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.
article

The Shanghai Cooperation Organization: Development Hampered by Internal Conflicts

Lucie Messy October 29, 2020 RM Exclusives
While the capabilities of individual SCO members, such as China and Russia, pose a challenge to Western countries’ interests, due to internal challenges and a loose organizational structure, the organization itself does not.
article

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. 
article

Beyond Arms Embargo, Obstacles Remain to Iran’s Acquisition of Russian Weapons

Nicole Grajewski October 15, 2020 RM Exclusives
On Oct. 18, the U.N. conventional arms embargo on Iran will expire despite Washington’s attempts to extend it. However, Russia's opposition to the extension should not be mistaken as an indication that Moscow will rush to sell weapons to Tehran.
article

Time For Russia and Other Great Powers to Move From Words to Actions to End Karabakh War

Simon Saradzhyan October 08, 2020 Partner Posts
Russia remains the only country capable of single-handedly compelling Armenia and Azerbaijan to end the conflict in Karabakh. Yet, it has so far been unwilling to back its calls with the deeds needed to compel both sides to lay down arms, even if only temporarily.
article

Armenia-Azerbaijan War: Military Dimensions of the Conflict

Michael Kofman October 02, 2020 RM Exclusives
This large scale conventional war between the two countries is likely to upend the status quo of territorial control in the region.
article

Why Russia’s Alliance With China is Improbable, But Not Impossible

Simon Saradzhyan September 21, 2020 Partner Posts
The relationship between China and Russia is getting stronger by the hour. While some might say that Russia and China are in a de facto non-aggression pact, a deeper alliance is still unlikely, though not impossible.
article

Evolving Global Order Makes a P5 Summit Ineffective

Paul Saunders September 17, 2020 RM Exclusives
Putin’s ambitious agenda for a P5 summit faces several challenges, including stark differences over specific international problems, low mutual trust and international institutions that are increasingly ill-suited to managing global peace and security.
book review

The Role of Russian Espionage in Re-Shaping the West

Arthur Martirosyan August 26, 2020 RM Exclusives
Luke Harding scrupulously presents every bit of data behind the hypothesis that Vladimir Putin controls Donald Trump and Boris Johnson in a book that can be extolled by one political camp and dismissed as a “fake” conspiracy theory by another.
Competing Views on Russia

Joe Biden and Kamala Harris on Russia

RM Staff August 13, 2020 RM Exclusives
What have the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee and his newly announced vice-presidential pick said on the U.S. policies they advocate on key Russia-related issues, as well as their views on Russia itself?
article

Russian Moves in Afghanistan Are About Regional Stability, Not Revenge on US

Artemy M. Kalinovsky July 22, 2020 RM Exclusives
U.S. politicians may feel betrayed by Russia’s engagement with the Taliban, but to understand what Russia is up to, they need to stop imagining that Moscow’s every move is somehow intended to undermine the U.S.
Competing Views on Russia

Olga Oliker on Russia: Insights and Recommendations

RM Staff July 16, 2020 RM Exclusives
Russia presents a critical foreign policy challenge to the U.S., "one which will be poorly served by either demonization or conciliation," writes leading Russia expert Olga Oliker. "What is needed is considered, knowledgeable and nuanced policy."
article

How Improved US-Russian Relations Could Weaken Putin’s Case for Remaining in Kremlin Until 2036

Paul Saunders July 08, 2020 RM Exclusives
A more nuanced understanding of Putin’s possible motives for the amendments to Russia's constitution—and how the U.S. could shape them in its policy toward Russia—could facilitate Russia’s leadership transition rather than hinder it.