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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Nuclear Weapons in Belarus: History Repeats Itself

William Alberque March 31, 2023 RM Exclusives
Russia’s increasingly violent nuclear rhetoric and basing of nuclear weapons in Belarus are to be condemned. However, these developments do not alter the balance of power in Europe, nor do they significantly alter the risk of nuclear conflict.
explainer

Can International Law Bring a Measure of Justice to Ukraine?

Kevin Jon Heller March 22, 2023 RM Exclusives
Very few options currently exist for prosecuting the high-ranking Russian government and military leaders who are responsible for the invasion.
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With New START Setbacks Challenging Arms Control, US Must Work to Reduce Chances of Nuclear War, With or Without Russia

Leonor Tomero  March 15, 2023 RM Exclusives
Key goals are to invest in more resilient deterrence and to understand whether the two countries' views on strategic stability have fundamentally diverged.
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The moment when Putin turned away from the West

David Ignatius March 09, 2023 Recommended Reads
Bush had maintained a surprisingly close relationship with the Russian leader, centered on a counterterrorism alliance. The United States was battling al-Qaeda at the time; Russia was fighting Chechen separatists. But Putin came to believe that America was an unreliable, hypocritical partner — and that belief would curdle into the open feud that has deepened, year by year.
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Post-War Security for Ukraine: Eventually the Fighting Will End. What Then?

Stefano Stefanini March 02, 2023 RM Exclusives
The West will have to give Ukraine bespoke, fool-proof international security guarantees while pragmatically engaging Russia in talks on arms control and confidence building.
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What Led to Putin’s Blunder in Ukraine?

Simon Saradzhyan February 24, 2023 RM Exclusives
Three factors are likely to have contributed to shaping Putin’s decision to launch the invasion one year ago.
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Domestic Politics Encourage Continued War of Attrition in Ukraine in 2023

Thomas Graham February 22, 2023 RM Exclusives
The main question now: How far will the escalation go?
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The Top 5 Lessons from Year 1 of Ukraine’s War

Stephen M. Walt February 09, 2023 Recommended Reads
Europe’s brutal conflict has been a harsh but instructive teacher.
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Sanctions Against Russia Ignore the Economic Challenges Facing Ukraine

Nicholas Mulder February 09, 2023 Recommended Reads
The West has shown that it possesses the tools to destroy the growth prospects of import-dependent middle-income economies. But sanctions have failed to cause crippling and insurmountable problems of the kind that will cause the collapse of either the Russian economy or Mr. Putin’s war effort.
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Russia and Ukraine Have Incentives to Negotiate. The U.S. Has Other Plans

Christopher Caldwell February 07, 2023 Recommended Reads
Russia has more than three times Ukraine’s population, an intact economy and superior military technology. At the same time, Russia has its own problems; until recently, a shortage of soldiers and the vulnerability of its arms depots to missile strikes have slowed its westward progress.
Clues from Russian Views

Destructive distillation of arms

Alexey Arbatov February 06, 2023 Recommended Reads
12 years ago, on February 5, 2011, the treaty on the reduction of strategic offensive arms came into force - the last major treaty that still links Russia and the United States in the military sphere. Exactly 3 years later, it will expire, and what will happen then?
Clues from Russian Views

Devoted to Putin: Volodin's Views on Russia, West and the Rest

RM Staff January 27, 2023 RM Exclusives
Despite his mastery of reductionist flattery and "unlimited devotion" to Putin, the speaker of the State Duma likely isn't a member of the Russian president's inner-most circle. Still, he may have a shot at the Kremlin when Putin steps down.