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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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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How Big Is Russia’s Win in Syria?

Michael Sharnoff November 06, 2019 RM Exclusives
While Russia has collected a number of short-term dividends from the U.S. troop withdrawal, this “victory” is far from winning Moscow the war in Syria.
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Leveraging Venezuela: How Russia Sees Its Interests in US Backyard

Paul Saunders June 03, 2019 RM Exclusives
Americans should not overestimate either Russia’s interests in Venezuela or its capabilities there. Some see the country as a new Ukraine or Syria. It isn’t.
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Trump-Putin G20 Summit: High Stakes and Strained Dialogue

Matthew Rojansky November 28, 2018 RM Exclusives
As high-level U.S.-Russian contacts are again plagued by deep disagreement, both sides face a list of urgent global security challenges that can be managed only through dialogue.
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Five Nations Bicker Over Whether the Caspian Is Lake or Sea

Rahim Rahimov September 05, 2018 Partner Posts
While the countries' leaders hailed the summit as a historic success, experts noted that the convention failed to resolve any disputes and instead merely formalized the existing status quo.
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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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In Helsinki, Trump Takes ‘Do No Harm’ Approach to Russia on 2 Issues: Syria and Energy

Nikolas K. Gvosdev July 17, 2018 RM Exclusives
For now, at least, the U.S. will not help its Middle Eastern and European allies pursue their own engagement with Moscow, but will not interfere with it a great deal either.
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Terror Threat from Russian-Speaking Jihadists Won’t End with World Cup, and the West Should Care

Jean-François Ratelle June 13, 2018 RM Exclusives
The war in Syria has greatly expanded Russian-speaking extremist groups’ transnational networks in Europe and beyond, posing an international counterterrorism challenge for years to come.
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Can Moscow Mediate Between Israel and Iran in Syria?

Mark N. Katz May 18, 2018 RM Exclusives
As tensions between Iran and Israel rise to new heights, Russia finds itself in a tricky position—trying to balance between two states that are friendly with Moscow but mortal enemies to each other.
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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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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?