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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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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We Can Defense If We Want To

Foreign Policy Research Institute June 29, 2020 Partner Posts
In this episode of FPRI's Bear Market Brief, host and Eurasia expert Aaron Schwartzbaum speaks with Michael Kofman, director of the Russia Studies Program at CNA, on Russia's military.
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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.
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Plots Against Russia

Sean's Russia Blog June 19, 2020 Partner Posts
In this episode of Sean's Russia Blog, host and Eurasia expert Sean Guillory speaks with Eliot Borenstein, professor of Russian and Slavic studies at New York University, about conspiratorial thinking at the Russian state level.
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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.
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Decoding Russia’s Official Nuclear Deterrence Paper

Dmitri Trenin June 05, 2020 Recommended Reads
Russia's recently released Nuclear Deterrence Policy Guidelines suggest that the Kremlin may be preparing for a world without arms control.
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New Document Consolidates Russia’s Nuclear Policy in One Place

Olga Oliker June 04, 2020 RM Exclusives
Russia’s new nuclear deterrence strategy document confirms that its policy is not “escalate to de-escalate,” but the document isn't likely to put the debate to rest.
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The Risks of Autonomous Weapons Systems for Crisis Stability and Conflict Escalation in Future US-Russia Confrontations

Burgess Laird June 02, 2020 RM Exclusives
Autonomous weapons systems could foster crisis instability, conflict escalation in contests between the U.S. and Russia in multiple ways. Policymakers must consider if the putative advantages of such systems are worth the potential risks they may raise.
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Build a Better Blob

Emma Ashford May 29, 2020 Recommended Reads
While some see the Blob as a bastion of foreign policy expertise, Ashford argues that portraying Washington's mainstream foreign policy community as "the only game in town" sets up a false choice between "hawkish liberal interventionism" and "Trumpian incompetence."
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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.