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

  • Firefighters work to put out a fire in a residential building destroyed by a Russian drone strike in Kyiv, October 17, 2022, photo by Gleb Garanich/Reuters

    Planning Now for a Negotiated Outcome in Ukraine

    The United States should consider keeping open lines of communication with Russia. While it may not lead to peace in Ukraine any time soon, it could help mitigate the risks of dramatic escalation and indefinite war.

    Oct 28, 2022

  • RAND Weekly Recap

    Putin's Gambits, Xi Jinping, Machine Learning: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on Putin's latest “desperate measures” in Ukraine, support for Xi Jinping, whether machine-learning tools can tell if you're lying, and more.

    Oct 21, 2022

  • Russian Su-35 fighter aircraft taking part in an exercise after taking off from an airfield in Brest, Belarus, February 11, 2022, photo by Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation/Reuters

    Russia's Su-35: Are Its Military Aircraft Exports Headed for a Fall?

    Squeezed by sanctions and pressed to replace equipment destroyed in Ukraine, Russia's aerospace sector isn't likely to have combat aircraft to sell, even if it wants to. If purchasing countries start to change their minds and invest in drones and other less-expensive precision guided munitions, the market for Russian combat aircraft might start to rapidly decline.

    Oct 20, 2022

  • The Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, June 6, 2022, photo by Vlad Karkov / SOPA Images/Sipa USA

    The West and Russia the Day After

    In the 1990s, after the breakup of the USSR, the West adapted to and helpfully influenced the birth of 15 new republics. If liberalizing change comes anew, the West may seek to help Russia heal itself for the long term.

    Oct 19, 2022

  • Russia claims to have successfully test-launched its nuclear-capable Sarmat intercontinental ballistic missile in Plesetsk, Russian Federation, in this photo released by the Russian Ministry of Defence, April 20, 2022, photo by Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation/Reuters

    Why Putin's Nuclear Gambit Is a Huge Mistake

    Russia is losing in Ukraine, and the rhetoric of Russian leaders has recently become ever more apocalyptic. The United States and its allies should be prepared in case Russia goes down the nuclear path, but fear should not drive the Western response to Russia's nuclear bluster.

    Oct 19, 2022

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a news conference following the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) leaders' summit in Astana, Kazakhstan, October 14, 2022, photo by Valery Sharifulin/Sputnik Pool via Reuters

    Why Vladimir Putin Is Likely to Be Disappointed

    None of the Kremlin's recent gambits—annexation, mobilization, or personnel shuffles—can overcome the larger problems facing Russia's military. And in the months ahead, its difficulties will only worsen.

    Oct 18, 2022

  • RAND Weekly Recap

    Legalizing Cannabis, the Russian Nuclear Threat, Digital Offshoring: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on cannabis legalization, the Russian nuclear threat, the effects of digital offshoring, and more.

    Oct 14, 2022