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.
explainer

Who ‘Defeated’ ISIS? An Analysis of US and Russian Contributions

Domitilla Sagramoso May 06, 2020 RM Exclusives
There can be little doubt that the U.S. and its allies played a much bigger role in subduing the terror group than Russia. But ISIS has plenty of life in it yet and any alleged victory is fragile.
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.
explainer

What Is the State’s Share in Russia’s Economy?

Nini Arshakuni and Natasha Yefimova-Trilling June 26, 2019 RM Exclusives
While press reports say 70% of Russia’s economy is in state hands, some top experts think it’s closer to 35-45%. They’ve seen a trend of strategic nationalization under Putin and doubt the coming years will bring greater efficiency or competition.
explainer

The ‘Who, What, When’ of Russia Sanctions: A Cheat Sheet for Laymen

Alexey Eremenko September 26, 2018 RM Exclusives
This explainer spells out the major sanctions imposed on Russia by the U.S. and EU since 2014: who has been targeted; what behaviors are to be punished or deterred; what activities have been restricted; and for how long.
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.
explainer

The Collapsing Russian Defense Budget and Other Fairy Tales

Michael Kofman May 22, 2018 RM Exclusives
Recent reports claiming Russia slashed defense spending by 20 percent from 2016 to 2017 are wrong, the author argues. They stem from a government decision to pay down old debt, not actual cuts to spending.
explainer

Russia and the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election: Laying Out the Publicly Available Evidence

David Filipov, Kevin Doyle and Natasha Yefimova-Trilling April 06, 2018 RM Exclusives
Americans’ opinions about allegations of “Russiagate” are often split along party lines—in part because the publicly available evidence has come in forms that leave room for doubt. Here we try to present it as systematically as possible. Newly updated!
column

Yes, Russian Generals Are Preparing for War. That Doesn’t Necessarily Mean the Kremlin Wants to Start One

Simon Saradzhyan August 30, 2017 RM Exclusives
Past experience suggests that two conditions must exist for Russia to use military exercises as a cover for foreign military interventions and neither one is in place today.
explainer

25 Years of Nuclear Security Cooperation by the US, Russia and Other Newly Independent States: A Timeline

Mariana Budjeryn, Simon Saradzhyan and William Tobey June 16, 2017 RM Exclusives
At a time when the U.S. and the newly independent states of the former Soviet Union still saw each other as mortal enemies, they found the courage, creativity and capacity for trust to work together in the name of preventing nuclear catastrophe.
explainer

Russian Defense Spending: Tricky Math

Olga Oliker April 26, 2017 RM Exclusives
With Russia flexing its military muscle, analysts are increasingly interested in how much Moscow is spending on weapons. This explainer lays out the factors that make those numbers hard to crunch.
explainer

For Russia and America, Election Interference Is Nothing New: 25 Stories

Arjun Kapur and Simon Saradzhyan March 22, 2017 RM Exclusives
As headlines scream about Russia’s “unprecedented” interference in U.S. politics, it’s helpful to get some historical perspective on how often countries try to tinker with each other’s elections.