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

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

Russian Moves in Afghanistan Are About Regional Stability, Not Revenge on US

Artemy M. Kalinovsky July 22, 2020 RM Exclusives
U.S. politicians may feel betrayed by Russia’s engagement with the Taliban, but to understand what Russia is up to, they need to stop imagining that Moscow’s every move is somehow intended to undermine the U.S.
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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.
Competing Views on Russia

John Mearsheimer on Russia: Insights and Recommendations

Thomas Schaffner September 26, 2019 RM Exclusives
When Americans find their domestic politics the target of foreign interference, "they become deeply committed to the principle of self-determination." Not surprisingly, writes leading American international relations scholar John Mearsheimer, "so do the Russians."
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Russia-China Bomber Patrol Shows Stronger Alignment Between the Two

Michael Kofman July 26, 2019 RM Exclusives
This week’s unprecedented Russian-Chinese patrol, including Russia’s run-in with South Korean jets, signals both growing bilateral military cooperation and Moscow’s willingness to take on geopolitical risks for the sake of its relationship with Beijing.
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.
research paper

Lessons for Leaders: What Afghanistan Taught Russian and Soviet Strategists

Simon Saradzhyan February 28, 2019 RM Exclusives
Moscow’s military intervention in Afghanistan lasted nearly a decade (1979-1989). It cost the USSR dearly in blood, treasure and power, but imparted lessons as well. Can some of these prove useful to the U.S. today?
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Gangster Geopolitics: The Kremlin’s Use of Criminals as Assets Abroad

Mark Galeotti January 17, 2019 RM Exclusives
Since the worsening of relations with the West in 2014, the Kremlin has increasingly adopted a “mobilization state” approach, turning to any available foreign-policy levers. Gangsters are no exception.
research paper

Jihadists from Ex-Soviet Central Asia: Where Are They? Why Did They Radicalize? What Next?

Edward Lemon, Vera Mironova and William Tobey December 07, 2018 RM Exclusives
Three authors draw on field work and other research to assess the motives, prospects and threats linked to Central Asian jihadists, including the thousands who joined Islamic State and other violent extremists in the Middle East.
Competing Views on Russia

Robert Legvold on Russia: Insights and Recommendations

RM Staff November 20, 2018 RM Exclusives
“The chances in … the next 10-15 years of a nuclear weapon being fired in anger are far greater now than they ever were during the Cold War.” This and more from one of America’s top Russia scholars.
issue brief

When Does Vladimir Putin’s Russia Send In Troops?

Simon Saradzhyan August 07, 2018 RM Exclusives
Examining Putin’s three military interventions abroad, the author sees a pattern in which two conditions must be present for Russia to intervene with force: a threat to its vital interests and a reasonable chance of success.
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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.