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

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  • Ukrainian Armed Forces during tactical military exercises at a shooting range in the Kherson region, Ukraine, January 19, 2022, p

    Commentary

    Two Choices in Ukraine

    Facing existential risk, Ukraine may consider unprecedented steps. Urgent measures might help it protect against a Russian invasion. And if the immediate threat were to ebb, Ukraine might use the time gained to prepare for potential future threats.

    Jan 31, 2022

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin attends his annual end-of-year news conference in Moscow, Russia, December 23, 2021

    Multimedia

    Has the Kremlin Taken Too Much Risk?

    RAND adjunct senior fellow William Courtney suggests that Russia may have taken too much risk by threatening to invade Ukraine and explains what's at stake for the nation.

    Jan 26, 2022

  • Blog

    U.S.-Russia Diplomacy, Citizen Science, America's Blood Supply: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on U.S.-Russia diplomacy in the context of the Ukraine crisis, the value of citizen science, strengthening the America's blood supply, and more.

    Jan 21, 2022

  • Ukraine soldiers engaging in military training in various unknown locations, January 20, 2022, photo by EyePress News/Reuters

    Commentary

    U.S. Military Aid to Ukraine: A Silver Bullet?

    U.S. military assistance to Ukraine now will at best be marginal in affecting the outcome of the Russia-Ukraine crisis. It might be morally justified to help a U.S. partner at risk of aggression. But given the scale of the potential threat to Ukraine and its forces, the most effective way Washington can help is to work on finding a diplomatic solution.

    Jan 21, 2022

  • Soldiers assigned to 1st Battalion, 6th Field Artillery Regiment, 41st Field Artillery Brigade conducted the first U.S. Multiple Launch Rocket System live fire on June 10, 2021 in Setermoen, Norway in more than a quarter of century during Exercise Thunderbolt, a joint multinational exercise that included the Norwegian Army Brigade North, and U.S. Marines from 2nd Air Naval Gunfire Liaison Company. This was the fifth and final live fire in the Fires Shock series of exercises that was conducted across five countries and two continents from May 2 to June 11, 2021, photo by Maj. Joe Bush/U.S. Army

    Report

    Deterrence and Escalation in Competition with Russia: The Role of Ground Forces in Preventing Hostile Measures Below Armed Conflict in Europe

    In this report, the authors seek to understand how the United States might use its military posture in Europe -- particularly focusing on ground forces -- as part of a strategy to deter Russian malign activities in the competition space.

    Jan 20, 2022

  • Military vehicles cross a floating pontoon bridge built over the Oka River as part of a joint military exercise held in Murom, Russia, July 28, 2021, photo by Alexander Ryumin/TASS/Alamy

    Report

    Deterrence and Escalation in Competition with Russia

    U.S. forward military posture has the potential to deter Russian hostile measures such as economic coercion, political subversion, and military intimidation. But employed inappropriately, it could also provoke them. What can the United States do to reduce the likelihood of escalation?

    Jan 20, 2022

  • Report

    Report

    Multi-Domain Integration in Defence: Conceptual Approaches and Lessons from Russia, China, Iran and North Korea

    A study examining Russia, China, Iran and North Korea's current and future thinking on Multi-Domain Integration.

    Jan 20, 2022

  • Ukrainian service members unload anti-tank weapons supplied by Britain at the Boryspil airport outside Kyiv, Ukraine, January 18, 2022, photo by Ukrainian Defence Ministry/Handout via Reuters

    Commentary

    Ukraine Needs Help Surviving Airstrikes, Not Just Killing Tanks

    A Russian large-scale multidomain operation would be devastating for the Ukrainian military and people, and Ukraine should work to prevent that. But steps can also be taken to reduce the effects of the air and missile strikes that would likely lead off such an operation.

    Jan 19, 2022

  • U.S. President Joe Biden holds virtual talks with Russia's President Vladimir Putin at the White House in Washington, D.C., December 7, 2021, photo by The White House/Handout via Reuters

    Commentary

    Biden's Rhetoric on Ukraine Has Been Quite Moderate. Here's What That Means

    President Biden's public statements since December have focused on how further Russian invasion of Ukraine would result in material consequences. His rhetorical restraint may have important implications for the current conflict.

    Jan 18, 2022

  • Blog

    Geoengineering, the Russia-Ukraine Crisis, Biosimilar Drugs: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on technologies that manipulate the climate, what NATO could do to address the Ukraine-Russia crisis, and cost savings from biosimilar drugs.

