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

How Much Did Orthodox Church Help Revive Russia’s Military and Nuclear Complex?

Dmitry Gorenburg April 23, 2019 RM Exclusives
A highly readable and informative new book sheds light on a woefully understudied topic—the relationship between Russia’s Orthodox Church and its military—while raising many questions worthy of further study.
research paper

Lessons for Leaders: What Afghanistan Taught Russian and Soviet Strategists

Simon Saradzhyan February 28, 2019 RM Exclusives
Moscow’s military intervention in Afghanistan lasted nearly a decade (1979-1989). It cost the USSR dearly in blood, treasure and power, but imparted lessons as well. Can some of these prove useful to the U.S. today?
issue brief

The INF Quandary: Preventing a Nuclear Arms Race in Europe. Perspectives from the US, Russia and Germany

William Tobey, Pavel Zolotarev and Ulrich Kühn January 24, 2019 RM Exclusives
The 1987 INF Treaty now faces an existential threat that could lead to intermediate-range missiles targeting the entire European continent. Three experts weigh in on the consequences and prospects.
article

Vostok-2018: Russia and China Signal Growing Military Cooperation

Michael Kofman September 10, 2018 RM Exclusives
This year’s strategic military exercise demonstrates both that Russia is still a power in Asia and that it will work with China to offset threats from Washington.
explainer

The Collapsing Russian Defense Budget and Other Fairy Tales

Michael Kofman May 22, 2018 RM Exclusives
Recent reports claiming Russia slashed defense spending by 20 percent from 2016 to 2017 are wrong, the author argues. They stem from a government decision to pay down old debt, not actual cuts to spending.
article

US Approach to Russia in New Nuclear Posture Review Risks Boosting Chances of Conflict

Jon Wolfsthal February 02, 2018 RM Exclusives
Instead of using trusted tools to manage our countries’ high-risk frictions, the new NPR seems to pursue the one thing that failed to make America and its allies safer in the Cold War: a nuclear arms race.
article

Russian Nuclear Forces: Buildup or Modernization?

Hans M. Kristensen September 14, 2017 RM Exclusives
Russia is not increasing its nuclear arsenal, though some commentators keep saying it is. What's important, however, is to monitor how Russia is modernizing its strategic nuclear forces.
article

Russian Military Buildup in the West: Fact Versus Fiction

Michael Kofman September 07, 2017 RM Exclusives
Until 2014 Russia was largely cutting the number of troops on NATO's borders to move them elsewhere. The war with Ukraine changed that, reawakening Moscow to the possibility of a large-scale war on its western front.
explainer

Russian Defense Spending: Tricky Math

Olga Oliker April 26, 2017 RM Exclusives
With Russia flexing its military muscle, analysts are increasingly interested in how much Moscow is spending on weapons. This explainer lays out the factors that make those numbers hard to crunch.