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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Turkey and Russia: A Remarkable Rapprochement

Michael A. Reynolds October 24, 2019 Recommended Reads
Turkey's purchase of the S-400 and the broader turn to Russia cannot be ascribed primarily to Erdogan’s supposed erraticism, still less to his Islamist orientation or any ideology aside from mainstream Turkish nationalism.
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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.
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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.
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Terror Threat from Russian-Speaking Jihadists Won’t End with World Cup, and the West Should Care

Jean-François Ratelle June 13, 2018 RM Exclusives
The war in Syria has greatly expanded Russian-speaking extremist groups’ transnational networks in Europe and beyond, posing an international counterterrorism challenge for years to come.
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Can Moscow Mediate Between Israel and Iran in Syria?

Mark N. Katz May 18, 2018 RM Exclusives
As tensions between Iran and Israel rise to new heights, Russia finds itself in a tricky position—trying to balance between two states that are friendly with Moscow but mortal enemies to each other.
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Who Can Prevent a War Between Israel and Iran? Russia

Joost Hiltermann May 03, 2018 Recommended Reads
Russia is uniquely suited to mediating between Israel and Iran, but the West may not support its efforts.  
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US-Russia-Turkey Dynamics in Syria After ‘Olive Branch’: One Door Closes, Another Opens

Oksana Antonenko January 26, 2018 RM Exclusives
Ankara’s Afrin offensive has exposed Moscow’s vulnerabilities in Syria and hurt Russia’s chances for casting itself as the lead player in clinching a peace deal. But it also opens a new door for tactical U.S.-Russian cooperation to keep the peace in northern Syria.
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Russian-Saudi Rapprochement? Iran and Economic Strain Will Make It Tough

Mark N. Katz September 28, 2017 RM Exclusives
Ties between Moscow and Riyadh remain fragile. Saudi Arabia’s main concern is Iran, while Russia wants both investment and sway in the Middle East. Balancing their geopolitical and economic interests will not be easy.
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Syria and the Call of the Quagmire

Paul R. Pillar April 06, 2017 Recommended Reads
America's immersion into the Syrian civil war carries with it the risk of widespread warfare.
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Assad Is a Long Way From Victory in Syrian Conflict

David Gardner March 08, 2017
The problem facing Russia and Iran, Assad’s major allies, has a hefty price tag.
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Why Russia Values a Non-Nuclear Iran More Than Higher Oil Prices

Simon Saradzhyan August 11, 2016 Recommended Reads
Although it could have benefited from the failure of nuclear talks with Iran, Russia still chose to support the July 2015 deal. The possible reasons why Moscow chose to support the deal provide a lesson for world leaders looking to build a constructive relationship with Russia on the basis of shared interest.
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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.