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

  • An armoured convoy of Russian troops drives in Russian-held part of Zaporizhzhia region, Ukraine, July 23, 2022, photo by

    Russian Forces in Ukraine: Muddling Through

    Aug 15, 2022

    The Russian armed forces have suffered tens of thousands of casualties and lost more than 5,000 pieces of equipment. These deficits will make it hard for Russia to hold regions in Ukraine that it may soon try to annex. To succeed, Moscow will have to replenish personnel and equipment at scale—tasks that will prove extremely difficult.

  • Politicized Topics in School, the War in Ukraine, Post-Quantum Cryptography: RAND Weekly Recap

    Aug 12, 2022

    This weekly recap focuses on the intrusion of politicized topics in America's schools, where the war in Ukraine may be headed, post-quantum cryptography, and more.

  • A Ukrainian service member looks on outside the city of Sievierodonetsk, Ukraine, as Russia's attack continues, June 19, 2022, photo by Oleksandr Ratushniak/Reuters

    The Case for Cautious Optimism in Ukraine

    Aug 9, 2022

    While the outcome of the war in Ukraine is by no means clear, the balance of materiel, manpower, and willpower all seem to make the case for cautious optimism. Although Ukraine is unlikely to throw Russia back to its borders any time soon, the war will likely trend in Ukraine's favor in the coming months. But only if the West does not blink first.

  • A rescuer carries a land mine on the premises of a brick plant Trostianets, Sumy Region, northeastern Ukraine, June 17, 2022, photo by Pavlo_Bagmut/NurPhoto via Reuters Connect

    Is the Virtue in the Weapon or the Cause?

    Aug 5, 2022

    The Biden administration's recent announcement of its intention to adhere to the provisions of the Ottawa Convention on anti-personnel landmines has real consequences. This decision is the latest in the long controversy over the use of anti-personnel landmines and, more broadly, what means are moral in war.

  • The International Space Station, November 25, 2009, photo by NASA

    Russia's Withdrawal from the ISS, Another Sign of Its Space Decline?

    Aug 4, 2022

    Russia's threatened exit from the International Space Station could simply be more bluster from Moscow at a time of heightened tension between Russia and the West over Russia's invasion of Ukraine. But it also appears to be another signal that Russia's profile in space is in decline, a trend that is likely to continue and that the United States could be preparing for now.

  • Ukrainian troops using advanced U.S. M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS) to attack Russian targets near Zaporizhzhia, Ukraine, July 4,2022, photo by Armed Forces of Ukraine/Cover Im via Reuters Connect

    Could U.S. Weapons Assistance to Ukraine Lead to Russian Escalation?

    Aug 1, 2022

    The United States and its allies should certainly continue providing Ukraine with the matériel it needs, but they should also—in close consultation with Kyiv—begin opening channels of communication with Russia. An eventual cease-fire should be the goal, even as the path to it remains uncertain.

  • A Ukrainian serviceman lights a candle at the spot where a child was killed by a Russian cruise missile strike in Vinnytsia, Ukraine, July 15, 2022, photo by Maxym Marusenko/Reuters

    Might Russia Turn to Terror Bombing Civilians in Ukraine?

    Jul 29, 2022

    Recent Russian missile attacks against civilian targets in cities far away from the front lines have killed scores of Ukrainians, leading to widespread outrage. These events raise the question of whether the war in Ukraine is entering a new phase in which terror attacks might become common.

More commentary from CRE researchers »