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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Acknowledging Policy Shortcomings Is First Step to Solving America’s Russia Problem

Paul Saunders March 12, 2020 RM Exclusives
America’s government and its foreign policy elites need to make a greater effort to develop effective policies toward countries in regions where rival great powers—China and Russia—have greater capabilities and/or resolve to advance their goals.
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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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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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Ukraine and NATO: Disconnect Between State Policy and Public Opinion Is Less Dangerous Than Russia

Daniel Shapiro May 09, 2019 RM Exclusives
Governments in plenty of countries have pushed through major foreign policy initiatives such as NATO entry despite formidable opposition among their citizens. This doesn’t necessarily mean Ukraine should do the same.
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5 Years Since Russia’s Intervention in Ukraine: Has Putin’s Gamble Paid Off?

Simon Saradzhyan March 14, 2019 RM Exclusives
The author analyzes the costs and benefits for Russia, finding that the intervention advanced one vital national interest and damaged several others. The costs have been manageable so far, but may eventually become prohibitive.
book review

How the US Managed, and Mismanaged, Russia: A Superstar Diplomat Tells His Story

Graham Allison March 12, 2019 RM Exclusives
William Burns’ new book describes his warnings to the Bush administration that pushing for NATO membership for Georgia and Ukraine would spur Moscow to use armed force in the former and to meddle in Crimea and eastern Ukraine.
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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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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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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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Putin’s Peacekeepers: Beware of Russians Bearing Gifts

Fredrik Wesslau September 11, 2017 Partner Posts
The Russian president's proposal for a U.N. peacekeeping force in eastern Ukraine could be a trap—or it could provide a means of de-escalating the conflict in eastern Ukraine.
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Russian Military Buildup in the West: Fact Versus Fiction

Michael Kofman September 07, 2017 RM Exclusives
Until 2014 Russia was largely cutting the number of troops on NATO's borders to move them elsewhere. The war with Ukraine changed that, reawakening Moscow to the possibility of a large-scale war on its western front.