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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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.
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The Second Nagorno-Karabakh War, Two Weeks In

Michael Kofman and Leonid Nersisyan October 14, 2020 Recommended Reads
Azerbaijan and Armenia have now spent more than two weeks at war. Initial Azerbaijani tactical successes have failed to lead to an operational breakthrough and the conflict may settle into a war of attrition.
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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.
book review

The Honest Spy

William Tobey October 07, 2020 RM Exclusives
Rolf Mowatt-Larssen’s “A State of Mind: Faith and the CIA” offers an engaging, if eccentric, memoir from a man who battled some of America’s greatest post-World War II enemies, from the Soviet Union to al-Qaida.
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When the Chips Are Down: Russia’s Stance in the Current Azeri–Armenian Confrontation

Neil Melvin October 06, 2020 Recommended Reads
Kremlin faces a strategic juncture in its post-Soviet policy for the South Caucasus, the traditional balancing act is no longer capable of ensuring Russia's leading regional role as the South Caucasus become another zone for Turkey–Russia proxy competition.
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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.
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US Should Keep an Eye on Rising Chinese Investment in the South Caucasus

Daniel Shapiro October 01, 2020 RM Exclusives
The recent flare-up of hostilities between Armenia and Azerbaijan has turned global attention to the South Caucasus, but increased Chinese presence in this strategically sensitive region means U.S. policymakers shouldn't look away when tensions ease.
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Rebuttal: Ukraine Is Emerging as Critical Node for White-Supremacy Extremists

Mollie Saltskog and Colin P. Clarke September 24, 2020 RM Exclusives
The authors argue that the transnational threat of violent right-wing extremism emanating from the conflict in eastern Ukraine has not waned, even as the number of ultranationalist foreign fighters there has.
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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.
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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.
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Protests in Belarus

Sean's Russia Blog September 11, 2020 Partner Posts
A few weeks ago, Lukashenko’s rule seemed on the verge of collapse. But now things appear at a stalemate. For the larger context for these mass protests and what they mean, SRB turned to Elena Gapova for some insight.