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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

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    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

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  • Rescuers work next to a building damaged by Russian air strikes in central Kharkiv, Ukraine, March 14, 2022, photo by Vitalii Hnidyi/Reuters

    Commentary

    Duty Bound to Disaster: Beware the Imperative in Foreign Policymaking

    Appeals for bolder action in Ukraine will understandably only grow more intense as the appalling humanitarian toll mounts. But imperative-driven action almost always leads countries astray—and in the days and weeks ahead, it will be critical for the United States to stay alert for its symptoms.

    Mar 22, 2022

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    Conflict Escalation: How It Works

    RAND senior political scientist Samuel Charap describes two types of conflict escalation and methods for mitigating the broadening of the scope of a conflict.

    Mar 21, 2022

  • Soldiers from the Rapid Response Forces Division during the NATO exercise GREEN GRIFFIN 21 in Lehnin, Germany, October 4, 2021, U.S. Army photo by Michele Wiencek

    Commentary

    Europe After the Ukraine War

    Russia's invasion of Ukraine has generated a massive backlash that is likely to endure even if the guns fall silent. What are the longer-term implications for Europe, and how will it affect European energy policy, military preparedness, and overall unity?

    Mar 21, 2022

  • mage grab from handout footage released by the Russia Ministry of Defense allegedly shows Russian soldiers holding weapons allegedly taken from the Ukrainian army weapon depot in the Kherson region, Ukraine, March 16, 2022, photo by EyePress News via Reuters

    Commentary

    Russia's Problems with Military Professionalization

    Even if Russia manages to take control of the territory of Ukraine, the Russian military's underlying problems with professionalization may handicap these occupiers in their efforts to maintain control over that country for the long-term.

    Mar 21, 2022

  • Soldiers of China's People's Liberation Army Navy patrol at Woody Island, in the Paracel Archipelago, January 29, 2016, photo by China Stringer Network/Reuters

    Commentary

    Taiwan Isn't the Ukraine of the Indo-Pacific. Try Vietnam Instead

    Russia's war in Eastern Europe has prompted Indo-Pacific security watchers to draw comparisons between Ukraine's plight and that of Taiwan with regard to China. But the more-applicable analogy is a different Indo-Pacific country: Vietnam.

    Mar 21, 2022

  • Blog

    Keeping Russians Informed, No-Fly Zone Policy, Telehealth: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on how to ensure Russians have access to accurate news about the war in Ukraine, strategic considerations for keeping a no-fly zone option on the table, treating pain conditions among U.S. service members, and more.

    Mar 18, 2022

  • NATO foreign ministers gather for a meeting following Russia's invasion of Ukraine, at NATO Headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, March 4, 2022, photo by Olivier Douliery/Pool via Reuters

    Commentary

    After Russia's Ukraine Invasion, Seven Assumptions the U.S. and NATO Allies Should Drop

    Given the realizations wrought by the recent invasion of Ukraine, the United States and its NATO allies might reconsider several assumptions and arguments that have limited conventional military deterrence in Europe. Making sure we are ready to defend and thus deter a larger war that must never be fought is critically important.

    Mar 18, 2022

  • The Kremlin's Spasskaya Tower and St. Basil's Cathedral seen through an art object in Zaryadye park in Moscow, Russia, March 15, 2022, photo by Evgenia Novozhenina/Reuters

    Commentary

    If Regime Change Were to Come to Moscow

    Strains in Russia over the war in Ukraine and punishing economic sanctions could spark regime change in Moscow. Although prospects for this are uncertain, the West might be prudent to begin considering how to deal with any new government.

    Mar 18, 2022

  • Taiwanese soldiers walk down a street in this undated photo posted to Twitter on March 11, 2022 by Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen, photo courtesy of the Office of the President of Taiwan

    Commentary

    What the Invasion of Ukraine Might Teach Us About a Potential Taiwan Crisis

    Chinese leaders are learning from the conflict in Ukraine, not just by observing Russia's actions, but also the West's response. By also learning from the conflict, the United States, Taiwan, and other like-minded partners can help ensure that Beijing comes away from the current crisis with a greater appreciation of the risks that attacking Taiwan would entail.

