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

  • Why Russia Doesn't Want War Between Israel and Iran

    Moscow stands to lose a great deal if the Israel-Hamas conflict escalates into a wider war. While Russia would prefer the West distracted, a direct Israel-Iran conflict would expose Russia's vulnerabilities in the Middle East.

    Apr 12, 2024

  • Russia's Disinformation Campaign About the Moscow Terror Attack May Be Working

    As far-fetched as it may seem to those in the West, the Kremlin's claim that the recent terrorist attack on a Moscow concert hall was orchestrated by Ukraine and Western powers may be convincing to many Russians. For the U.S. to address and combat these claims, it is important to understand how they are framed amid broadly propagated themes, and how these could influence their potential appeal to large swaths of the Russian public.

    Apr 11, 2024

  • The Moscow Terror Attack Shows the Limits of the Russia-Iran Partnership

    Growing military and economic ties between Russia and Iran pose a threat to U.S. and Western interests. But their relationship remains largely transactional. The Ukraine war has incentivized them to paper over their disputes for now, but has not erased significant differences which make it more difficult for Moscow and Tehran to forge a true strategic partnership.

    Apr 10, 2024

  • Putin's Cordon Sanitaire in Ukraine

    Moscow is signaling a renewed Russian lunge into northern Ukraine to create a buffer zone and seize Kharkiv. Any Russian escalation in northern Ukraine deserves to be met with the full force of Ukraine's own arms and those from the West.

    Apr 10, 2024

  • What Chinese Navy Planners Are Learning from Ukraine's Use of Unmanned Surface Vessels

    The continued success of Ukrainian unmanned surface vessel (USV) attacks on Russian naval facilities and warships has kept USVs in the defense analytical spotlight and naval analysts around the world, particularly those in China, are taking note.

    Apr 4, 2024

  • Putin's Embrace of Kim Jong-un Has Its Limits

    The current trajectory of North Korea–Russia relations is certainly unfavorable for the United States and its allies because it essentially gives the two nations greater wiggle room to continue their bad behavior. But all is not necessarily lost. The strategic partnership between Russia and North Korea is unlikely to be decisive for either side.

    Apr 4, 2024

  • The Russian Air Force Is Hollowing Itself Out. Air Defenses for Ukraine Would Speed That Up

    The Russian Aerospace Forces has fewer than 650 tactical aircraft when accounting for end-of-life aircraft; it has even less when accounting for accelerated usage. But these numbers are unlikely to change Russia's behavior, based on its exhibited willingness to accept high losses, even for trivial gains.

    Mar 29, 2024