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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Will Russia Invade Ukraine (Again)?

Simon Saradzhyan April 14, 2021 Recommended Reads
Not a day goes by without dire warnings of an imminent Russian military invasion of Ukraine, but Putin is unlikely to order an offensive against Ukraine unless Zelensky makes the first military move on the Donbass chessboard.
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Russia-Ukraine War Alert: What’s Behind It and What Lies Ahead?

Dmitri Trenin April 13, 2021 Recommended Reads
Going overkill in terms of military maneuvers on the Ukrainian border now may avoid the need to do terrible things at a later point.
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Russia's Military Buildup Near Ukraine Is an Intimidation Tactic

Michael Kofman April 03, 2021 Recommended Reads
Russia's military posturing appears to be primarily coercive and demonstrative in nature.
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Russia and China Are Outwitting America

Vance Serchuk April 10, 2019 Recommended Reads
American politicians frame the current world order as China, Russia, and the United States locked in a 'great-power competition.' However, by restricting their definition of this rivalry to a race for technological prowess, U.S. national security experts increase the possibility of an inadvertent escalation to war.
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A Brotherly Takeover: Could Russia Annex Belarus?

Artyom Shraibman January 29, 2019 Recommended Reads
As the Kremlin pushes for closer ties to Belarus, outside observers fear annexation. However, the process of unification between Russia and Belarus would be incredibly risky for Russia and is based on myths about modern Belarus.
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In Search of Light at the End of the Tunnel for US-Russian Relations

Alexey Arbatov June 26, 2018 Recommended Reads
Even if the situation in Ukraine is resolved peacefully, and if an armed clash between Russia and the United States is avoided in Syria, it will not be possible to overcome this wide-reaching crisis with a single package of agreements.
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Bigger, Not Better: Russia Makes the SCO a Useless Club

Alexander Gabuev June 23, 2017 Recommended Reads
Moscow's fears over Beijing’s rise have led it to cripple the Eurasian organization.
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Lessons from Russia's Operations in Crimea and Eastern Ukraine

Michael Kofman, Katya Migacheva, Brian Nichiporuk, Andrew Radin, Olesya Tkacheva and Jenny Oberholtzer May 01, 2017 Recommended Reads
Russia's military operation in 2014 to annex Crimea was a decisive and competent use of military force, while its campaign in the eastern part of Ukraine was ineffectually implemented but achieved its aim: political fragmentation of the country.
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Ukraine’s Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace

Nicolai N. Petro September 07, 2016 Recommended Reads
Amidst the brewing domestic political storm, the struggle for the right to define Ukrainian identity has become a “perpetual war, for perpetual peace,” a peace that can only come when all the enemies of Ukraine, at home and abroad, are fully vanquished.
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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.
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How Western aid enables graft addiction in Ukraine

M. Steven Fish and Neil A. Abrams May 05, 2016 Recommended Reads
Can Western aid actually support the cause of reform in Ukraine? Or is Western assistance enabling an entrenched elite to continue stealing and avoid building a functioning state?
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Ukraine's Hybrid State

Balázs Jarábik and Mikhail Minakov April 22, 2016 Recommended Reads
Ukraine has new institutions and a vibrant civil society, but a culture of corruption erodes state legitimacy. The state has been captured by enemies within.