    Mar 17, 2022

  • Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky speaks during a news conference for foreign media in Kyiv, Ukraine, March 12, 2022, photo by Ukrainian Presidential Press Service/Handout via Reuters

    Commentary

    What Is Continuity of Government, and Why Does It Matter for Ukraine?

    As Ukraine continues to resist Russian occupation, future-focused planning could help it win a longer-term struggle to protect its legitimate government and deny Russia the political consolidation it seeks. Ensuring the continuity of Ukraine's democratically elected government could be a means of preserving national sovereignty moving forward.

    Mar 17, 2022

  • President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine delivers a virtual address to Congress in the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., March 16, 2022, photo by Sarahbeth Maney/Pool/Sipa USA via Reuters

    Commentary

    Why It Could Be a Strategic Mistake to Rule Out a No-Fly Zone Policy

    The United States has been willing to entertain many forms of support to Ukraine, but senior administration and congressional leaders have categorically ruled out declaring a no-fly zone over the country. While American policymakers are rightfully hesitant to implement a no-fly zone policy, it could be a strategic mistake to say so in public.

    Mar 16, 2022

  • An empty airport terminal at Sheremetyevo International Airport after Aeroflot suspended most international flights in order to keep leased aircraft from being detained due to sanctions, in Moscow, Russia, March 8, 2022, photo by Artyom Geodakyan/Reuters

    Commentary

    Where Is Business in Russia?

    Businesses in Russia have little hope of making a full recovery and operating normally in the global economy unless the West lifts its extraordinary sanctions. Political and civic engagement may be essential to protect their value and the interests of shareholders and employees.

    Mar 16, 2022

  • An application that helps Lithuanians to call Russians to discuss the war in Ukraine in an effort to help end the war, in Vilnius, Lithuania, March 9, 2022, photo by Janis Laizans/Reuters

    Commentary

    Keeping Russians Informed About Ukraine Could Help End This War

    Russia has taken increasingly aggressive actions to restrict access of information about the war in Ukraine. Ensuring that the Russian people know the truth about what their government is doing in Ukraine could bring this war to an end soon rather than later.

    Mar 14, 2022

  • Blog

    Putin's State of Mind, the Digital Skills Gap, International Women's Day: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on deterring Russian President Vladimir Putin, understanding America’s gun policy debate, improving teacher diversity, and more.

    Mar 11, 2022

  • Private security company owner Wang Haichun takes part in a training session with his employees in Hangzhou, China, March 6, 2018, photo by Tu meifei/Reuters

    Commentary

    China's Security Contractors Have Avoided the Fate of Russia's Military Contractors, So Far

    China's approach to private security contractors is much more limited in scope and effects than Russia's use of private military contractors. But indicators suggest that Chinese planners see benefits in expanding and maturing China's use of private contractors, which creates the potential for dangerous results for China and the rest of the world.

    Mar 11, 2022

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin at the Bocharov Ruchei state residence in Sochi, Russia September 29, 2021, photo by Vladimir Smirnov/Sputnik via Reuters

    Commentary

    Is Putin Irrational? What Nuclear Strategic Theory Says About Deterrence of Potentially Irrational Opponents

    Increasingly isolated and desperate, Putin might try to suddenly escalate the Ukraine conflict rather than back down in the face of international opposition. The United States and its allies must account for the possibility that even in the face of credible deterrent threats Putin might double down and lash out.

    Mar 8, 2022

  • Blog

    The West's Response to Russia, the State of the Union, Outer Space: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on how to prevent Russia's war on Ukraine from becoming a war with NATO, insights from RAND on the State of the Union, the future of outer space, and more.

    Mar 4, 2022

  • Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi shakes hands with Russian President Vladimir Putin during their meeting at Hyderabad House in New Delhi, India, December 6, 2021, photo by Sonu Mehta/Hindustan Times/Sipa USA via Reuters

    Commentary

    Russia Looks Less and Less Like India's Friend

    India has strong ties with Russia dating back to the Cold War. But the geostrategic winds have shifted significantly in recent years, suggesting that India might want to reconsider the benefits of close Russia ties.

    Mar 4, 2022

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    Report

    Competition and Restraint in Cyberspace

    Recent years have seen a mounting concern in the United States over foreign efforts to harm election security or legitimacy through cyber means, an increase in cyber espionage, and attacks of growing sophistication. How could international norms help constrain such destabilizing behavior in cyberspace?

    Mar 4, 2022