Russia

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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.

  • Residents flee from the town of Irpin, Ukraine, after heavy shelling by Russia destroyed the only escape route used by locals, March 6, 2022, photo by Carlos Barria/Reuters

    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

  • Ballet dancers perform Pyotr Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake at the Mikhailovsky theatre in St. Petersburg, Russia, September 28, 2016, photo by Grigory Dukor/Reuters

    Commentary

    How Cognitive Dissonance and Repression Shape Russian Perceptions of the Conflict in Ukraine

    Cognitive dissonance theory offers a compelling explanation for one of the confounding phenomena emerging from the war in Ukraine—Russians who refuse to believe their Ukrainian family members' lived experiences of the war. How is it that of the two cognitions Russians are wrestling with, the Kremlin's manufactured truth often prevails?

    Jun 29, 2022

Explore Russia

  • Russian soldiers aboard an armoured vehicle in western Georgia in AUgust of 2008

    Report

    What Drives Russia's Military Interventions?

    Russia has engaged in more interventions than any other U.S. competitor since the end of the Cold War. A RAND report analyzes the 25 interventions that Russia has undertaken since 1991.

    Sep 27, 2021

  • The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Healy in the ice about 715 miles north of Barrow, Alaska, October 3, 2018, photo by Senior Chief Petty Officer NyxoLyno Cangemi/U.S. Coast Guard

    Commentary

    As U.S. Shifts Arctic Strategy to Counter Russia, Allies Offer Valuable Info

    U.S. strategy is shifting toward a renewed focus on the Arctic region, reflecting increasing Russian military activity there. U.S. forces could benefit from the knowledge and capabilities of partners and allies with extensive Arctic experience.

    Sep 24, 2021

  • Russian nuclear icebreaker 50 Let Pobedy escorts the LNG tanker Christophe de Margerie in the North Sea Region, March 2, 2021, photo by Rosatom/Pool/Latin America News Agency via Reuters

    Commentary

    No Need to Read Between the Lines: How Clear Shifts in Nordic Strategies Create Opportunities for the United States to Enhance Arctic Security

    Norway, Sweden, and Finland have dramatically shifted their plans and actions in response to Russian threats in the European Arctic. This change could provide an opportunity for the United States to further strengthen cooperation, enhancing security and better countering Russia in the region.

    Sep 15, 2021

  • Russian paratroopers line up to board a transport plane during Zapad-2021 military exercises at an aerodrome in Kaliningrad Region, Russia, September 13, 2021, photo by Vitaly Nevar/Reuters

    Commentary

    Moscow Hesitated in Poland—Will It in Belarus?

    Forty years ago, Russia used a major military exercise in part to scare Poland's communist leaders into cracking down on protesters. A similar Russian exercise now could be aimed in part at pressuring Belarus. If so, the West could respond in several ways.

    Sep 13, 2021

  • Russia's President Vladimir Putin speaks during a meeting with Russian Olympic athletes at the Moscow Kremlin in run-up to the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympic Games, June 30, 2021, photo by Sergei Bobylev/Reuters

    Journal Article

    Can a Pragmatic Relationship With the Taliban Help Russia Counter Terrorism?

    Neither the United States nor Russia wants to see Afghanistan become a haven for international terrorist groups. For now, Russia is taking a pragmatic approach to the Taliban in that it has a relationship with the group that the United States does not.

    Sep 8, 2021

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin delivers a speech at Patriot Congress and Exhibition Centre in the Moscow Region, Russia, August 23, 2021, photo by Ramil Sitdikov/Kremlin via Reuters

    Commentary

    After Afghanistan, Could Russia Misjudge America?

    Over the years, the United States has been humbled abroad more than once but bounced back. Now, as it withdraws from Afghanistan, might Russia see the United States as defeated and vulnerable to pressure? This could be an error.

    Aug 26, 2021

  • Blog

    Insights on Afghanistan, Back to School, North Korea: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on the collapse in Afghanistan, what parents think about sending kids back to school, insights from game theory on North Korean denuclearization, and more.

    Aug 20, 2021

  • TV news anchor obscured by screen of interference over a Russian flag, images by namussi/Getty Images and Piotr Krzeslak/Adobe Stock; design by Rick Penn-Kraus/RAND Corporation

    Report

    Countering Russia's Malign and Subversive Information Efforts

    Information aggression is increasing in frequency and intensity. Russia uses messaging and intimidation in its efforts to influence multiple actors and countries. As frequent targets, how can the United States and its European allies defend themselves?

    Aug 16, 2021

  • Russia's President Vladimir Putin holds a meeting with the Russian Security Council

    Report

    Russia's Grand Strategy

    Understanding Russia's grand strategy can help U.S. decisionmakers avoid strategic surprise by better-anticipating Moscow's actions and reactions. A new report reviews Russia's declared grand strategy, and tests key elements of it against the actions of the Russian state.