    Jan 14, 2022

  • U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman and Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov attend security talks, Geneva, Switzerland, January 10, 2022, photo by Denis Balibouse/Reuters

    Commentary

    Speaking Aloud What NATO Has Left Unsaid Could Help Ease Ukraine-Russia Impasse

    A statement that NATO has no intention to offer Ukraine membership at present should only be made in return for a tangible drawdown of Russian forces on the border. It concedes nothing to declare that NATO is not planning to do something it has no intention of doing anyway.

    Jan 13, 2022

  • A tank crew member of the Russian armed forces fires a weapon during combat drills at the Kadamovsky range in the Rostov region, Russia, December 14, 2021, photo by Sergey Pivovarov/Reuters

    Report

    Russian Military Forecasting Translation Volume: 1999–2018

    This translation volume compiles texts by Russian military experts and planners and covers key factors in Russian military forecasting that inform military planning decisions on force structure and training.

    Jan 10, 2022

  • “Checkmate,” the new Sukhoi fifth-generation stealth fighter jet, at the opening ceremony of the MAKS 2021 air show in Zhukovsky, Russia, July 20, 2021, photo by Tatyana Makeyeva/Reuters

    Commentary

    Is Russia's Su-75 'Checkmate' Aircraft a Case of Vapor Marketing?

    During a Moscow air show last summer, Russia rolled out a mockup of the Su-75, a multipurpose fighter-bomber designed to compete in the global marketplace. But given the Russian aerospace sector's difficulties in developing, let alone delivering, advanced combat aircraft, prospective buyers should consider a range of options to meet defense needs.

    Jan 6, 2022

  • NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg meets with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy at NATO Headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, December 16, 2021, photo by North Atlantic Treaty Organization/ CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

    Commentary

    Russia May Underestimate Ukraine and NATO

    Moscow has unveiled outlandish security demands that sound aggressive and suggest that it may underestimate both NATO and Ukraine. Kremlin leaders might consider instead seeking a stable European security architecture that protects Russia's interests while also allowing for a vibrant and sovereign Ukraine.

    Dec 27, 2021

  • Blog

    The Most Popular RAND Research of 2021

    As another extraordinary year draws to a close, we continue to believe that objective, nonpartisan research and analysis has a key role to play in navigating what continues to be a difficult time. Here are the 10 research projects that resonated most with rand.org readers in 2021.

    Dec 22, 2021

  • Russia's President Vladimir Putin attends his annual special televised question and answer session at Moscow's World Trade Centre, June 30, 2021, photo by Alexei Nikolsky/Reuters

    Commentary

    Deterring Putin in Eastern Europe

    After having gone years without a significant threat from Russia, NATO leaders and legislatures now may be recognizing that the security environment has changed and the more comfortable political status quo is gone. But if NATO were to decide to stand firmly together, conflict in Europe may be deterred and strategic stability restored.

    Dec 16, 2021

  • Blog

    Russia and Ukraine, Climate Migration, Democracy in Asia: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on Russia and Ukraine, planning for climate migration, the state of democracy in Asia, and more.

    Dec 10, 2021

  • Ukrainian Marines take part in multinational Sea Breeze 2021 military exercises involving more than 30 countries near Kherson, Ukraine, July 2, 2021, photo by Gleb Garanich/Reuters

    Commentary

    If Russia Invaded Ukraine

    The United States and NATO worry that Russia may be planning an invasion of Ukraine. A renewed crisis could spur the United States and its NATO allies to go beyond, perhaps well beyond, their responses to Russia's 2014 assault.

    Dec 8, 2021

  • Blog

    Addressing Anti-Asian Racism, Stabilizing U.S. Rivalries, the Debt-Ceiling Fight: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on countering anti-Asian racism, the instability of U.S. rivalries with Russia and China, the rise in extremist online activity, and more.

    Dec 3, 2021

  • Army personnel from the U.S. and China participate in expert academic dialogue during the U.S.-China Disaster Management Exchange, in Kunming, China, November 2016, photo by Staff Sgt. Michael Behlin/U.S. Army

    Report

    Stabilizing Great-Power Rivalries

    The international system is headed for a renewed era of intense competition among major powers. And there are serious grounds for concern about U.S. rivalries with Russia and China. To ensure stability—and avoid war—the policy response should be nuanced and go beyond bolstering military capabilities.

    Nov 29, 2021