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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The Dilemma Over the Nord Stream 2 Pipeline

Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs April 15, 2021 Partner Posts
The Belfer Center asked its experts to share their thoughts on the implications of the pipeline for Europe's security and energy supply, transatlantic relations and policy toward Russia, as well as what actions the U.S. and Europe should take at this point.
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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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Off the Page: How to Enlarge NATO

International Security January 15, 2020 Partner Posts
Twenty-five years ago, supporters of a relatively swift conferral of full NATO membership to a narrow range of countries outmaneuvered proponents of a slower, phased conferral of limited membership to a wide range of states. How can the history of NATO enlargement help explain transatlantic politics, conflict in Ukraine and U.S.-Russia relations today?
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Alternative History: Would Russia in NATO and EU Be Game Changer in West’s Rivalry With China?

Simon Saradzhyan November 20, 2019 RM Exclusives
Quantitative measurements show that while Russia’s decision to align with the West rather than with China might not have been a game changer, it would have diminished the latter’s might vis-à-vis the West.
Competing Views on Russia

George Kennan on Russia: Insights and Recommendations

RM Staff August 21, 2019 RM Exclusives
From the 1939 Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, which will see its 80th anniversary this week, to the beginning of the 21st century, Kennan's views on America's Cold War rival went far beyond the "containment" policy for which he is perhaps best known.
Competing Views on Russia

Esper on Russia: Pentagon Nominee Sees Moscow as ‘Strategic Competitor,’ ‘Potential Adversary’

RM Staff July 17, 2019 RM Exclusives
U.S. Defense Secretary nominee Mark Esper often pairs Russia with China in his remarks, classifying both among America’s biggest security challenges. Now updated with statements from Esper's Senate confirmation hearing.
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Ukraine and NATO: Disconnect Between State Policy and Public Opinion Is Less Dangerous Than Russia

Daniel Shapiro May 09, 2019 RM Exclusives
Governments in plenty of countries have pushed through major foreign policy initiatives such as NATO entry despite formidable opposition among their citizens. This doesn’t necessarily mean Ukraine should do the same.
Competing Views on Russia

Robert Legvold on Russia: Insights and Recommendations

RM Staff November 20, 2018 RM Exclusives
“The chances in … the next 10-15 years of a nuclear weapon being fired in anger are far greater now than they ever were during the Cold War.” This and more from one of America’s top Russia scholars.
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NATO Expansion: What Gorbachev Heard

Svetlana Savranskaya and Tom Blanton December 12, 2017 Recommended Reads
Newly declassified documents lend credence to claims that Western leaders repeatedly reassured their Soviet counterparts in the early 1990s that NATO would not budge "one inch eastward."
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Russian Military Buildup in the West: Fact Versus Fiction

Michael Kofman September 07, 2017 RM Exclusives
Until 2014 Russia was largely cutting the number of troops on NATO's borders to move them elsewhere. The war with Ukraine changed that, reawakening Moscow to the possibility of a large-scale war on its western front.
policy brief

Russia’s New Conventional Capability: Implications for Eurasia and Beyond

Nikolai Sokov May 01, 2017 Recommended Reads
Russia’s new conventional-strike capability is significant for the West, whether or not the West wants to acknowledge it.
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Wargaming NATO's Defense of the Baltics

David A. Shlapak and Michael Johnson August 23, 2016 Recommended Reads
The games’ findings are unambiguous: At present NATO cannot successfully defend the territory of its most exposed members; fortunately, changing that will not require Herculean effort.