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.
Exploratory Paper

US-Russian Contention in Cyberspace: Are Rules of the Road Necessary or Possible?

Lauren Zabierek, Christie Lawrence, Miles Neumann and Pavel Sharikov June 10, 2021 RM Exclusives
Strategic thinkers in both countries have raised the idea of cyber “rules of the road.” This exploratory paper considers whether such an agreement is feasible, comparing American and Russian perspectives.
article

US SolarWinds Response Unlikely to Change Russia’s Behavior, Highlights Need for Improved Cyber Defense

Paul Kolbe April 27, 2021 RM Exclusives
However powerful our offensive cyber capability is, it has deterred neither China’s sustained campaign to erode our advantages nor Russia’s asymmetric use of low-cost tools to extract high-value intelligence, propaganda and political advantage.
article

In the Wake of SolarWinds: Making and Breaking a Rules-Based Global Cyber Order

Anatol Lieven April 07, 2021 RM Exclusives
Few things have been more damaging to U.S. and European hopes of a “rules-based global order” than the perception that the U.S. both makes the rules and breaks them whenever it sees fit, including in cyberspace.
article

Punitive Response to SolarWinds Would Be Misplaced, But Cyber Deterrence Still Matters

Erica D. Borghard March 31, 2021 RM Exclusives
The pursuit of deterrence strategies to address other types of malicious behavior in cyberspace, beyond espionage, is not a fool’s errand. Deterrence is not a one-size-fits-all concept in cyberspace—or in any other domain.
article

US Response to SolarWinds Cyber Penetrations: A Good Defense Is the Best Offense

Paul Kolbe March 25, 2021 RM Exclusives
A carefully calibrated shot across the bow is appropriate in response to SolarWinds, but such responses will not stop cyber espionage or assaults. Russia is but one wolf in a growing pack of cyber predators, and the U.S. is simply too fat and easy a target.
article

What Is the Purpose of American Foreign Policy?

Jacob Heilbrunn December 20, 2020 Partner Posts
Several experts debate American interests and the goal of U.S. foreign policy.
article

Where US Sees Democracy Promotion, Russia Sees Regime Change

Benjamin Denison July 29, 2020 RM Exclusives
If U.S. officials were to critically assess the track record of American regime change, they might see that Russian statements against U.S. democracy promotion reflect genuine anxiety about regime security.
article

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.
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.
explainer

Is 'Escalate to Deescalate' Part of Russia’s Nuclear Toolbox?

Kevin Ryan January 08, 2020 RM Exclusives
Russia's political leaders deny the existence of a supposedly new plan to use limited nuclear strikes in a local/regional conflict to shock an adversary into suing for peace. Has the U.S. misunderstood Russian intentions and plans?
explainer

Russia’s Stock Market Rallies But Still Not a Source of Long-Term Capital

Ben Aris December 12, 2019 RM Exclusives
Russia’s stock market has been described as one of the best performing in the world this year, but the factors driving the uptick won’t fix the economy’s main problem: business people’s lack of confidence in the system.
article

Optimism for Improved US-Russian Relations Is Necessary, But Should Remain Cautious

Paul Saunders July 03, 2019 RM Exclusives
From Russiagate and bilateral trade to Ukraine and strategic stability, few components of a possible U.S.-Russia agenda provide much ground for optimism.