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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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."
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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.
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Unplugging the Baltic States: Why Russia’s Economic Approach May Be Shifting

Emily Ferris July 01, 2020 RM Exclusives
The probability of Russia resorting to a Crimea-style intervention in the Baltics remains low. As a key energy supplier and major trading partner for the region, Russia has more to gain by using economic levers as opposed to military ones to retain influence.
book review

Belton: Russia’s Kleptocracy Is a Tool for Undermining the West

Lynn Berry June 17, 2020 RM Exclusives
Through interviews with key figures, Belton sheds new light on Putin and argues that the kleptocracy of the Putin era was about far more than just lining pockets: It was about buying influence and threatening the West.
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Russia and Collective Security: Why CSTO Is No Match for Warsaw Pact

Dmitry Gorenburg May 27, 2020 RM Exclusives
The CSTO is too organizationally weak and insufficiently integrated to serve as a capability multiplier for its members, and the weakness of other member states' military forces make them of limited value to Russia as military allies.
book review

The Dark Arts of Disinformation Through a Historical Lens

Arthur Martirosyan May 20, 2020 RM Exclusives
Understanding the fantastic past of disinformation is key to deciphering the present, argues Thomas Rid in his pioneering analysis of modern disinformation warfare from a historical perspective.
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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.
explainer

Who ‘Defeated’ ISIS? An Analysis of US and Russian Contributions

Domitilla Sagramoso May 06, 2020 RM Exclusives
There can be little doubt that the U.S. and its allies played a much bigger role in subduing the terror group than Russia. But ISIS has plenty of life in it yet and any alleged victory is fragile.
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Don’t Bet on Reset: US-Russian Relations in the Wake of the Coronavirus

Nikolas K. Gvosdev April 22, 2020 RM Exclusives
By offering himself as an ally to the Trump administration during the crisis, Putin hopes to achieve a long-elusive breakthrough with the U.S. But actions on both sides make the prospect of a 2020 reset unlikely.
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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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Video: Spheres of Influence Webinar

Center for the National Interest April 08, 2020 Partner Posts
When policymakers in the United States declared in the aftermath of the Cold War that the age of “spheres of influence” had ended, were they misdiagnosing the issue?