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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The Russia-Ukraine War: A Setback for Arms Control

Steven Pifer May 23, 2022 Recommended Reads
The Kremlin seems intent on achieving a victory on the battlefield, while relations between the West and Russia plummet to new lows. One casualty: U.S.-Russian arms control negotiations.
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The Russian Military’s People Problem

Dara Massicot May 18, 2022 Recommended Reads
The culture of indifference to its personnel fundamentally compromises the Russian military’s efficacy, no matter how extensively it has been modernized.
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Putin’s Perilous Imperial Dream

Cristina Florea May 10, 2022 Recommended Reads
Underpinning Putin’s righteous battle for Russians in Ukraine is an organic vision of Russian nationhood defined by blood and cultural and spiritual traits rather than by political contract or choice.
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Putin’s Invasion Was Immoral but Not Irrational

Mark F. Cancian May 10, 2022 Recommended Reads
Evaluating Putin’s decision requires capturing what was known at the time, not what became evident later.
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How Silent Assent Made Bucha Possible

Andrei Kolesnikov April 07, 2022 Recommended Reads
Those who approve or stay silent bear, at the very least, collective responsibility for what is happening in their own country and what the state is doing.
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Decoding Putin’s Speeches: The Three Ideological Lines of Russia’s Military Intervention in Ukraine

Marlene Laruelle and Ivan Grek February 25, 2022 RM Exclusives
Putin's Feb. 21 and Feb. 24 speeches have confirmed the construction of a narrative legitimizing the military intervention in Ukraine along three key ideological lines: a historical one, an ethnic one and a political one.
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Parsing the Evidence: Will Russia Invade Ukraine?

RM Staff January 27, 2022 RM Exclusives
With reams of analysis written to answer this question, we summarize a handful of experts who have backed their assertions with abundant research.
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The HMS Defender Incident: What happened and What Are the Political Ramifications?

Dmitry Gorenburg July 01, 2021 RM Exclusives
Inadvertent escalation poses the greatest risk of a political confrontation between Russia and NATO resulting in armed conflict, and as long as one or both sides believe that it is beneficial to use their military forces to make political points, we should expect more incidents of this type to take place.
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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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Alternative History: Would Russia in NATO and EU Be Game Changer in West’s Rivalry With China?

Simon Saradzhyan November 20, 2019 RM Exclusives
Quantitative measurements show that while Russia’s decision to align with the West rather than with China might not have been a game changer, it would have diminished the latter’s might vis-à-vis the West.
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Measuring National Power: Is Vladimir Putin’s Russia in Decline?

Simon Saradzhyan and Nabi Abdullaev May 04, 2018 RM Exclusives
Russia’s standing in the world—both real and perceived—has a profound impact on U.S. security and policies, as well as on Moscow's actions. This report offers a unique quantitative stocktaking of Russia’s national power.
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Russia’s New Conventional Capability: Implications for Eurasia and Beyond

Nikolai Sokov May 01, 2017 Recommended Reads
Russia’s new conventional-strike capability is significant for the West, whether or not the West wants to acknowledge it.