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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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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The Oil Price Crash: Will the Kremlin’s Policies Change?

Tatiana Mitrova July 08, 2020 Partner Posts
The coronavirus pandemic and the steep drop of oil and gas prices may pose a serious challenge to Russia’s economic model. Mitrova argues that current shocks to the Russian energy market could pale in comparison to long-term consequences.
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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.
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Russia’s Constitutional Amendments Keep Several Futures Open for Putin

Marlene Laruelle June 25, 2020 RM Exclusives
The aim of the amendments is to keep Putin’s—and Russia's—portfolio of possibilities as wide as possible while reinforcing Russia’s sovereignty from the international scene and the country’s self-reliance.
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The State Department’s Compliance Report Plays the Blame Game, Despite Offering Little Evidence

Matt Korda and Hans M. Kristensen June 24, 2020 Recommended Reads
The report’s publication comes at a critical time, as the Trump administration has spent the past few years—and the past three months in particular—dismantling the last vestiges of U.S. commitments to the international arms control regime.
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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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.
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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Kto-Kogo: Putin vs. COVID-19

Thomas Graham May 07, 2020 RM Exclusives
Some believe the pandemic and the oil price collapse will erode the Russian president's power or end his presidency. But with the skill he has shown, and the luck that has favored him for 20 years, he could emerge from this crisis even stronger.
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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Stent and Hill on COVID-19 Challenging Putin’s Grip on Power

VOA May 01, 2020 Partner Posts
Russia experts Angela Stent and Fiona Hill discuss the impact of the coronavirus on the Russian leader as well as on the country's domestic and international positions.
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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.