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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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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In the Chaos of Syrian Geopolitics, Russia Remains Dominant

Kamal Alam May 15, 2020 Recommended Reads
Recent talk of a rift between Moscow and Damascus may ignore Russia’s historic role in Syria.
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Russia’s Coronavirus Response Reveals Its Strengths and Weaknesses

Judy Twigg April 11, 2020 Recommended Reads
Some of Russia’s inherent structural and demographic factors may help it cope. Others put it at a disadvantage.
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Could the Coronavirus Destabilize Russia?

Nikolas K. Gvosdev April 06, 2020 Recommended Reads
There is a very real fear that the virus will overwhelm a brittle and underfunded health system. Combined with an economic shock, that could shake up the Russian political system.
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The Problem With Fearmongering About Russian Electoral Interference

Joseph Haker and Andrew Paul February 24, 2020 Recommended Reads
Blaming outsiders distracts attention from the very real domestic problems that make "disinformation" campaigns coherent in the first place.
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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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Turkey and Russia: A Remarkable Rapprochement

Michael A. Reynolds October 24, 2019 Recommended Reads
Turkey's purchase of the S-400 and the broader turn to Russia cannot be ascribed primarily to Erdogan’s supposed erraticism, still less to his Islamist orientation or any ideology aside from mainstream Turkish nationalism.
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What Cheese can Tell us About US-Russia Relations

Stephen Kinzer September 19, 2019 Recommended Reads
While traveling across Russia, Kinzer noted that “[t]he quality of Russian life has risen along with the quality of its cheese. Russians have decided to go their own way and not worry too much about us. We should return the favor.”
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How to Enlarge NATO: The Debate Inside the Clinton Administration, 1993–95

Mary Elise Sarotte July 29, 2019 Recommended Reads
Pleas from Central and Eastern European leaders, missteps by Russian President Boris Yeltsin and victory by the pro-expansion Republican Party in the 1994 U.S. congressional election all helped advocates of full-membership enlargement to win.
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US Foreign Policy Is Life-and-Death. Don’t Expect Any Meaningful Questions About It in the Debates.

Stephen Kinzer July 25, 2019 Recommended Reads
Candidates do not give revealing answers to provocative questions about world affairs because moderators do not ask such questions.
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Rival Parties Battle for Votes in Southeast Ukraine

Konstantin Skorkin July 19, 2019 Recommended Reads
The schism in the pro-Russia camp is preventing the return of the political model of two Ukraines, a model that is the perfect breeding ground for politicians who boost their ratings by fanning the flames of the interregional confrontation in the country.