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

  • 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.

  • Talking to Russia, Racial Bias, Mine-Hunting Dolphins: RAND Weekly Recap

    Jul 29, 2022

    This weekly recap focuses on preventing escalation of the war in Ukraine, how racial bias compounds over time, why the Navy should stick with its mine-hunting dolphins, and more.

  • A destroyed Russian tank by the roadside near Huliaipole, Zaporizhzhia Region, southeastern Ukraine, June 29, 2022, photo by Dmytro Smolyenko/Reuters

    The Lessons the United States Learned, and That Russia Did Not

    Jul 25, 2022

    As dissimilar as the Iraq and Afghanistan wars may be to the war in Ukraine, those conflicts taught the United States a few important lessons, often the hard way. As a result, the U.S. military probably would have avoided the problems that beset the Russians in Ukraine—not in spite of the global war on terrorism, but because of it.

More commentary from CRE researchers »