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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Five Years After Russia Declared Victory in Syria: What Has Been Won?

Thomas Schaffner March 18, 2021 RM Exclusives
Has the intervention paid off or has Obama’s 2015 prediction that the operation would end in a “quagmire” for Russia come true? An assessment of some key costs and benefits generated by Russia’s intervention in Syria.
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Exposing Putin's Hidden Riches Won't Stop Russia's Election Meddling

Lincoln Pigman August 19, 2020 Future Policy Leaders
The deep flaws in one of Washington’s more popular plans to stop Russia’s election meddling shows just how much work remains to be done on deterring foreign adversaries from undermining the integrity of U.S. elections.
Competing Views on Russia

2020 US Presidential Candidates on Russia: What Have They Said So Far?

Daniel Shapiro, Thomas Schaffner and Angelina Flood March 17, 2020 RM Exclusives
Updated! With the primaries underway, it is worth remembering what the candidates have said about their would-be Russia policies if elected. (Originally published May 23, 2019.)
Competing Views on Russia

John Mearsheimer on Russia: Insights and Recommendations

Thomas Schaffner September 26, 2019 RM Exclusives
When Americans find their domestic politics the target of foreign interference, "they become deeply committed to the principle of self-determination." Not surprisingly, writes leading American international relations scholar John Mearsheimer, "so do the Russians."
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It's Time to Rethink Russia's Foreign Policy Strategy

Dmitri Trenin April 25, 2019 Partner Posts
Russia's rapidly changing geopolitical situation necessitates a restructuring of its inconsistent foreign policy. Primarily, it must renounce any aspirations to military or political domination. The author describes the steps that the Russian government must instead take to promote stability and growth.
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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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Putin Deepens Confusion About Russian Nuclear Policy

Abigail Stowe-Thurston, Matt Korda and Hans M. Kristensen October 25, 2018 RM Exclusives
Rather than strengthening deterrence, ambiguity surrounding U.S. and Russian nuclear thresholds is causing both sides to make dangerous assumptions about one another’s intentions.
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How to Interfere in a Foreign Election

Stephen Kinzer August 19, 2018 Recommended Reads
Despite Yeltsin's unpopularity, Washington saw him as easy to control, and so, U.S. resources were thrown behind a Russian presidential candidate.
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The Helsinki Summit: A Good Idea Turns Bad

George Beebe July 19, 2018 Recommended Reads
Expectations for the Helsinki summit were low, but the U.S. and Russia still managed to sail their listing bilateral ship directly into the rocks of the Russian cyber-meddling controversy.
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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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From Mutually Assured Destruction to Mutually Assured Delusion (and Back?)

Simon Saradzhyan March 12, 2018 Recommended Reads
If U.S. and Russian decision-makers do not just profess but also genuinely believe in the continuing decline and pending collapse of each other’s countries, then chances are they will act more assertively against each other.
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America Ignores Russia at Its Peril

David Ignatius March 06, 2018 Recommended Reads
Putin’s address to the Russian parliament was meant to intimidate Washington, but it was also a plea for attention.