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.
article

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.
article

Russia-Ukraine War Alert: What’s Behind It and What Lies Ahead?

Dmitri Trenin April 13, 2021 Recommended Reads
Going overkill in terms of military maneuvers on the Ukrainian border now may avoid the need to do terrible things at a later point.
article

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.
article

Opportunities in Ukraine Too Limited to Provide White Supremacists With Military Training

Huseyn Aliyev November 12, 2020 RM Exclusives
Ukraine is likely to serve as a hypothetical “dreamland” for foreign white supremacists. However, the likelihood of international far-right visitors acquiring actual military training or battlefield experience is minimal.  
article

Unplugging the Baltic States: Why Russia’s Economic Approach May Be Shifting

Emily Ferris July 01, 2020 RM Exclusives
The probability of Russia resorting to a Crimea-style intervention in the Baltics remains low. As a key energy supplier and major trading partner for the region, Russia has more to gain by using economic levers as opposed to military ones to retain influence.
article

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.
article

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.
article

Ukraine Election Bodes Ill for Corruption Fight, and for Kiev’s Ties to West

Tony Barber March 26, 2019 RM Exclusives
As Ukrainians prepare to vote for a president March 31, none of the top three candidates boasts solid pro-reform credentials. That poses big challenges for the country’s future stability and its pro-Western stance.
article

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?
article

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.
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.
article

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?