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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Russia's Military Buildup Near Ukraine Is an Intimidation Tactic

Michael Kofman April 03, 2021 Recommended Reads
Russia's military posturing appears to be primarily coercive and demonstrative in nature.
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Rival Parties Battle for Votes in Southeast Ukraine

Konstantin Skorkin July 19, 2019 Recommended Reads
The schism in the pro-Russia camp is preventing the return of the political model of two Ukraines, a model that is the perfect breeding ground for politicians who boost their ratings by fanning the flames of the interregional confrontation in the country.
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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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Why Putin Is Pressuring Ukraine

Nikolas K. Gvosdev November 27, 2018 Recommended Reads
What Russia has been doing in the Sea of Azov over the past few months is to push for the creation of a new normal.
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Who Can Prevent a War Between Israel and Iran? Russia

Joost Hiltermann May 03, 2018 Recommended Reads
Russia is uniquely suited to mediating between Israel and Iran, but the West may not support its efforts.  
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Lessons from Russia's Operations in Crimea and Eastern Ukraine

Michael Kofman, Katya Migacheva, Brian Nichiporuk, Andrew Radin, Olesya Tkacheva and Jenny Oberholtzer May 01, 2017 Recommended Reads
Russia's military operation in 2014 to annex Crimea was a decisive and competent use of military force, while its campaign in the eastern part of Ukraine was ineffectually implemented but achieved its aim: political fragmentation of the country.
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The Ukraine-Russia Conflict: A Way Forward

Matthew Rojansky February 01, 2017 Recommended Reads
While the likelihood of the conflict’s resolution is low, Washington needs to keep aware of opportunities for resolution due to what is at stake: U.S. interests, relations with Russia and Europe and global security.
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Ukraine’s Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace

Nicolai N. Petro September 07, 2016 Recommended Reads
Amidst the brewing domestic political storm, the struggle for the right to define Ukrainian identity has become a “perpetual war, for perpetual peace,” a peace that can only come when all the enemies of Ukraine, at home and abroad, are fully vanquished.
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Why Russia Values a Non-Nuclear Iran More Than Higher Oil Prices

Simon Saradzhyan August 11, 2016 Recommended Reads
Although it could have benefited from the failure of nuclear talks with Iran, Russia still chose to support the July 2015 deal. The possible reasons why Moscow chose to support the deal provide a lesson for world leaders looking to build a constructive relationship with Russia on the basis of shared interest.
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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.
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How Western aid enables graft addiction in Ukraine

M. Steven Fish and Neil A. Abrams May 05, 2016 Recommended Reads
Can Western aid actually support the cause of reform in Ukraine? Or is Western assistance enabling an entrenched elite to continue stealing and avoid building a functioning state?
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Ukraine's Hybrid State

Balázs Jarábik and Mikhail Minakov April 22, 2016 Recommended Reads
Ukraine has new institutions and a vibrant civil society, but a culture of corruption erodes state legitimacy. The state has been captured by enemies within.