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.
Competing Views on Russia

John Mearsheimer on Russia: Insights and Recommendations

Thomas Schaffner September 26, 2019 RM Exclusives
When Americans find their domestic politics the target of foreign interference, "they become deeply committed to the principle of self-determination." Not surprisingly, writes leading American international relations scholar John Mearsheimer, "so do the Russians."
article

Russia-China Bomber Patrol Shows Stronger Alignment Between the Two

Michael Kofman July 26, 2019 RM Exclusives
This week’s unprecedented Russian-Chinese patrol, including Russia’s run-in with South Korean jets, signals both growing bilateral military cooperation and Moscow’s willingness to take on geopolitical risks for the sake of its relationship with Beijing.
research paper

Russia’s Military Posture in the Arctic: Managing Hard Power in a ‘Low Tension’ Environment

Mathieu Boulègue June 28, 2019 Recommended Reads
If Moscow is indeed militarizing the Russian Arctic, the military build-up and the Kremlin’s intentions are, at least for now, defensive in nature.
article

Understanding Methods of Elite Repression in Russia

Nikolai Petrov June 04, 2019 Recommended Reads
The targets of elite repression in Russia show that these people were chosen not for their corruption or violating some informal rules, but rather to send signals to certain groups within the elite.
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

Gangster Geopolitics: The Kremlin’s Use of Criminals as Assets Abroad

Mark Galeotti January 17, 2019 RM Exclusives
Since the worsening of relations with the West in 2014, the Kremlin has increasingly adopted a “mobilization state” approach, turning to any available foreign-policy levers. Gangsters are no exception.
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.
article

How the Kremlin Corralled the FSB

Andrei Soldatov May 31, 2018 Recommended Reads
When the FSB failed to predict the mass protests of 2011 and proved unable to respond to them, Putin's trust in the agency began to wane.
issue brief

The Durability of Russian Military Power: Moscow’s Prospects for Sustaining Direct Competition

Michael Kofman May 25, 2018 Recommended Reads
Russia's success in restoring its military power gives it greater leverage on the international stage, and Moscow is increasingly using this threat of force to underwrite its foreign policy.
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.