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RAND is renowned for its landmark studies of the Soviet government and military during the Cold War. Today, RAND explores Russia's economy, environment, and technology sector, and its complex and changing relations with NATO, Europe, Asia, and the United States.

  • Content

    Russia's War in Ukraine: Insights from RAND

    A vast body of previously published RAND research—as well as real-time insights from RAND experts—sheds light on important issues related to Russia's attack against Ukraine. These include Russia's strategy and military capabilities, the Ukrainian resistance, and how to address the refugee crisis.

    Mar 16, 2022

  • Research Brief

    The Day After: Postwar U.S. Strategy Toward Russia

    How should the United States deal with Russia after the war in Ukraine finally ends? And how might U.S. policy during the conflict shape the postwar world?

    Feb 9, 2024

Explore Russia

  • Smoke rises after what the Iranian media said was an Israeli strike on a building close to the Iranian embassy in Damascus, Syria, April 1, 2024, photo by Firas Makdesi/Reuters

    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

  • Map or Russia and Eurasia, photo by pop_jop/Getty Images

    Announcement

    Samuel Charap Named Inaugural Distinguished Chair in Russia and Eurasia Policy at RAND

    Samuel Charap, a senior political scientist at RAND, will serve as the inaugural Distinguished Chair in Russia and Eurasia Policy at the nonprofit, nonpartisan research organization. The Distinguished Chair in Russia and Eurasia Policy will further enhance RAND's analysis of the region and of the impact of Moscow's actions on the larger geopolitical landscape.

    Apr 11, 2024

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin lights a candle in memory of the victims of the Crocus City Hall attack at the Novo-Ogaryovo state residence outside Moscow, Russia, March 24, 2024, photo by Mikhail Metzel/Sputnik via Reuters

    Commentary

    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

  • A worker builds a trench as part of a system of new fortification lines near the Russian border in Chernihiv region, Ukraine, March 28, 2024, photo by Gleb Garanich/Reuters

    Commentary

    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

  • The burnt-out Crocus City Hall following a deadly attack on the concert venue outside Moscow, Russia, March 29, 2024, photo by Evgenia Novozhenina/Reuters

    Commentary

    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

  • Flags of the United States and China flutter outside the building of an American company in Beijing, China, January 21, 2021, photo by Tingshu Wang/Reuters

    Report

    Success and Failure of Great Powers in Long-Term Rivalries

    What does success or failure in a rivalry look like, and what varieties of success can great powers aspire to? Historical examples of strategic success and failure in great power rivalries offer lessons for the United States and its rivalry with China.

    Apr 10, 2024

  • North Korean leader Kim Jong-un meets with Russian President Vladimir Putin in the Amur Oblast of the Far East Region, Russia, September 13, 2023, photo by KCNA via Reuters

    Commentary

    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

  • Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich stands inside an enclosure for defendants before a court hearing in Moscow, Russia, October 10, 2023, photo by Evgenia Novozhenina/Reuters

    Commentary

    The Year-Long Detention of Evan Gershkovich: When Foreign Nationals Become Political Pawns

    Detaining foreign nationals incurs little risk for the detaining state, and can bring a large return. Negotiating to bring them home is not easy, as humanitarian appeals seldom work and there is always a quid pro quo. But the situation is not hopeless.

    Mar 29, 2024

  • A destroyed Russian Sukhoi Su-34 in a residential area of Chernihiv, Ukraine, April 16, 2022, photo by Piero Cruciatti/Reuters

    Commentary

    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

  • The Kerch bridge on fire after an explosion on the rail section of the bridge, between Crimea and mainland Russia, October 8, 2022, photo by EyePress News/Reuters

    Commentary

    Bolstering Ukraine's Irregular War Against Russia

    As Ukrainian forces assume a more defensive posture, Kyiv's irregular warfare behind enemy lines becomes even more important. Ukrainian irregulars are already active, even striking distant targets in Russia. With Western support and technology, these silent warriors could become even more potent.

    Mar 18, 2024

  • National Guardsmen during a routine training exercise in Kharkiv region, Ukraine, February 29, 2024, photo by Ukrinform/Reuters

    Commentary

    Help Ukraine Win—or Risk Kicking Off a U.S. Losing Streak

    Continued assistance to Ukraine is critical if the United States is to retain its position as the world's indispensable nation and the many benefits Americans enjoy as a result. Failing to support Ukraine now might kick off an American losing streak that could take decades to overcome.

