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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Pompeo’s Visit Lets Post-Soviet States Leverage US Backing Against Russia, China, But Real Support Remains Limited

Nikolas Gvosdev February 07, 2020 RM Exclusives
American policies designed to challenge Russian dominance in Eurasia have either proceeded as a result of autopilot within the bureaucracy or because Congress has imposed them via veto-proof majorities.
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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.
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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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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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Russian Sanctions: Why ‘Isolation Is Impossible'

Henry Foy November 12, 2018 Recommended Reads
Countries throughout Asia, the Middle East and even Europe continue to do business with Russia despite U.S. efforts to isolate Moscow.
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Machiavellian Lessons From the Saudi and Russian Assassination Debacles

George Beebe October 20, 2018 Recommended Reads
Gratuitous political killing is not just a crime—it is a mistake.
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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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Yes, Russian Generals Are Preparing for War. That Doesn’t Necessarily Mean the Kremlin Wants to Start One

Simon Saradzhyan August 30, 2017 RM Exclusives
Past experience suggests that two conditions must exist for Russia to use military exercises as a cover for foreign military interventions and neither one is in place today.
explainer

25 Years of Nuclear Security Cooperation by the US, Russia and Other Newly Independent States: A Timeline

Mariana Budjeryn, Simon Saradzhyan and William Tobey June 16, 2017 RM Exclusives
At a time when the U.S. and the newly independent states of the former Soviet Union still saw each other as mortal enemies, they found the courage, creativity and capacity for trust to work together in the name of preventing nuclear catastrophe.
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Russia Looks Out for Own Interests in Europe’s Elections But Risks Long-Term Blowback

Yuval Weber April 19, 2017 RM Exclusives
Liberals worry about Russian meddling in elections from France to Bulgaria. But Moscow didn’t create Euro-skepticism; it's just good at exploiting existing fissures in Western societies—and has been for a long time. Here's where that may lead.
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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.
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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.