    Aug 16, 2021

  • The verdict is announced in the embezzlement trial of U.S. investor Michael Calvey (L) at Meshchansky District Court, Moscow, Russia, August 5, 2021, video still by Moscow City Court/TASSTHIS via Reuters

    Commentary

    Which Kremlin Can Investors Expect?

    A Kremlin that backs sound macroeconomic policy and a strong private sector could hearten investors. A Kremlin that pursues statist economics and security at all costs could discourage them. Which Kremlin should investors expect?

    Aug 12, 2021

  • Soldiers participate in training at Camp Ripley, Minnesota, June 5, 2021, photo by Sgt. Mahsima Alkamooneh/U.S. Army

    Research Brief

    Should the U.S. Military Be Less Predictable?

    The United States might strengthen deterrence by becoming more operationally unpredictable. Several approaches could work to increase adversary uncertainty about how U.S. forces would fight, but there are risks and costs.

    Aug 11, 2021

  • Report

    Report

    Operational Unpredictability and Deterrence: Evaluating Options for Complicating Adversary Decisionmaking

    This report assesses whether and how the U.S. military might utilize unpredictability in force employment, posture, and operations to deter adversaries and identifies the possible risks and costs of such approaches.

    Aug 11, 2021

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin, French President Emmanuel Macron, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel at a summit in Paris, France, December 10, 2019, photo by Charles Platiau/Pool via Reuters

    Commentary

    Disrespecting Europe Could Cost Russia

    Western unity is critical to addressing authoritarian challenges. Brexit, immigration, leadership transition in Germany, and COVID-19 provide grist for Russian propaganda claims of European weakness. But unified EU action on Ukraine, Navalny, and Belarus shows that Europe is a force with which to be reckoned.

    Jul 26, 2021

  • Blog

    The Fight Against COVID, Sexual Violence in the Military, Disinformation on Social Media: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on the ongoing fight against COVID-19, countering sexual assault and sexual harassment in the military, disinformation on social media, and more.

    Jul 23, 2021

  • Staff members of the Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency promote social distancing at the Ikorodu Community School in Lagos, Nigeria, photo by Adeyinka Yusuf/Getty Images

    Report

    The Pandemic's Effects on Strategic Competition in Sub-Saharan Africa

    What have been the public health, political, and economic ramifications of COVID-19 in sub-Saharan Africa? And has the pandemic allowed China and Russia to gain more influence on the continent?

    Jul 20, 2021

  • Spectators watch a Russian Sukhoi Su-57 fighter jet landing after a demonstration flight at the MAKS-2019 air show in Zhukovsky outside Moscow, Russia August 29, 2019, photo by Tatyana Makeyeva/Reuters

    Report

    Defense Acquisition in Russia and China

    Russia and China have sought to modernize their legacy defense equipment while concurrently developing new and increasingly sophisticated systems. In which areas does each country excel and where do they have challenges?

    Jul 14, 2021

  • A Russian Mi-8 military helicopter is seen through a window while flying during a rehearsal for the Navy Day parade in Saint Petersburg, Russia, July 21, 2019, photo by Anton Vaganov/Reuters

    Report

    How Would NATO Compete with Russia?

    Western threat perceptions of Russia have risen sharply in recent years, bolstered by its acts of military aggression, political interference, and efforts to expand its global influence. What would be the strengths, weaknesses, and risks for the United States, NATO, and Russia in a large-scale war?

    Jun 22, 2021

  • Blog

    Stress Among U.S. Teachers, Russia's Global Interests, Investing in Equity: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on job-related stress among U.S. public school teachers, Russia's global interests, promoting social equity through infrastructure investments, and more.

    Jun 18, 2021

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin holds a meeting via video link from the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, December 21, 2020, photo by Alexei Nikolsky/Russian Presidential Press and Information Office/Reuters

    Commentary

    Russia Engine Troubles: Is Putin's Behavior Catching Up with Him?

    Actions taken to curb Russian malign activities around the globe appear to be affecting Russia's marine and aerospace engine sector. Efforts to arrest Russia's bad behavior might gain momentum if more countries followed the lead of Norway, which chose supporting sanctions over short-term economic gain.

    Jun 15, 2021

  • Russian President Putin addresses the audience during Moscow City Day celebrations in Moscow, Russia, September 5, 2020, photo by Sputnik/Alexei Druzhinin/Kremlin via Reuters

    Report

    Confronting a More Globally Active Russia

    For the last 25 years, Russia has been focused on regaining the ability to influence actions beyond its own region. Recognizing Russia's global interests could help the United States implement its own global strategy.

    Jun 15, 2021