    Mar 18, 2024

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin delivers a speech at the Russia-Latin America international parliamentary conference in Moscow, Russia, September 29, 2023, photo by Vladimir Astapkovich/Sputnik/Kremlin via Reuters

    Commentary

    We Already Know Who the Winner Will Be. What Else Does the Russian Election Tell Us?

    The outcome of Russia's upcoming election is a foregone conclusion. So why bother? Because Putin's reelection confirms that Russia is Putin. Putin is Russia. And he is in total command. This is the roadmap for the future distilled in his fifth run for the presidency.

    Mar 15, 2024

  • Armenian Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock, and Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Jeyhun Bayramov during peace negotiations between Armenia and Azerbaijan in Berlin, February 28, 2024, photo by Annegret Hilse/Reuters

    Commentary

    The U.S. Can't Guarantee Armenia's Security, Despite Azerbaijan's Threats, but It Can Help

    The United States and its European allies cannot be everything Armenia wants and needs from a foreign partner. The West should recognize and accept Armenia's multi-alignment and focus on areas where it is comparatively able and willing to deepen ties and foster stability.

    Mar 14, 2024

  • David Ochmanek at the West Coast Aerospace Forum, December 2019, photo by Diane Baldwin/RAND

    Q&A

    A New Approach for the U.S. Armed Forces: Q&A with David Ochmanek

    The United States and its allies have a window of opportunity to bolster their security and prepare for the global challenges to come. But it's closing fast as China and other adversaries build up their own militaries. Business as usual is no longer sufficient.

    Mar 13, 2024

  • An abstract colorful globe superimposed over flags of China and Russia, images by oxign and Oleksii Liskonih/Getty Images

    Report

    How U.S. Rivals Think About Competitive Advantage

    China's and Russia's conceptions of societal sources of competitive advantage rely on powerfully centralized efforts that reflect decisive degrees of national unity, coordination, and will. The nature of this thinking poses greater risks to U.S. deterrence policy than differences in military power.

    Mar 12, 2024

  • The flags of NATO, Finland, and Sweden, photo by Evgenia/Adobe Stock

    Commentary

    How Finland and Sweden Bolster NATO

    In response to Russia's illegal invasion of Ukraine, Finland and Sweden have joined NATO. These two small Nordic countries have outsized strategic and military benefits for the alliance.

    Mar 7, 2024

  • Ukrainian national flags flutter in front of a heavily damaged apartment building in Orikhiv, in Zaporizhzhia region, Ukraine, February 28, 2024, photo by Stringer/Reuters

    Commentary

    Breaking the Logjam: How to Start a Process That Leads to Negotiations

    It is too early to begin real talks between Russia and Ukraine. And Kyiv would have to be in the lead when they begin. But all parties should take steps now to bring about the possibility of talks in the future.

    Mar 5, 2024

  • Flowers at the grave of Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny following his funeral at the Borisovskoye cemetery in Moscow, Russia, March 1, 2024, photo by Stringer/Reuters

    Commentary

    Moscow's History of Unforced Errors Is the West's Hidden Advantage

    In challenging the West, Russia often shoots itself in the foot. It has done so again with the murder of Alexei Navalny. While policymakers cannot count on Russian blunders continuing, it's worth considering the number of unforced errors Moscow has committed over the years and their consequences.

    Mar 4, 2024

  • Journal Article

    Journal Article

    The Role of the Space Domain in the Russia-Ukraine War: The Impact of Converging Space and AI Technologies

    This piece, co-authored by the Alan Turing Institute and RAND Europe, delves into the use of space technology, especially AI, in the Russia-Ukraine conflict, and the difficulties the allies face in integrating these technologies for modern warfare.

    Mar 4, 2024

  • A Russian Ka-52 “Alligator” attack helicopter flies near a church in Donetsk, Ukraine, February 27, 2023, photo by Alexander Ermochenko/Reuters

    Commentary

    China Looks to Ukraine War for Guidance on Attack Helicopters

    Chinese strategists continue to be quite fixated on Russian attack helicopter operations in Ukraine. Helicopters appear to be at the very heart of any Chinese strategy to conquer Taiwan, since they can provide both extensive air cover and firepower for amphibious forces coming ashore and provide transport capabilities to deliver forces further inland in a hypothetical Taiwan scenario.

    Feb 26, 2024