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.
research paper

Lessons for Leaders: What Afghanistan Taught Russian and Soviet Strategists

Simon Saradzhyan February 28, 2019 RM Exclusives
Moscow’s military intervention in Afghanistan lasted nearly a decade (1979-1989). It cost the USSR dearly in blood, treasure and power, but imparted lessons as well. Can some of these prove useful to the U.S. today?
article

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.
research paper

Jihadists from Ex-Soviet Central Asia: Where Are They? Why Did They Radicalize? What Next?

Edward Lemon, Vera Mironova and William Tobey December 07, 2018 RM Exclusives
Three authors draw on field work and other research to assess the motives, prospects and threats linked to Central Asian jihadists, including the thousands who joined Islamic State and other violent extremists in the Middle East.
article

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.
article

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.
article

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.
article

For Washington, Russia Makes Afghanistan Mess Even Messier

Jeffrey Mankoff June 14, 2017 RM Exclusives
As U.S. military efforts meet with little success, Russia has taken a much more active approach to Afghanistan, building bridges with the Taliban and hoping to enhance its role in the region.
article

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.
multimedia

Video: Chinese and Russian Strategies for the New Uncertainty in Afghanistan and Central Asia

Central Asia Program March 06, 2017 Partner Posts
Jeffrey Mankoff of the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) discusses Sino-Russian strategies for the region in this panel at the Central Asia Security Workshop.
research paper

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.
article

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.
report

NATO's Northeastern Flank—Emerging Opportunities for Engagement

Christopher S. Chivvis, Raphael S. Cohen, Bryan Frederick, Daniel S. Hamilton, F. Stephen Larrabee and Bonny Lin July 07, 2016 Partner Posts
Renewed tensions between Russia and the West have important implications for U.S. Air Force strategy, posture and regional engagement in Europe, requiring a new assessment of opportunities for Air Force partnerships in the region.