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.
book review

‘No Place for Russia’: How Much Are Old US Ambitions in Europe to Blame for Russia-West Tensions Today?

Joshua Shifrinson January 03, 2019 RM Exclusives
In the 1990s, preserving NATO and, with it, U.S. preeminence in Europe became the sine qua non of U.S. European policy. Is this why Russia was left out of Europe’s post-Cold War security structure?
research paper

Jihadists from Ex-Soviet Central Asia: Where Are They? Why Did They Radicalize? What Next?

Edward Lemon, Vera Mironova and William Tobey December 07, 2018 RM Exclusives
Three authors draw on field work and other research to assess the motives, prospects and threats linked to Central Asian jihadists, including the thousands who joined Islamic State and other violent extremists in the Middle East.
article

Putin Deepens Confusion About Russian Nuclear Policy

Abigail Stowe-Thurston, Matt Korda and Hans M. Kristensen October 25, 2018 RM Exclusives
Rather than strengthening deterrence, ambiguity surrounding U.S. and Russian nuclear thresholds is causing both sides to make dangerous assumptions about one another’s intentions.
article

Transformed Gas Markets Fuel US-Russian Rivalry, But Europe Plays Key Role Too

Morena Skalamera May 30, 2018 RM Exclusives
The new U.S. role as a gas exporter is not a magic antidote to Russia’s “gas dominance” in Europe. But Moscow has largely been forced to play by market rules thanks to a huge, underappreciated effort by Brussels.
research paper

Russian Strategists Debate Preemption as Defense Against NATO Surprise Attack

Alexander Velez-Green March 14, 2018 RM Exclusives
Russian leaders have long debated what to do in the face of a NATO surprise attack. One group of military strategists believes that, in the near future, defensive operations alone will not suffice.
article

Why Did the Trump Administration Pass the Buck on Sanctioning Russia?

David Szakonyi February 01, 2018 RM Exclusives
This week the U.S. executive branch rejected a Congressional mandate to punish Moscow with additional sanctions. What happened and what does it portend for future U.S. policy toward Russia?
article

Centrifugal Forces: Why Russian Oligarchs Remain Loyal to the Putin Government

David Szakonyi November 29, 2017 RM Exclusives
Moscow has adeptly used carrots and sticks to bind the oligarchs to the regime. But now that the super-rich are more invested in domestic policies, they could start pushing for real reform. Can U.S. policies help?
article

Hacking Power Grids: New Tactic of War or Wave of the Future?

Nadiya Kostyuk November 03, 2017 RM Exclusives
Recent research suggests that cyberattacks have not yet become a force multiplier to conventional military tools in wartime, but this may very well change in coming years as countries invest in such capabilities.
interview

Sen. Sam Nunn: 'We Have a Choice Between Cooperation or Catastrophe'

Mariana Budjeryn June 20, 2017 RM Exclusives
The veteran U.S. lawmaker, who played a key role in dismantling and safeguarding the nuclear weapons of a disintegrating Soviet Union, reflects on the program’s motives, impact and shortcomings.
explainer

25 Years of Nuclear Security Cooperation by the US, Russia and Other Newly Independent States: A Timeline

Mariana Budjeryn, Simon Saradzhyan and William Tobey June 16, 2017 RM Exclusives
At a time when the U.S. and the newly independent states of the former Soviet Union still saw each other as mortal enemies, they found the courage, creativity and capacity for trust to work together in the name of preventing nuclear catastrophe.
article

Russia Looks Out for Own Interests in Europe’s Elections But Risks Long-Term Blowback

Yuval Weber April 19, 2017 RM Exclusives
Liberals worry about Russian meddling in elections from France to Bulgaria. But Moscow didn’t create Euro-skepticism; it's just good at exploiting existing fissures in Western societies—and has been for a long time. Here's where that may lead.
explainer

For Russia and America, Election Interference Is Nothing New: 25 Stories

Arjun Kapur and Simon Saradzhyan March 22, 2017 RM Exclusives
As headlines scream about Russia’s “unprecedented” interference in U.S. politics, it’s helpful to get some historical perspective on how often countries try to tinker with each other’s elections.