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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US Should Keep an Eye on Rising Chinese Investment in the South Caucasus

Daniel Shapiro October 01, 2020 RM Exclusives
The recent flare-up of hostilities between Armenia and Azerbaijan has turned global attention to the South Caucasus, but increased Chinese presence in this strategically sensitive region means U.S. policymakers shouldn't look away when tensions ease.
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Contending With—Not Accepting—Spheres of Influence

Steven Pifer March 05, 2020 RM Exclusives
While Washington does have to deal with Russia's efforts to establish a sphere of influence in its neighborhood, that doesn't mean the U.S. should accept the legitimacy of those efforts.
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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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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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The August War, Ten Years On: A Retrospective on the Russo-Georgian War

Michael Kofman August 17, 2018 Recommended Reads
In 2008, Moscow demonstrated the will and ability to actively contest the U.S. vision for European security, veto NATO expansion in its neighborhood and challenge Washington’s design for a normative international order where small states can determine their own affairs independent of the interests of great powers.
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Putin's Pivot: 4 New Features of Russian Foreign Policy

Daniel Treisman March 14, 2018 RM Exclusives
The annexation of Crimea in 2014 signaled a new phase of Russian foreign policy, characterized by risk taking, neglect of exit strategies, outsourcing and saber rattling. But can the success of these tactics last?
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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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The Balkans Between Russia and the West

Dimitar Bechev November 22, 2017 RM Exclusives
Russia and the West are not locked in a life-and-death battle over the Balkans. The region is just a vulnerable periphery where Moscow can exert influence as part of a broader contest with the U.S and the EU.
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Latest US-Russian Effort on Syria: Good for Preventing Accidents, So-So for Everything Else

Nikolas K. Gvosdev November 15, 2017 RM Exclusives
Trump and Putin’s joint statement at the APEC summit masks deep divisions between Moscow and Washington over how to resolve the conflict.
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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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Snapshot Analysis: Was Chemical Attack in Syria Meant to Drive Wedge Between US and Russia?

Simon Saradzhyan April 07, 2017 RM Exclusives
The U.S. strikes against Syria have sharply escalated tensions between Moscow and Washington, but the two can still mend fences and work toward peace in Syria.
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Tom Friedman Is Calling for a Partition of Syria: Trump Should Run the Other Way

Stephen M. Walt April 07, 2017 Recommended Reads
Sending U.S. troops into Syria is not a solution. After all, the U.S. does not have the best track record when it comes to intervention in the Middle East.