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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Not Built for Purpose: The Russian Military’s Ill-Fated Force Design

Michael Kofman and Rob Lee June 02, 2022 Recommended Reads
Force structure reveals a great deal about a military and its assumptions of what wars it plans to fight and how it plans to fight them.
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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 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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Afghanistan Has Never Been Moscow or Washington’s to Win or Lose

Sergey Radchenko August 16, 2021 Recommended Reads
Radchenko: When it comes to the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, Biden made the right call, even if the execution was far less impressive than the orderly Soviet pullout some 30 years ago. What is left in the wake of the U.S. withdrawal was never going to be pretty but nor did the Soviets leave a pretty sight. But this hardly changes the basic issue: Getting in was a mistake; getting out was the right thing to do. Because in the end Afghanistan was never Moscow’s, or Washington’s, to win or lose. 
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Afghanistan Is a Wake-Up Call for ‘Major Non-NATO Allies’

Nikolas K. Gvosdev August 16, 2021 Recommended Reads
From Afghanistan to Hungary, there is confusion about what alliance means and what steps the United States is prepared to take on behalf of those it considers allies. These matters need resolution because the United States cannot allow any doubt about what commitments it is prepared to enforce, especially with great power competitors more prepared to test any ambiguity in America’s stance.
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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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Russia-Ukraine War Alert: What’s Behind It and What Lies Ahead?

Dmitri Trenin April 13, 2021 Recommended Reads
Going overkill in terms of military maneuvers on the Ukrainian border now may avoid the need to do terrible things at a later point.
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The US, Not Russia Is the New Spoiler in the Arctic

Elizabeth Buchanan May 15, 2019 Recommended Reads
While Pompeo delivered a doomsday sermon on the region becoming an "arena for power and for competition," Lavrov articulated the need for "deeper state-to-state cooperation."
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Not All Is Quiet On the Arctic Front

Elizabeth Buchanan March 25, 2019 Recommended Reads
2019 presents four clear windows for increased competition in the Arctic.
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How Not to Compete in the Arctic: The Blurry Lines Between Friend and Foe

Stephanie Pezard February 27, 2019 Recommended Reads
Recent U.S. strategic documents portray Russia as a competitor of the United States and an unambiguous rival. Yet in the Arctic, Russia is also a neighbor with whom trivial matters need to be discussed and de-conflicted before they become nontrivial.
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Russia’s New and Unrealistic Naval Doctrine

Dmitry Gorenburg July 26, 2017 Recommended Reads
Russia's new naval doctrine reveals a wide gap “between aspiration and feasible plans.”