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

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.
article

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.
article

A Farewell to the Open Skies Treaty, and an Era of Imaginative Thinking

Bonnie Jenkins June 16, 2020 Partner Posts
President Trump announced that the United States would withdraw from the 1992 Open Skies Treaty (OST). The OST allows for members to conduct unarmed surveillance flights in each others’ air space. The treaty was designed to enhance mutual understanding, build confidence and promote openness and transparency of military forces and activities.
article

Decoding Russia’s Official Nuclear Deterrence Paper

Dmitri Trenin June 05, 2020 Recommended Reads
Russia's recently released Nuclear Deterrence Policy Guidelines suggest that the Kremlin may be preparing for a world without arms control.
article

New Document Consolidates Russia’s Nuclear Policy in One Place

Olga Oliker June 04, 2020 RM Exclusives
Russia’s new nuclear deterrence strategy document confirms that its policy is not “escalate to de-escalate,” but the document isn't likely to put the debate to rest.
article

The Risks of Autonomous Weapons Systems for Crisis Stability and Conflict Escalation in Future US-Russia Confrontations

Burgess Laird June 02, 2020 RM Exclusives
Autonomous weapons systems could foster crisis instability, conflict escalation in contests between the U.S. and Russia in multiple ways. Policymakers must consider if the putative advantages of such systems are worth the potential risks they may raise.
article

Build a Better Blob

Emma Ashford May 29, 2020 Recommended Reads
While some see the Blob as a bastion of foreign policy expertise, Ashford argues that portraying Washington's mainstream foreign policy community as "the only game in town" sets up a false choice between "hawkish liberal interventionism" and "Trumpian incompetence."
article

Khodorkovsky Marks the Spot: Russia’s Turning Point From Economic Freedom to State Control

Sergei Guriev May 28, 2020 RM Exclusives
Mikhail Khodorkovsky’s sentencing 15 years ago this month signaled the end of Russia's market reforms and the beginning of ever-increasing state control.
article

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.
article

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.
article

Is Ukraine a Hub for International White Supremacist Fighters?

Huseyn Aliyev May 13, 2020 RM Exclusives
Has Ukraine become a training hub for white supremacists on either side of the conflict?