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

The Causes and Consequences of the Ukraine War

John J. Mearsheimer June 23, 2022 Recommended Reads
The United States has pushed forward policies toward Ukraine that Putin and other Russian leaders see as an existential threat, a point they have made repeatedly for many years.
article

Hoping for a Russia Without Putin: Biden Wasn’t the First, or the Last

RM Staff May 26, 2022 RM Exclusives
Would the world be better off with Putin out of power? In this compilation, we have gathered statements by Western and Russian commentators who state or suggest just that, or at least try to explain the thinking of those who hold such a view.
article

The Russia-Ukraine War: A Setback for Arms Control

Steven Pifer May 23, 2022 Recommended Reads
The Kremlin seems intent on achieving a victory on the battlefield, while relations between the West and Russia plummet to new lows. One casualty: U.S.-Russian arms control negotiations.
article

Experts Weigh In on Diplomatic Solutions in Ukraine

RM Staff May 18, 2022 RM Exclusives
If the warring sides do manage to negotiate in earnest, a durable peace deal would need to accommodate their minimum security requirements—such as Ukraine’s demand for security guarantees and Russia’s demand for Ukraine’s neutrality.
article

Can Russia Be Made to Pay for Ukraine?

Sam Fleming, Joseph Cotterill, James Politi and Robin Wigglesworth May 17, 2022 Recommended Reads
Scholars and lawyers are warning the decision to confiscate frozen Russian foreign exchange reserves, while tempting, would be fraught with risk, legally questionable and could generate unintended consequences.
article

What Went Wrong With Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine?

RM Staff May 12, 2022 RM Exclusives
Eleven weeks after the Feb. 24 invasion it is clear that Vladimir Putin’s initial plan has failed. What is less clear is what exactly went wrong and why.
article

Putin’s Perilous Imperial Dream

Cristina Florea May 10, 2022 Recommended Reads
Underpinning Putin’s righteous battle for Russians in Ukraine is an organic vision of Russian nationhood defined by blood and cultural and spiritual traits rather than by political contract or choice.
article

Putin’s Invasion Was Immoral but Not Irrational

Mark F. Cancian May 10, 2022 Recommended Reads
Evaluating Putin’s decision requires capturing what was known at the time, not what became evident later.
article

Why Hasn’t Russia Unleashed ‘Cybergeddon’ in Its War on Ukraine?

RM Staff May 04, 2022 RM Exclusives
Some experts say expectations of cyber apocalypse have been overblown, while others argue Russia has already done plenty of cyber damage. Check out our compilation for what Russia’s use (and non-use) of cyber means in the war on Ukraine.
article

Would Putin’s Russia Really Nuke Ukraine?

Graham Allison April 22, 2022 Recommended Reads
If a nuclear strike killed 10,000 or 20,000 innocent Ukrainians, how would the United States or NATO respond?
article

Lessons From the Battle for Kyiv

Alex Vershinin April 21, 2022 RM Exclusives
The operation rapidly degenerated into an urban battle of attrition favorable to Ukraine, and eventually the Russian government withdrew its troops, conceding defeat in the battle for Kyiv, while preparing a second phase of the war in Donbas.
article

The Cyber-Escalation Fallacy

Erica D. Lonergan April 15, 2022 Recommended Reads
For all its potential to disrupt companies, hospitals and utility grids during peacetime, cyberpower is much harder to use against targets of strategic significance or to achieve outcomes with decisive impacts on the battlefield or during crises short of war.