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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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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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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Can Washington and Moscow Agree to Limit Political Interference?

Samuel Charap and Ivan Timofeev June 13, 2019 Recommended Reads
The concept of elaborating norms of non-interference on a mutual basis might be the best way to stabilize U.S.-Russian relations and prevent the damaging episodes of recent years from happening again.
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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.