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

War With Ukraine as Other Means to Speed Up Reversal of Russia’s ‘Civilizational Choice’

Simon Saradzhyan August 12, 2022 RM Exclusives
One overlooked aim of the war in Ukraine is Putin's attempt to speed up a clean break from a “declining” West, so that Russia can blossom as a separate civilization in alignment with the “great civilization” of a “rising” China.
interview

Fiona Hill: Putin’s Running Out of Time

Foreign Policy July 14, 2022 Recommended Reads
In this interview, the former White House Russia adviser says Putin wants the Ukraine conflict over with.
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

The Russian Military’s People Problem

Dara Massicot May 18, 2022 Recommended Reads
The culture of indifference to its personnel fundamentally compromises the Russian military’s efficacy, no matter how extensively it has been modernized.
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

How Silent Assent Made Bucha Possible

Andrei Kolesnikov April 07, 2022 Recommended Reads
Those who approve or stay silent bear, at the very least, collective responsibility for what is happening in their own country and what the state is doing.
article

Decoding Putin’s Speeches: The Three Ideological Lines of Russia’s Military Intervention in Ukraine

Marlene Laruelle and Ivan Grek February 25, 2022 RM Exclusives
Putin's Feb. 21 and Feb. 24 speeches have confirmed the construction of a narrative legitimizing the military intervention in Ukraine along three key ideological lines: a historical one, an ethnic one and a political one.