Special Reports

Special Reports provide in-depth analysis on a particular topic or issue and provide policy recommendations.

Fighting to Win: Ukraine, Russia, and the War for Survival

  Download PDF Introduction  I arrived in Kyiv this July after a thirteen-hour overnight train ride in a clean but austere Soviet-era railway car. Since I couldn’t purchase a return ticket in Poland, immediately upon arrival at the train...

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Russia’s Nuclear Policy After Ukraine

  Introduction The recent mutiny by Yevgeny Prigozhin, head of the Wagner mercenary force, generated international concern about the control of Russian nuclear weapons and Russia’s future nuclear policy. Therefore we must ask, will Russia change its nuclear policy...

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Changing Tides in the Black Sea Region: Conference Report

  The following is an edited transcript of a live recording of FPRI’s Chain Reaction podcast from the Changing Tides in the Black Sea conference, June 29, 2023. Listen to the recording here.  Recordings of all six panel discussions...

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New Canal Threatens the Peace Between the Taliban and Central Asia

When the Taliban entered Kabul in mid-August 2021, the Central Asian governments, with the exception of the Tajik government, simply continued, to the extent possible, business as usual with Afghanistan. Uzbekistan temporarily closed its border crossings with Afghanistan, mainly...

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Russia’s War in Ukraine: Critical Vulnerabilities to Russia’s Military Operations and Systems

  Key Takeaways Some of the critical vulnerabilities to Russia’s military operations and systems—revealed during the war in Ukraine—are due to its military culture and poor strategic choices at the beginning of the war including overly ambitious strategic aims....

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The War as an Accelerator

Introduction More than one year after Russia’s 2022 invasion of Ukraine it has become clear that Russia’s security elite and President Vladimir Putin seriously underestimated both the resilience and combat capabilities of Ukraine and the willingness of an international...

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Russia’s Military Industry Forecast 2023-2025

  After the start of Russia’s aggression against Ukraine on February 24, 2022, the arms expenditures and military budget of Russia skyrocketed and continue to grow for the foreseeable future. However, the military industry is under threat Despite the...

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The Wagner Group’s Expanding Global Footprint

Wagner Roadmap: Ten Recommendations to Fight the Group 1. The sanctions discussion needs to be expanded, as such designations should aim to shame Wagner’s state partners.  2. Sanctions lists should expand to include actors in third-party countries, such as...

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The Roots of Russian Military Dysfunction

  Executive Summary An unwillingness to decentralize decision making authority and a failure to communicate accurate information are the most consequential weaknesses at the state level that have contributed to the Russian military’s subpar performance to date in the...

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China Is Finally Making Progress on the China-Kyrgyzstan-Uzbekistan Railway

China has struggled to gain support from its Central Asian neighbors to build the China-Kyrgyzstan-Uzbekistan (CKU) railway since the 1990s. The CKU railway is crucial to China for two interconnected purposes—to advance its geopolitical interests and to secure favorable...

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