Russia—or at least the Putin regime—as “fascist.” Laruelle takes a look at, and debunks, Snyder's four main claims for justifying the label.
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How to Interfere in a Foreign Election

Stephen Kinzer August 19, 2018 Recommended Reads
Despite Yeltsin's unpopularity, Washington saw him as easy to control, and so, U.S. resources were thrown behind a Russian presidential candidate.
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The Helsinki Summit: A Good Idea Turns Bad

George Beebe July 19, 2018 Recommended Reads
Expectations for the Helsinki summit were low, but the U.S. and Russia still managed to sail their listing bilateral ship directly into the rocks of the Russian cyber-meddling controversy.
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Putin's Spies Can't Even Get Along With Each Other

Leonid Bershidsky July 17, 2018 Recommended Reads
The three agencies all have their distinct operational cultures and styles that make for heated competition. The ultimate objective is to please Putin, who likes variety in his toolbox.