Center for Russia and Eurasia

The RAND Center for Russia and Eurasia (CRE) brings together experts from across RAND to shed light on the foreign policies, domestic developments, and economic relationships of the countries that succeeded the Soviet Union. Whether it’s Russian defense planning, foreign investment in Ukraine, or assistance programs in Central Asia and the Caucasus, RAND researchers leverage multidisciplinary tools, deep regional knowledge, and a wealth of substantive expertise in economics, security, health, education, and other areas to improve understanding and policy both for those in the region and for those engaging it.

Until March 2022, CRE also housed the RAND Business Leaders Forum (RBLF), a membership organization that since 1997 convened a select group of executives and policymakers from the United States, Russia, and Europe for dialogue on the broad array of strategic issues that face their countries and their companies. The RBLF sought to increase awareness of the strategic environment for business in Russia and encourage the contribution of private business to independent civil society. In light of Russia’s large-scale invasion of Ukraine and growing repression at home, RAND has concluded that at this time the Forum cannot serve these purposes. Accordingly, RAND is suspending Forum activities. We will reevaluate if the situation improves.

Recent Commentary

  • U.S. President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin shake hands during the U.S.-Russia summit at Villa La Grange in Geneva, Switzerland, June 16, 2021, photo by Denis Balibouse/Reuters

    The Wisdom of U.S. Restraint on Russia

    The United States has been gradually increasing assistance to Ukraine without provoking a wider war. Although this approach has frustrated Ukrainian leaders and many observers, it reflects the best traditions of Cold War–era crisis diplomacy—pursuing U.S. interests while avoiding a direct clash with a rival, always with an eye on the long term.

    Sep 12, 2022

  • Russian Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia attends Security Council meeting convened at the request of the Russian Federation who accused Ukraine of developing biological weapons under the tutelage of the United States, at U.N. Headquarters in New York, March 11, 2022, photo by Lev Radin/Sipa USA/Reuters

    Debunking Russian Lies About Biolabs at Upcoming U.N. Meetings

    Before Russia invaded Ukraine in February, its diplomatic missions began circulating some particularly fantastical lies. It's tempting to write off such claims as cartoonish propaganda. But Russia is making similarly outrageous claims to the United Nations and other international forums. Such maneuvers could dangerously undermine international arms control agreements.

    Sep 12, 2022

  • Rosneft boss Igor Sechin's yacht <em>Amore Vero</em>, which was seized by French authorities, in La Ciotat harbor, in the south of France, March 4, 2022, photo by Florian Escoffier/ABACA/Reuters

    Sanctioning Business Leaders in Russia

    Western sanctions are ensnaring more Russian business leaders, some of whom say they are unjustly targeted. Can those in the private sector reduce their risks of being designated? Perhaps, if they make difficult choices.

    Sep 12, 2022

  • A Russian frigate launches a Kalibr cruise missile at a Ukrainian target, from the Black Sea, June 15, 2022, photo by Russian Ministry of Defence/Reuters

    Will Robotized Fire Power Replace Manned Air Power?

    Russia's war in Ukraine entered the summer of 2022 with no clear military victor in sight. Although it is important to exercise caution in drawing any major conclusions, some powerful signs about the future of warfare can be derived from this conflict.

    Aug 31, 2022

  • Russian service members stand guard at the Nagurskoye military base in Alexandra Land on the Arctic islands of Franz Josef Land, Russia, March 29, 2017, photo by Sergei Karpukhin/Reuters

    How the Russian Invasion of Ukraine May Impact the Arctic

    The United States and its Arctic partners suspended cooperation with Russia at the Arctic Council in response to Moscow's invasion of Ukraine. The prospect of returning to the council's business as usual seems very far away.

    Aug 22, 2022

  • RAND Weekly Recap

    Homelessness in L.A., Russia's Military Woes, Educator Morale: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on breaking the cycle of incarceration and homelessness, Russia’s ongoing military struggles, NATO expansion, and more.

    Aug 19, 2022

  • Russian service members ride an armoured vehicle in the Russian-held part of the Zaporizhzhia region, Ukraine, July 23, 2022, photo by Alexander Ermochenko/Reuters

    Understanding Russia's Motivations, and Using Them

    The concept of ontological security could help explain Putin's war on Ukraine and his regime's reasoning. It's about maintaining a continuous sense of self, and in this case, of state identity. Putin may have deemed the invasion necessary to maintain a sense of continuity and order, where order is Russia's continued adversarial relationship with the West.

    Aug 19, 2022

More commentary from CRE researchers »