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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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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Parsing the Evidence: Will Russia Invade Ukraine?

RM Staff January 27, 2022 RM Exclusives
With reams of analysis written to answer this question, we summarize a handful of experts who have backed their assertions with abundant research.
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Why Russia Is Unlikely to Use Zapad-2021 to Intervene Militarily in European Countries

Simon Saradzhyan August 31, 2021 Partner Posts
As Russia prepares to hold exercises in its western regions again, we hear warnings that Moscow will use the wargames as cover for aggression against another country; however, the conditions necessary for a Russian military intervention are absent.
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‘Green Burden’: How Global Climate Policies Could Impact Russia

Danila Bochkarev August 04, 2021 RM Exclusives
European carbon taxes and a broader push for less fossil fuel could cost Russia’s economy billions of dollars, nudging Moscow to adopt new policies.
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Does the Collective Security Treaty Organization Have a Future?

Kirill Krivosheev July 09, 2021 Partner Posts
The CSTO still has a chance to prove itself—if it can demonstrate effective and coordinated work after the impending withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan.
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The HMS Defender Incident: What happened and What Are the Political Ramifications?

Dmitry Gorenburg July 01, 2021 RM Exclusives
Inadvertent escalation poses the greatest risk of a political confrontation between Russia and NATO resulting in armed conflict, and as long as one or both sides believe that it is beneficial to use their military forces to make political points, we should expect more incidents of this type to take place.
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Will Russia Invade Ukraine (Again)?

Simon Saradzhyan April 14, 2021 Recommended Reads
Not a day goes by without dire warnings of an imminent Russian military invasion of Ukraine, but Putin is unlikely to order an offensive against Ukraine unless Zelensky makes the first military move on the Donbass chessboard.
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Five Years After Russia Declared Victory in Syria: What Has Been Won?

Thomas Schaffner March 18, 2021 RM Exclusives
Has the intervention paid off or has Obama’s 2015 prediction that the operation would end in a “quagmire” for Russia come true? An assessment of some key costs and benefits generated by Russia’s intervention in Syria.