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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Where US Sees Democracy Promotion, Russia Sees Regime Change

Benjamin Denison July 29, 2020 RM Exclusives
If U.S. officials were to critically assess the track record of American regime change, they might see that Russian statements against U.S. democracy promotion reflect genuine anxiety about regime security.
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Russian Moves in Afghanistan Are About Regional Stability, Not Revenge on US

Artemy M. Kalinovsky July 22, 2020 RM Exclusives
U.S. politicians may feel betrayed by Russia’s engagement with the Taliban, but to understand what Russia is up to, they need to stop imagining that Moscow’s every move is somehow intended to undermine the U.S.
Competing Views on Russia

Olga Oliker on Russia: Insights and Recommendations

RM Staff July 16, 2020 RM Exclusives
Russia presents a critical foreign policy challenge to the U.S., "one which will be poorly served by either demonization or conciliation," writes leading Russia expert Olga Oliker. "What is needed is considered, knowledgeable and nuanced policy."
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New Sanctions Challenge the Tenuous Ties Between America and Russia

Thomas Graham and Matthew Rojansky July 13, 2020 Recommended Reads
Rather than knee-jerk calls for more sanctions, restoring channels of communication with Russia may be a prudent step to protect U.S. interests and avoid continuing miscommunication. Russia may be suffering from severe economic and demographic constraints, calcified authoritarian politics, and hostile geopolitical surroundings, but the country is not going away.
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Do Black Lives Matter in Russia?

Peter Rutland and Andrei Kazantsev July 13, 2020 Partner Posts
Studying the reactions to Black Lives Matter in Russia can teach us a lot about Russian society—just as Russians and others have learned a great deal about American society as the movement has unfolded.
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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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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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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.