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.
article

US Should Keep an Eye on Rising Chinese Investment in the South Caucasus

Daniel Shapiro October 01, 2020 RM Exclusives
The recent flare-up of hostilities between Armenia and Azerbaijan has turned global attention to the South Caucasus, but increased Chinese presence in this strategically sensitive region means U.S. policymakers shouldn't look away when tensions ease.
article

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.
article

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.
article

Contending With—Not Accepting—Spheres of Influence

Steven Pifer March 05, 2020 RM Exclusives
While Washington does have to deal with Russia's efforts to establish a sphere of influence in its neighborhood, that doesn't mean the U.S. should accept the legitimacy of those efforts.
book review

How the US Managed, and Mismanaged, Russia: A Superstar Diplomat Tells His Story

Graham Allison March 12, 2019 RM Exclusives
William Burns’ new book describes his warnings to the Bush administration that pushing for NATO membership for Georgia and Ukraine would spur Moscow to use armed force in the former and to meddle in Crimea and eastern Ukraine.
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

Five Nations Bicker Over Whether the Caspian Is Lake or Sea

Rahim Rahimov September 05, 2018 Partner Posts
While the countries' leaders hailed the summit as a historic success, experts noted that the convention failed to resolve any disputes and instead merely formalized the existing status quo.
article

The August War, Ten Years On: A Retrospective on the Russo-Georgian War

Michael Kofman August 17, 2018 Recommended Reads
In 2008, Moscow demonstrated the will and ability to actively contest the U.S. vision for European security, veto NATO expansion in its neighborhood and challenge Washington’s design for a normative international order where small states can determine their own affairs independent of the interests of great powers.
article

False Alert: Is Russia Beefing Up Forces on NATO’s Border?

Ulrich Kühn July 08, 2016 Recommended Reads
While Russia has done an about-face on military reforms meant to switch from large divisions to smaller, more mobile brigades, Moscow is not (yet) creating additional armed forces.
article

Karabakh: Resolving a Caucasus Security Dilemma

Thomas de Waal June 16, 2016
Renewed fighting in Nagorny Karabakh in April 2016 raised the stakes for international actors. The main choice is between serious peace talks and the risk of dangerous spillover.